PROJECT, PROGRAMME AND PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT
To make a single project a reality it first needs a brief, a feasibility study, a business case and a budget.
Once it has all necessary planning and building permissions the Project Manager can get the financial approval to build it.
The project is usually under the overall control of a Project Team (or Board) and the details are controlled by a Design Team led by an Architect or Engineer.
To keep the project on track, the Project Manager monitors the programme and the budget to ensure that they are delivered in accordance with the business case.
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The principle of project management must still be applied to a group of projects, but they may must be arranged differently to ensure that they are all managed appropriately. Programme management allows a Client to keep a tighter control of projects which are related; for example a series of projects that contribute to the redevelopment of a site.
For example, there may be one major project to be handled by one team and a series of smaller projects run separately, by different people. The contract arrangements must be appropriate to the scale and complexity of the projects.
To maximise value-for-money and benefits of scale, however, there should be an overall programme of works.
Whenever an organisation has a series of unrelated projects to manage, they should be brought together by what is known as portfolio management. The portfolio can be a series of projects on different sites, which are not related, but which should be managed consistently.
This enables the portfolio manager to apply a “yardstick” to the various parts of the portfolio of projects to ensure that it is value-for-money.
This also requires an overall programme of the works, which facilitates consistency of project procedures.
MANAGEMENT SUPPORT SERVICES
Where you have in-house project managers, but require additional support, we can provide the following. Most of them are incorporated into our normal project management service.
If you would like a tailor-made service, we would be pleased to speak to you about it.
Ensure your project, programme or portfolio has the best chance of success by insisting that the essentials are in place before committing large amounts of resource and investment.
The Brief – the primary control document for defining what you want and state your objectives for the project. This gives you a standard against which to determine project success. We have the skills to ensure that the many inputs can be clearly stated for delivery teams to follow.
Feasibility and Viability Studies – essential tests of the brief to make sure that what you are trying to achieve is financially and technically possible. This stops you wasting time on poor schemes or bad ideas.
Option appraisals – helping you define and select the best choice to deliver the project. The many options need to be assessed in terms of value and risk against the project objectives in your brief for best results.
Business cases and investment appraisals – working with the finance team to ensure that the finances and funding for the project are in place. The aim is to include capital and revenue costs so that the metrics for assessing financial success are in place.
Stakeholder management – people deliver projects and all projects, regardless of complexity, require the input of many people. A well-prepared stakeholder map ensures that no person, organisation or third party who needs to contribute is missed.
Organisation and governance – the creation of decision making boards, terms of reference, authority levels and definition of management information.
Systems and controls – the drafting and implementation of essential systems and control for effective delivery. This can include reporting, management of stages, exception plans, change control and process mapping to integrate with existing client arrangements.
Benchmarking and Key Performance Indicators: putting in place the systems to set objectives and measure performance and progress towards their achievement.
Making the right commercial and purchasing decisions
An essential skill in the Senior Management Team is the ability to make the best strategic choices of where to invest or new directions to take. These choices rarely have sufficient information and are often shrouded with ambiguity and uncertainty.
Robust option appraisals are an essential tool for the senior team. They ensure that the starting point and end state(s) are clear, enabling the strategic thinkers to invest their valuable time identifying options and being creative. This can then be followed by systematic and rigorous analysis and evaluation of options. The result being that the chosen path is auditable, defendable and inspiring for others to follow.
For Clients whose governance requires independent assurance or for those that have some concerns that project, programme or portfolio performance is not what it should be
Assurance and fund monitoring – organisational or funding governance often demands an independent review to give comfort that an investment is progressing within tolerable limits.
Audit and gateways – at key stages or gateways, to review deliverables against pre-defined measures to determine if progress to the next stage may be approved. This can be part of quality assurance or for independent parties.
Healthcheck review – typically carried out if some concerns have been raised or confidence if certainty of delivery has reduced. The outcome of this report can determine if changes are required to the current team.
Turnaround and recovery – the emergency intervention to instigate a plan to get a project, portfolio or programme back on track. This includes immediate actions to maintain critical path and essential changes for the long term improvement of performance.
Establishing a centralised team for delivering projects, programmes and portfolios of investment. These are enterprise-level teams that provide the resources and create the systems for efficient, effective and reliable delivery.
People: providing people of varying experience for short or long term support or a fully outsourced team to take full ownership of the PMO function. We are happy to work with you and your team to build your own capability if you wish to build an in-house team.
Systems and controls: we have an extensive library of systems, controls, processes and templates that can get you quickly established as an effective PMO. These can be bespoke or tailored to your specific organisation with training for and transfer to your own team. The key thing here is to have an appropriate level of system that enables you to move at pace whilst retaining full control.
Software: advice, options analysis, procurement and implementation of any form of software platform to assist your PMO. The best advice we can give is to always be clear what you want the system to do and to base it on known systems that you already have and trust. There is no need to start from scratch.
