Stories from a Chartered Project Professional Team
I have not been involved in any way with Carillion but have read many articles on its demise and I recognise a common flaw in the way Government Procurement and some Private Sector Procurement departments operate.
Stage gates, when used properly, are the core framework for project/programme delivery. This has many advantages (including standardised delivery approach, top-down visibility of progress, enforced QA checkpoints, and improved portfolio management). However, it involves significant change of behaviour and should be approached as a significant business change exercise. There are eight approaches to implementing Stage and Gateways that helps to highlight key activities and the benefits.
The Stage Gate approach to project and programme governance has been around for over 60 years and has become embedded in some organisations but less so in others. At its heart, it’s a governance approach for external inspection of an activity that answers 3 key questions: 1) has the right activity been carried out; 2) does the plan for the future look sound; and 3) is this activity still aligned with the organisation’s needs.
It’s easy get distracted by a long list of requirements at each stage gate but the stage gate process can be distilled down to 4 critical success factors: 1) Effective external inspection; 2) Check that sufficient work has been completed to end the stage; 3) A good plan for the future and; 4) Alignment with the organisation’s goals.
Impact assessments have become a part of business life in the modern world and are a key feature of governance and oversight for projects and programmes. In this blog, we outline how Impact Assessments can be used to improve engagement in both project delivery and governance design.
A theme of some of my blogs has been the focus on outcomes and why this focus is critical to deliver what an organisation actually wants. Too often the overall desired business outcome is agreed, but it then morphs into a different project outcome focused instead on delivering outputs.