We all value the predictability that a well run and structured portfolio delivers for your business, however I think we would all agree that the best businesses are able to flex and react to market conditions and opportunities as they arise – and it can be difficult for the structured portfolio to get the balance right when it comes to support the business. In today’s world it’s vital that the portfolio and project structure is able to accommodate complex long term strategic delivery as well as immediate requirements, a process that can be slimmed down for rapid results whilst governance accepts a more open approach to risk management. Lara Burgham, a CCM Project Manager, provides some useful tips on rapid project delivery in order to access benefits quickly.
Rapid Project Delivery – Top Tips
Never underestimate the value of business analysis
Involve a business analyst (BA) in the project as soon as possible. With quick deliveries, you do not have the luxury of time to build, playback and amend. Professional BAs can help identify small but potentially critical details you may not have considered. Not only do you need to ensure you have gathered enough requirements to increase the likelihood of success, you also need to understand which ones are critical to the customer i.e. what can they live without? Reduced requirements will decrease your scope and are likely to have a significant impact on your timescales.
Get everyone in the room
Following an initial gathering of requirements, get the project team and the customer in one room to play back what has been interpreted from the requirements. You should set expectations early on: what risks will the project be facing, what is the likelihood of them materialising, what will the impact be, and how will the project be managing these? Getting the balance between risk and speed is essential.
Ensure the customer accepts a level of risk
If the customer wants the project to be delivered quickly, they will have to accept a level of risk. If the risks to delivery are considered unacceptable, the plan and possibly the whole project, will need to be revisited. You should facilitate a meeting with your business and technical sponsor to agree the acceptable level of risk.
Keep stakeholders well informed of any progress and/or delays
Whereas in longer projects you may have the luxury of being able to fully assess risks/issues before relaying them to your stakeholders, the pace of smaller projects does not always allow for this. It is best to remain open and honest throughout to ensure there are no surprises. Short, specific, daily updates can be an essential tool.
Have a backup plan
The requirement for a quick delivery implies there is a level of criticality for the project. It is therefore recommended, where possible, to have a backup plan prepared in the event of the initial plan failing.
Reduce your documentation
RAID (Risks, Assumptions, Issues, Dependencies) logs and project plans will not add as much value in projects such as these; regular catchups with your stakeholders can suffice, although some form of audit trail for decision-making is still required. Record actions and agreements from your meetings.
Handover to support
A support model may have to be considered, dependent on the lifecycle of the solution. It is unlikely however, that you will be able to provide training to all support teams in time for go live. Therefore, you should allow some time post go-live, in which the project team will continue to support the solution whilst the support model is finalised.
Rapid project delivery – how to find out more
If you would like to know more about rapid project delivery, please contact us.