Organisation and governance: the performance of projects, programmes and portfolios relies on effective decision-making. Effective decision-making relies entirely on high quality management information presented by able professionals. The right set up allows managers, Directors and Leaders to make the most effective contribution they can.
The contract sets out the terms and conditions for signed parties to conduct their contractual activities. It is essential to follow these fairly and equitably without emotion or prejudice.
Contract negotiation and award – the most important action for any Client is to make sure that any commercial arrangements are captured in signed legal documents. We can work with your legal team to ensure that the contract properly captures your requirements and allocates risk to achieve the best price.
Contract administration – once the contract is in place, it is essential to make sure all parties deliver their obligations. Change will inevitably occur and this must be controlled, with pre-agreement of the impact to time, cost and quality.
Dispute resolution - it is an unfortunate part of commercial business that sometimes misunderstandings, reduced performance or poor relations occur. The key thing is to avoid them festering, which would increase the risk to the whole contract. We can work with you and your legal advisors to reach an acceptable outcome to allow normal progress to be resumed. Some of the best relationships are forged during difficult negotiations.
Having reliable information to lead and manage your business or organisation
Budgeting - over many years of budgeting projects, programme and portfolios we have systematically recorded and captured the expenditure across the many possible costs to be charged. Having a structured approach to this allows us to rigorously check budgets to ensure that they are adequate from the outset.
Cost control systems - we will work closely with your management accounting team to ensure that project, programme and portfolio cost systems are fully integrated with your management accounting systems.
Cost modelling - we have a team of experts well used to manipulating large data sets and creating models to generate management information. This often takes the form of planned and preventative maintenance plans, whole-life analysis, life cyle replacement and the like.
GOT A QUESTION? WE HAVE THE ANSWERS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Time is the one resource on a project that, once lost, you can never get back. Here are the 5 actions which we take to ensure that your project finishes on time:
- We make sure that everybody on the project is made conscious of the importance of doing things on time - so that they can provide the right resources for timely completion.
- We start with the programmme; initially with little detail and a lot of assumptions about what may go wrong! We allow time for the things which we cannot foresee now. As we learn more about the project, we put the new detail in the project and replace our assumptions with accurate forecasts of the time required for each activity.
- We consult widely so that every party gets to see what they need to provide to others - and crucially what information they will need (and from whom) so that they can do their job on time.
- We produce very clear information on the programme - which is computer aided - and we encourage people to “shout” if they do not understand it.
- We resist change to scope of the works strongly (particularly during construction), so that delays are avoided.
If we stick to these 5 actions, in our experience, the project can be completed on time.
It is vital that a project is completed within the budget. Here are the 7 actions which take to make sure that this happens:
- In the first few days of a project we establish what we the Client wants and the programme within which it is required - these are the two main drivers of cost.
- As the design develops, we discuss the content of the project with the designers and test their confidence in the adequacy of their design.
- We also discuss the state of the design with the Quantity Surveyor and ascertain their confidence in the adequacy of their costs.
- Before it goes to tender, we take the designers and quantity surveyors through a lengthy checklist designed to establish whether there are any gaps or exclusions - these are usually items on which there are options about who does the design.
- Assuming that we find gaps or exclusions, we ask the team to establish a cost for each of them.
- Having completed this exercise, the only thing that remains to be done is to add a contingency sum for things that are “unforeseen and unforeseeable”.
- As the project progresses, we maintain strong discipline on cost control.
If we stick to these 7 actions, in our experience, the project can be completed within budget.
We like to prepare a project brief in conjunction with our Clients.
This means that you have the benefit of expressing what you want, while bringing our experience of other projects into play. We can help you to avoid errors or omissions from the outset.
Here are the four main actions we take to ensure that your project starts in the right way:
- In our opinion, a brief is not something which should be done by the Client in isolation. We have informal sessions with you to ensure that the brief is heading in the right direction.
- Where necessary we can bring in other people with the right experience to help with the brief. This may be the Architect, Engineers or a Contractor.
- We attempt to find the essence of a project so that you can identify what you are trying to achieve rather than how you are going to do it. This allows you to take account of changes to ways of working and advances in technology.
- We then bring the brief together by ensuring that the Client and the Design Team discuss the detail to check that it is sound in all respects.
If we stick to these 4 actions, in our experience, the project can start in the right way.
We’ll simplify your business processes, wherever possible. This will help you to save money and achieve your business goals faster.
We don’t just manage change, we lead it.
"SGS College have worked with Provelio for around 15 years on many capital projects within Gloucestershire and Bristol. Without question Provelio add value to every project by facilitating clear thinking during project conception, providing quality guidance during procurement and by providing diligent and focused project management throughout the design and construction phase. I have no hesitation is recommending their services."
Andy Slaney, FRICS, BSc (Hons)
Chief Operations Officer - SGS College and SGS Multi Academy Trust
"I wanted to write to you to say thank you for your efforts whilst with us. You have left us in a much better place with the project. Good luck in the future and I am sure we will cross paths again."
Deputy Director of Capital Projects and Estate Management,
North Bristol NHS Trust
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