Category Archives: Project Management

10 Contract Management Tips To Drive Success In Major Projects

Posted on by Chris Browne Contract Management

Many of our blogs refer to the importance of not only entering larger contracts in the right way, but also the equal, if not greater, importance of managing these contracts and the providers they are with, once they are in place. All too often, once signed, a contract will be consigned to a dusty shelf in a back-office filing room, forgotten, for all intents and purposes, only to be referred

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The Need For Effective Communication

Posted on by Jayne Bacon effective communication

Why is it that no matter how clearly, simply or concisely you communicate your expectations, there will be times when what you get back bears no resemblance to what you were asking for? Is it your communication style, a training issue, or a lack of focus on the part of those who should be following your instructions to the letter? The simple fact of the matter is that while what

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7 deadly project management sins to avoid when working with suppliers

Posted on by Chris Browne

Despite hopes to the contrary, we continue to regularly hear about the failure or abandonment of all too many projects. There are no shortage of uncomfortable headlines in the press about relationship breakdowns, cost overruns and deliverables left undelivered. These stories seem to regularly top the bill, with recent statistics showing that over 50% of projects go seriously over budget and timescale, and I’m sure that this is just the

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The Potential Dangers Of Fixed Fee Projects

Posted on by Richard Kerr fixed fee projects

Fixed fees are often seen as the ultimate goal for buyers when negotiating a new project with a vendor. But while fixed fee projects can offer a degree of certainty on both sides, if needs and costs are not determined with reasonable accuracy at the outset, and the contract terms not rigorously defined, costs can quickly spiral out of control, however good your initial intentions may have been. This article

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Are you really ready for that project?

Posted on by Jayne Bacon are you ready

How many times have you been involved in what was billed as a crucial project, only to see it fall at the first hurdle? For many businesses in the private and public sector, juggling numerous projects at any given time can lead to even those initially tipped as the ‘next big thing’ falling by the wayside, as team members struggle to prioritise and see projects through to their conclusion. Over

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PFI Change Management: 5 Steps to Cut Costs and Improve Contractor Performance

Posted on by Vicky Ladizhinskaya PFI Change Management

Given the length and scope of PFI contracts, change is inevitable, so the effective administration of PFI change management, in terms of both the change process and its associated costs, is fundamental to successful PFI contract management. In this article we review the why, what and how of PFI change management – an area likely to take up a large amount of PFI monitoring staff’s time and one likely to

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Problematic Big IT Projects: Can your contract force ‘good faith’ from your vendor? New court rulings suggest it can

Posted on by Allan Watton Problematic Big IT Projects 216 x 160

If you are to believe the statistics published on problematic big IT projects – whether a commercial sector Enterprise Software implementation (ERP), a Local Authority Client Relationship System (CRM) or an NHS Trust dealing with a problematic Electronic Patient Records (EPR) implementation - one thing is common throughout: the likelihood of you achieving your business outcomes from these systems, in the time-scales and costs originally agreed, is less than 50%. In

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Posted in Contract Management, IT Contract, IT Dispute, Outsourcing, Performance Improvement, Procurement, Project Management, Project Recovery, Risk Management | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

6 Steps to Minimising Project Risk & Maximising Contract Performance

Posted on by Richard Kerr Building Internal Skillsv2

Bad news seems to come in waves and currently it is impossible to open a newspaper or switch on a news channel without being bombarded with information about the latest multimillion pound project that has gone awry. Behind the headlines there is one phrase that repeats again and again – ‘skills gap’ – the suggestion that things could have gone very differently if only these projects had had the right

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Posted in Contract Management, Cut Costs, IT Contract, Outsourcing, Project Management, Risk Management, Training | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Multi-Sourcing: 7 Steps to Reduced Costs and Improved Services

Posted on by Allan Watton Multi-Sourcing

Multi-sourcing offers a huge opportunity to both the public and private sectors in terms of achieving (and even surpassing) desired outcomes. The reasoning behind this is rather simple — it is, in principle, a far more streamlined and efficient version of outsourcing. Whilst “traditional” outsourcing hands the entire service to a main contractor, multi-sourcing utilises multiple “best of breed” providers, each with specific skill sets, all managed by the client. However, the

