Aiming for the right end result with Brickendon’s project control function

February 28, 2017

Whether it’s the Oscars, election results, or an IT or regulatory change project within a large financial organisation, getting the right result is essential. While all programmes set out to achieve the intended aim, things don’t always go to plan and outcomes can easily change or be changed at the last minute.

This week’s upset at the Oscars where Damien Chazelle’s La La Land was mistakenly named as winner of the best film category instead of Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight only goes to emphasise the importance of being in control of your project from start to finish. Mistakes happen, or so the saying goes, but some can be more costly than others.

“The key is to ensure consistency and transparency throughout the lifecycle of any project through a strong governance structure and rigorous standardisation,” says Naomi Crawford, a director at Brickendon. “This not only helps ensure the right result, but can also save an institution considerable amounts of time and money.”

Traditionally, project management is often disjointed, with many different people involved in many different parts of the programme. As a result, full oversight is limited and problems are often not identified until it is too late. External factors that can influence programmes are frequently not noticed or their implications not fully recognised and failure to acknowledge these issues, as well as delays as they occur, can be fatal.

“There is often a tendency to simply tick off milestones as they are reached, rather than regularly monitoring progress and learning from mistakes and successes,” says Crawford, who specialises in project management.

To address these issues, Brickendon has developed a project control function aimed at ensuring that any project is meeting the organisation’s strategic goals, that the deliverables are clearly articulated and adhered to and that the firm’s money is being spent wisely. This in turn, should avoid any surprises and help protect reputation.

“The key is to ensure standards are created both from the bottom-up and from the top-down, to enable consistency across the organisation and throughout the programme’s lifecycle,” says Crawford, adding that clear communication channels are essential for the successful completion of any programme.

Brickendon advocates the use of a hub, which acts as a central point of control across different programme statuses, risks and issues, dependencies, financial variances and documentation. This allows all concerns to be voiced, discussed and, where possible, resolved quickly. Information given to management should be appropriate and of a high quality and KPIs should be simple and easily measurable

Adopting this process enables increased transparency and accountability, a robust governance structure and standardisation, and a delivery environment finely tuned for success.

“Ensuring an independent and continuous overview of the programme’s progress gives the opportunity for ongoing intervention where necessary,” says Crawford. “It allows resources to be diverted as necessary and helps to generate a working culture that encourages the early escalation of issues, better transparency and increased collaboration.”

At Brickendon, we pride ourselves on our attention to detail and ownership from the start to finish of our projects. For more information on our project control function, click on https://btcwebdev.wpengine.com/solution/creating-an-independent-project-control-function/ and to see how we advocate rescuing a project that is not quite going to plan, look at our programme recovery solution at https://btcwebdev.wpengine.com/solution/brickendon-solution-program-recovery/.

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