Category Archives: Project Management

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“Award-winning” Contract Consultants for the NHS, the Strategic Project Team, “Closing Down”

Posted on by Allan Watton "Award-winning" Contract Consultants: the Strategic Project Team "closing down"

With the recent announcement from the BBC that the NHS’s major complex projects management and procurement support force – the Strategic Project Team (SPT) – will be “closed down”, questions are now being asked and lessons must be learned in order to make the best of such a situation. The BBC piece talked at length about all the high-profile projects the SPT had been involved with that has failed since

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Posted in blog, Contract Management, IT Contract, Outsourcing, Procurement, Project Management, Public Sector, successful Outsourcing relationship | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The £213m Government Skills gap the NAO believes needs to be plugged.

Posted on by Allan Watton £213m Government Skills Gap

The NAO have reported that “A third of major government projects due to deliver in the next five years are rated as in doubt or unachievable unless action is taken to improve delivery” NAO Controller and Auditor Amyas Morse believes that the central issue lies in the digital skills gap that exists across many of these public sector projects. Morse feels that as “70% and 80% of their projects are

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Posted in blog, Contract Management, Managed Services, Outsourcing, Performance Improvement, Project Management, Relationship, Risk Management, successful Outsourcing relationship | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Active or Passive Management Best for your Outsourcing Relationship?

Posted on by Racheal Garrick Is Active or Passive Management best for your outsourcing relationship

Academic analysis of the outsourcing sector would likely compartmentalise partnership relationship management into two clear camps – active and passive. In the active management camp, clients take an overarching governance role that some might say risks stifling vendor creativity and expertise; in the passive management camp, others could suggest, the client leaves themselves open to a litany of potential unscrupulous activities they are ill-prepared to cope with. So, can either

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Posted in blog, Contract Management, Managed Services, Outsourcing, Performance Improvement, Project Management, Relationship, successful Outsourcing relationship | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thames Tideway Tunnel (TTT) project: Private / Public Partnership

Posted on by Racheal Garrick The Thames Tideway Tunnel

A PFI project being hailed as a model partnership, expected to deliver what it was planned to, and all for less than expected may not be something you often see reported in the media, but the Thames Tideway Tunnel (TTT) project seems to be bucking a trend or two. It is estimated that every year 39 million tonnes of sewage overflow end up in London’s watery artery, the River Thames

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SIAM – Is it really the outsourcing silver bullet it’s made out to be?

Posted on by John King SIAM – Is it really the outsourcing silver bullet it’s made out to be?

Service integration and management (SIAM) has continued to be something of a buzz-acronym in managed service and outsourcing circles. The way it’s talked about, you might be forgiven for thinking that it’s a silver bullet which in one fell swoop will improve management practices and productivity levels and ensure better control and results from any managed service. But does the evidence stack up to prove this is really the case?

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4 Transformative Lessons we can Learn From Failed IT Megaprojects

Posted on by John King 4 Lessons from Failed IT Megaprojects

In our last article ‘4 Lessons from successful IT megaprojects’,we reviewed a number of the country’s largest and most renowned recent IT megaproject success stories in the context of what each could teach us from their struggles and accomplishments. This article is from the other side of the coin – a look at the valuable lessons we can learn from megaprojects that failed to achieve their objectives. Unfortunately, there are

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Posted in IT Contract, Performance Improvement, Project Management, Public Sector | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

4 Lessons From Successful IT Megaprojects

Posted on by John King 4 Lessons From Successful IT Megaprojects

Megaprojects are large-scale public ventures, complex in nature, often taking many years to complete with the potential to impact on the lives of millions of people – they are projects on a scale that demands a very different management skillset, and often require budgets in the hundreds of millions. IT projects have their own complexities so when your megaproject is the development of a new IT solution, evidence would suggest

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Posted in Contract Management, Cut Costs, Performance Improvement, Project Management, Public Sector | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

4 Tips to Help You Effectively Manage Your Agile Projects

Posted on by John King 4 Tips to Help You Effectively Manage Your Agile Projects

Agile is a relatively recent project management style that seems at first glance to be at odds with traditional project management thinking. Why stick to rigid contracts and processes when you could be more flexible to the needs of the project, the relationship and the end user. Typically adopted on engineering and information technology projects, agile project management can also be employed across a broad spectrum of other project types

