Managing Projects, Programs and Change Initiatives

Plan, Lead, Deliver, Realise — Change doesn’t just happen, it needs leadership to be successful.

Evolution of Project Management

Project management and program management have matured over the last 20 years or so. What was a clearly defined profession with a formal Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), numerous methodologies and frameworks (e.g. PRINCE2 and MSP), defined competency standards, professional membership associations (e.g. PMI and AIPM), and formal accreditation is being challenged by adaptive approaches including Agile, Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and Lean (Lean Portfolio Management).

Newer approaches are being adopted across some industries and sectors with varying degrees of success. It is not yet clear if organisations will transition entirely to newer delivery options, or transition only those parts of their organisation that benefit from the opportunity these models offer.

Bimodal philosophy

We are certain that the best practice and approach for each organisation will emerge.  In the interim most organisations will find themselves in an environmet where more than one delivery approach is used to deliver effective change. Core Consulting Group (CCG) helps our customers to try, learn, define and adopt approaches that best suits their circumstances and strategy. We focus on helping our customers achieve business agility through the adoption of appropriate and fit for purpose delivery models.

Skills of an effective Project Manager

Much has been written about what makes an effective project manager. Read the textbook, and you may be misled into thinking it is all about creating artifacts. At Core Consulting Group (CCG), our focus is on delivering value and benefits align to objectives of the initiaitve.

The textbook states that project management “involves the discipline of planning, organising, controlling, and managing resources to achieve project goals and outcomes”.

We believe that while some of this is important, it is the ‘soft skills’ that count: the communication and collaboration skills and the ability to influence and help people to work as a team and achieve a common goal.

Customer Focus

A key aspect of managing any kind of initiative is understanding the customer and in fact th many customers of that effort. Of course there is the end customer who should be the absolute focus of the problem / opportunity definition and design (customer centric design), but a project will also have other “customers” to consider including the Sponsor or Funding Source, internal governance functions, Front Line Groups and operational teams. While the focus needs to be on the end customer, successful initiative leaders understand and engage their other customers throughout the delivery journey.

Continuous change

Continuous change is somewhat different, often involving a blend of “project” and “business as usual” resources.  A focus on the product rather than the project, with delivery of value to the organisation being key.  Managing delivery of change requires similar qualities in terms of the manager but the approach and focus may differ.

Building client capability

The work we do for clients varies, from taking the role of project or program manager to training, coaching, and supporting professional development. Ask us about our graduate project management program: we would be happy to share learnings from this innovative approach.

Need help via adding capacity to your team or want advice on how to uplift capability?

Contact Exco Partners for trusted, practical advice and assistance.