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Brexit – The worst transformation programme ever

Don’t worry – this isn’t a politically biased post, it is looking at the Brexit programme – not the rights and wrongs.
Back on the 30th June 2016 – we posted this optimistic view on what could be a wonderful example of British best practice to the world, delivering Brexit using MSP,  I even included the benefits map as we saw it.
We subsequently published light-hearted monthly progress reports until it reached the point when it was clear we had no idea where we going and, after 3 “nothing to reports” we gave up.
Most programmes run into trouble when they try to turn the vision into the blueprint and benefits. This one never made it to a Vision, it got stuck at “Brexit means Brexit”, or “We are taking back control”.
John Kotter over in the US must be shaking his head, wondering why none of our leaders read his book – step 2 of change “Establish a powerful coalition”, I’ve pulled my hair out wondering why they didn’t read MSP.
After watching the events of yesterday and looking for my own green shoots, I stood back and wondered if we genuinely have the worst programme in history as it has uniquely achieved  all the “known causes of failure” listed in MSP.  It has also managed to avoid learning anything from the NAOs regular pearls of wisdom – it would really make a wonderful case study.
A friend of mine out in New Zealand, Grant Avery, wrote a tremendous book comparing the Everest expedition disaster and compares it to project management. In his book, he highlighted the narcissism amongst the expedition leadership being a major cause of failure and he explores the implications of this on programme directors/managers, insofar as they believe totally in their own infallibility and that they are right (ringing any bells yet?). He also talks about the need for authentic leaders doing things on beliefs and setting examples – walking the talk.
Listening to the news this morning, it struck me that everyone seemed to think they were right and everyone else would need to compromise.  They were in denial about the situation we are in and also that pretty much everyone, was talking about  their strong beliefs in that they represent the will of the people.
So if we have narcissistic leaders who believe they are authentic and representing others, what would we get – well I think the word is DELUDED.
The problem we now have is that we have around 625 of these people sat in the same building voting against everything that offends their beliefs and egos and unwilling to compromise to find any sense of a way forward – a vision.
Stepping back to 1996 and Kotters 8 steps of change, the referendum gave us step 1, we are still pending on step 2 and 3.

  • Establish a sense of urgency. …
  • Form a powerful coalition. …
  • Create a Vision. …

I guess we are back at step 1 again now, so 73 days to go before we crash out – I might start highlight reporting again !!!
 
 
 
 

Brexit – the biggest MSP programme ever

 
In the aftermath of the referendum there is clearly a massive change on its way and as programme management is all about delivering strategic change, we thought it would be a good idea to start to think about Brexit in terms of a transformation programme
We thought it would be useful to illustrate how Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®) would handle the challenge and as always, it comes up trumps and helps focus on on the dilemmas being faced and the process for dealing with them. Brexit – the biggest MSP programme ever  – we hope you enjoy the read.
For more information on the Managing Successful Programmes framework, please click here

MSP® is a [registered] trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved

Real Madras Forever

 

Six months ago we were approached by a bunch of overweight chaps who needed a sponsor for their football team.
Not an overly attractive proposition that would appeal to the average company looking to boost its image, but not being your average company, we looked into it a bit deeper.
The group were part of a national movement called ManVFat, an organisation set up a couple of years ago dedicated to helping chaps lose weight…
Full article here: Real Madras Forever

Lewis Hamilton – business change manager extraordinaire


There was a radio interview last week with the Mercedes team principal explaining how Lewis Hamilton was heavily involved in the technical development and the amount of time he spent with the construction team.
This has made for a great analogy for people trying to understand how the BCM role in Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®) is supposed to work.

MSP® is a [registered] trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.

Close up on P3M3

As many of you will know, P3M3® is the world’s number one framework for assessing organisational maturity and performance in portfolio, programme and project management.
If this is a new concept to you, click here for a quick introduction.
This free briefing (pdf) outlines the key concepts of P3M3. Right click this link and ‘save as’ to download the interactive overview, please view it in either Acrobat or Adobe Reader.
We have also put together a video to take you through the history and concepts behind P3M3, we hope you will take a look.

 
P3M3® is a [registered] trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.

