Guide to Project Management: Achieving Lasting Benefit by Paul Roberts

By Paul Roberts

Delivering an in-depth method of winning undertaking administration, this consultant specializes in the fundamental steps essential to see a undertaking through--initiation, making plans, delegation, and shutting.

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Additional info for Guide to Project Management: Achieving Lasting Benefit Through Effective Change (2nd Edition) (The Economist)

Example text

So although the need for a project may be raised from within one part of an organisation, it is not always the case that the eventual project must be managed, funded and resourced from the same place. When are projects identified? The need for a project can arise at any time, but many are identified during the annual planning cycle because the organisation is focusing on what it would like to achieve during the coming year. Yet both the organisation and the outside world will change during that year so a contingency budget should be created for initiatives approved outside the planning cycle.

As a result, each example will vary in its ability to describe effectively how the company’s targets can be met. Whatever the format of the business plan, a common starting point is needed. It should be possible to express the business plan as a series of statements that both summarise the content and help to identify projects. The following list, which took no more than an hour to compile, is a summary of a real organisation’s wordy business plan. The company will: ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? retain its most important clients; win new clients; secure recurring revenues rather than one-off fees; further its alliance partnerships; deliver increased revenue; deliver increased margins; become number one in its marketplace; undertake short-term, high-yield projects; deliver a wider range of products; reduce its implementation timescales; reduce its implementation costs; deliver minimum maintenance products; engage in fixed-price or shared-risk initiatives; prioritise and justify every initiative it undertakes; have market-leading product quality and testing processes; use cutting-edge product implementation processes; manage its projects using repeatable, proven principles and techniques; ?

It is only justifiable as an enabler for benefit-generating projects elsewhere in the programme. To minimise the risk of failure, the programme may be designed to deliver benefit in phases, for instance by focusing first on one country in which demand is considered sufficient to outweigh the costs. The programme may have a long life, especially if it is split into phases. Conversely, if it is dropped, it may not last as long as anticipated. With any programme risk is inevitable. Not only is the company taking a calculated risk with a significant investment, but it is also running the risk that its existing business may be compromised during the programme’s lifetime.

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