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Best Practice When Contracting for Agile Projects

Posted on by Chris Browne Sprinter

Agile project management is very much in vogue at the moment. This comes as no great surprise — the concept of simplifying and streamlining a process is instinctively appealing. Agile seemingly promises to deliver a better product in less time than the more traditional waterfall approach. However, agile project management is not necessarily a silver bullet. Successfully administrating an agile project from beginning to end requires a great deal of discipline and

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Back to Basics: The Importance of Culture in a Service Commissioning Partnership

Posted on by Allan Watton The Importance of Culture in a Commissioning Partnership

There are many factors that you must bring under consideration when entering into a service commissioning partnership. You are no doubt familiar with the “usual suspects” — price and capability. It isn’t unreasonable for them to be key considerations — after all, the success of any commissioning partnership is typically defined by its cost and service delivery quality. But that does not mean that price and capability should be the only considerations.

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Back to Basics: The Importance of an Outsourcing Governance Team

Posted on by Allan Watton The Importance of an Outsourcing Governance Team

According to a Gartner survey, 53% of organisations that have outsourced reported challenges relating to a lack of project/programme management skills. Or to put it another way, they had no experienced outsourcing governance. When considering outsourcing, the creation of a Governance Team is not an option – it is a must. The team must have full responsibility for ensuring that decisions on outsourcing align with your organisation’s strategic goals. Furthermore, they must administrate

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Service Provider Relationships: How To Prioritise Your Workflow

Posted on by Allan Watton Service Provider Relationships: How To Prioritize Your Workflow

Last week we explored the differences between important and urgent issues in service provider relationships, and how to effectively shape your daily work hours to minimise preventable urgent issues. In the long run, following our advice should not only make your workflow far more efficient, but also reduce the amount of time you find yourself firefighting the often (but not always) inevitable urgent issues. But what if you find yourself

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Service Provider Relationships: What You Need to Know About Better Decision Making

Posted on by Allan Watton Service Provider Relationships: What You Need to Know About Better Decision Making

Your milestone deadline is looming ever closer. You’re only about 70% towards completion, and it feels like you are wading through treacle. Everyone is anxious. Your Board and peers are anticipating good news – because that is what you promised them. And yet the benefits of this provider relationship seemingly fade with every passing month. The above may well be a familiar scenario for you. The question therefore is, how

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5 Tips For Establishing Effective Public to Private Partnerships

Posted on by Allan Watton 5 Tips For Establishing Effective Public to Private Partnerships

Many local authorities are in dire financial straits. There is an ever-increasing pressure to take a hatchet to costs. They have to invent, experiment and pilot new ways of delivering services in a culture that is extremely averse to risk. Quite the conundrum. The key is to make the risks of innovation more palatable. So where are the examples of public-to-public shared services that re-invent the wheel and consistently provide positive

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10 Things You Should Know About IT and Service Provider Relationships

Posted on by Peter Carter 10 Things You Should Know About IT and Service Provider Relationships

Although I only joined Best Practice Group recently, I have already been well-exposed to the grim reality of faltering and failing supplier/vendor relationships. As a Sales Director and Managing Director of IT vendors during my career, I used to think that I knew a great deal about the topic. But in spite of that, I have learnt an enormous amount in my relatively short tenure here. The simple fact is

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How to get your Channel Shift Strategy to cut your Costs, Fast

Posted on by Allan Watton Allan Watton SOCITM Channel Shift

One of my roles is as Deputy Chairman of SOCITM Insight, the local authority IT management think tank. SOCITM has just published its annual Better Connected survey. In it, SOCITM complain Councils still don’t embrace the digital route when it comes to engaging with the public or delivering public services. What is going on? We all know, and have known for years, that movement from face-to-face services to digital delivery has achieved modest

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How using Agile Project Management TREBLED the cost and timescales of a major project

Posted on by Allan Watton Agile Project Management

We have recently been instructed to review a major software development project for a client in the insurance and financial services field. Using the ‘Agile’ project management methodology to develop the project rapidly in five stages, the end to end cost of this project was supposed to be £2m and completed in 18 months. As we review the current status of the project, it looks like this: Costs have escalated

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