Well managed and successful projects are critical within every organisation. Too often they do not realise business benefits and suffer from unexpected delays, cost overruns and value erosion. There is a need for timely monitoring of projects throughout their lifecycle. It is important however to maintain a balance between insufficient oversight and distracting the project team from achieving their tasks, goals and getting on with running the project. A multi-tiered approach to monitoring projects is desirable, with the correct balance maintained between effort and value. The “hallmarks” of a well run project is – On Time, On Budget, Within Quality Parameters and As Per Requirements.
A well managed project will have several key attributes – experienced project manager, clear objectives, well defined business case, top management support, approved funding, oversight by a Project Board or Steering Committee, resources and tasks assigned, user engagement, placed in the context of organisation objectives etc.
The challenge is to identify when a project is “at risk”, preferably as early as possible.
Questions being asked by stakeholders:
- Why weren’t we informed earlier that the project was out of control?
- When did the warning signs begin to show that the project was at risk?
- What monitoring processes do we have in place to inform us on the status of projects?
- Is management investing sufficient resources in monitoring projects?
The objective is to cost effectively monitor the health of large projects, from business case to post implementation review. This is undertaken through engaging with stakeholders, project managers, project team members, vendor team members and stakeholders (where applicable) and end users. This would be through an innovative combination of virtual meetings, Short Surveys and dashboard presentation of project status.