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How to Inspire Transformative Performance Improvements in a Challenging Project

Posted on by John King How to inspire transformative performance improvements challenging project

Projects rarely run strictly according to plan. The longer your strategic relationships must last, and the higher the number of individuals, teams and departments involved, the greater the opportunity for things to veer off course. It’s at this stage that you may be looking to orchestrate performance improvements. Even the best run projects will encounter periods where confidence, innovation and performance in general start to wane, and it is then

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Posted in Outsourcing, Performance Improvement, Project Management, Project Recovery, successful Outsourcing relationship, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

4 Duties That Improve Partnership Performance

Posted on by John King Four Duties that Improve Partnership Performance

In our last blog ‘Roadmap to More Successful Strategic Outsourcing Relationships’ we discussed a top-level view of the steps any organisation should take to improve their chances of project success when working with outsourced partners, then pointed to our white paper on the subject for a great deal more detail. With this overview in mind, to improve partnership performance, it is now important to focus on one very important aspect

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Posted in Outsourcing, Performance Improvement, Project Management, strategic vendor responsibilities, successful Outsourcing relationship | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Serco’s £500m rights issue; a survival guide for their clients

Posted on by Allan Watton survival guide

As news circulated about Serco’s fourth profit warning in a year and plans for a rights issue to the tune of £550m to stabilise their battered and beleaguered balance sheet, we have seen an increase in contact by some of their customers. Their overarching concern is that they want to know what early investigation or process they should be adopting if their troubled outsourced partner starts to crack under the

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3-step success strategy for your business critical IT projects

Posted on by Richard Kerr Success steps

IT-enabled business change projects necessitate some of the most complex relationship arrangements of any outsourcing project. Often this is because of the tendency for such projects to stretch boundaries, to look to create better, faster and more efficient results. However, even when you are not delving into the technological unknown, business-critical IT projects are likely to involve multiple vendors, technologies, and people of a non-technical nature within procurement teams, front-line

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Four supplier relationship lessons learned from the failure of the NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT)

Posted on by Allan Watton NHS Logo (Cartoon)

Selecting and managing suitable suppliers often requires a much greater emphasis on communicating your business outcomes to them, along with much more subtlety and finesse in managing the emotional stakes, than many realise. The importance of strong supplier relationships from the outset cannot be overstated and to achieve your business objectives it is essential that both sides feel adequately incentivised. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, as programmes, projects, and the

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Posted in Cut Costs, IT Contract, IT Dispute, Managed Services, Performance Improvement, Project Management, Public Sector, Risk Management | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Imminent new EU procurement rules pave way for Preliminary Market Engagement (PME)

Posted on by Stephen James Procurement Regulations Free Guide

Preliminary Market Engagement (PME) is an incredibly useful step in the procurement process, especially when one of the more restrictive procedures is to be selected. However, essential though it may be, PME has until now been largely ignored. New EU procurement directives, soon to be implemented in the UK, will change all this, and with a little luck this will ensure that more procurements are a success in future. What

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Posted in Contract Management, Performance Improvement, Procurement, Project Management, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 steps to persuading stakeholders to champion your cause

Posted on by Allan Watton Strategic Commissioning: The One Mistake Many Local Authorities Make

With so many pieces in play on the metaphorical chessboard of complex service-provider relationships, to ensure success in achieving your business outcomes it is important to know how each will move. Who are the advocates, the obstructers and the fence-sitters? How will they act and react throughout the time span of the relationship, and how can you make sure that as many stakeholders as possible are pulling in the right

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Posted in Contract Management, Outsourcing, Performance Improvement, Project Management, Public Sector | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Seven supplier relationship lessons learned from one of Britain’s most audacious innovators

Posted on by Allan Watton Great_Eastern_1866-crop

Supplier relationships can be complicated, they can be messy and they can at times be self- destructive. Poor planning, insufficient research, ambiguous contracts and conflicting agendas – all can contribute. These errors or omissions don’t even need to be substantial in order to put a strain on a relationship. Sometimes, the most innocuous of differences can have wide-reaching and long-lasting effects on outsourced partnerships. It is this complicated arena, governed

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Posted in Outsourcing, Performance Improvement, Project Management, Project Recovery, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

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 Allan Watton 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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Posted in Performance Improvement, Procurement, Project Management, Training | Tagged | Leave a comment

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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