Fresh look: Project and Risk teams

Fresh Look – Is a series of articles taking a look at common topics to try to come up with some new ideas and insight into problems that seem to repeat themselves across many organisations
Risk management should be the star of the P3M show, but it rarely is. In organisations that are forward thinking enough to have risk professionals the relationship between project managers and risk managers is not always optimal.
In this paper, Ed Brown a risk advocate provides some fresh insight into how the relationship could work better.
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MSP Survival Guide for SROs – Programme Business Case

MSP Survival Guide for Senior Responsible Owners has been written specifically for you (the SRO), full of helpful advice to make your hectic life easier
There are many reasons why programmes fail, but failure to grasp the scale of the change being delivered and weak leadership of the programme teams are often contributing factors.
As you are unlikely to have time to read the MSP guide or to go on courses, we have covered the main things that you will need to know in a format that can be easily referenced.
In this series of extracts we are publishing a summary of the key points from each of the chapter of the MSP Survival Guide for SROs. If you would like to buy a copy, please follow this link and quote the discount code of SG15 for a 10% discount.
Here is our advice for SROs on the Programme Business Case
Nothing defines humans better than their willingness to do irrational things in the pursuit of phenomenally unlikely payoffs.’ Scott Adams
The absolute worst sin you can commit is deliberately underestimating the cost and timescale to get your pet initiative accepted hoping once its underway it wont get stopped even though the cost increases. There are likely to be few if any winners but there will be lots of losers such as those who don’t get the benefits.
You should keep the business case close to hand (or at least the summary if it is one of the 100-page types). The business case is your contract with your Executive and investment decision makers, and you are accountable for delivering on that contract, so use it as your decision-making compass.
For the full extract, read on
MSP Survival Guide for SROs tasters – Programme Business Case
 
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Fresh Look: Investment Logic Mapping

Investment Logic Mapping (ILM) was all the rage a few years ago but it has been lost in time. It originated in Australia and provided an approach to developing the justification for a business investment.
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ILM is a brilliant way to understand the problem, think about the outcomes and clarify where the costs and benefits sit. They should be made compulsory in all Programme Briefs!
This guide by Ed Brown outlines why you should use Investment Logic Mapping to see what value the use of ILM will bring to your investments.
It is a powerful and extremely cost-effective way to bring shape and structure to your investment before you head off into expensive blind alleys.
We hope you find this useful.

Ever wondered why your projects mysteriously go wrong, when it was all looking so good.

When you did your project management training, how much did you do on planning ?
Well here is an indication,  APM PMQ has around half a day on planning, and PRINCE2 doesn’t really cover it at all.
That is why we wrote the book, to fill the gaps and help you to be more successful at delivering projects – planning isn’t a set of geeky techniques, it is at the core of everything you do.
Why not have a look at the TSO overview and even if you don’t buy it, we hope it will trigger some ideas or put things from the various bodies of knowledge into context.
We also have a really great 2 day course based on the book, why not give us a call to discuss – we even have it available as an eLearning course.

SRO Survival Guides extract – Vision and Blueprint

MSP Survival Guide for Senior Responsible Owners has been written specifically for the SRO, full of helpful advice to make your hectic life easier
There are many reasons why programmes fail, but failure to grasp the scale of the change being delivered and weak leadership of the programme teams are often contributing factors.
As they are unlikely to have time to read the MSP guide or to go on courses, we have covered the main things that you will need to know in a format that can be easily referenced.
In this series of extracts we are publishing a summary of the key points from each of the chapter of the MSP Survival Guide for SROs. If you would like to buy a copy, please follow this link and quote the discount code of SG15 for a 10% discount.
“If we don’t know where we are going, how will we know when we have arrived let alone how we are going to get there?”  – Yendor Nedwos
You need to grab the vision for the programme. The vision is the guiding star that should inspire those working on the programme on what may be a long and  challenging journey. People expect the leader to have a vision for a better future that they can follow, if you don’t believe in the vision, you will find it very difficult to be an effective and successful SRO
 Creating a blueprint challenges people to think through the consequences of the vision, which may identify issues and decisions that people would rather not have to make. Those decisions will fall to you to make, or you will need to present them to the sponsoring group or other senior people for them to make decisions. Without a blueprint it is not possible to effectively estimate benefits or what capability you will need delivered by the projects
Follow this link for a fuller extract – MSP Survival Guide for SROs tasters – Programme Vision and Blueprint
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Fresh Look: P3M Frameworks

Fresh Look – Is a series of articles taking a look at common topics to try to come up with some new ideas and insight into problems that seem to repeat themselves across many organisations.
No organisation can successfully deliver programmes and projects without an effective framework and common lifecycle around which controls can be based.
Our maturity and capability assessment of over 120 organisations enabled us to review a wide range of processes, guidance and tools that are used across a range of sectors.
We found:

  • Incomplete frameworks with inadequate lifecycles
  • Frameworks that replicate manuals and basic theory but add no value
  • Roles and responsibilities that are generic, confusing or conflicting
  • Themes, such as risk, that are not connected to the lifecycle or sit in isolation
  • Generic role definitions with no application of the responsibilities
  • Templates that bear no resemblance to the lifecycle or processes
  • Little connection between programme and project management systems
  • Portfolio Management frameworks that fail to address balancing priorities

To overcome this, we developed our own Align Framework® and offer it as a fully supported package. If you would like to find out more about the Align Framework, click here

Align Framework® is a registered trademark of Aspire Europe Limited.