3 minute read 17 Sep 2019
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10 Programme Management tips to transform delivery

By

Marcus Gageby

Ernst & Young — Ireland (EY Ireland) Advisory Partner 

Leader in supporting clients through Major Transformational Programmes. Usually involving significant technology and people workstreams.

3 minute read 17 Sep 2019

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Leading change in an organisation requires more than just a clear definition of ‘what’ you are doing, but a focus on ‘why’ you're doing it.

Real business transformation means delivering rapid change and accelerating a business in a new direction to take advantage of new market opportunities. 

Delivering successful outcomes in uncertain times calls for structured approaches to projects with strong leadership, all underpinned by purpose.

Here, I outline the top best practice tips to bring success to your projects.

1. Ensure a common goal

To deliver effective change or reform, a programme needs to be rooted in a common goal or purpose, with all stakeholders committed to the desired outcome. Throughout the journey, clear and effective governance is needed to support timely decision making. This, coupled with a relentless focus on what the transformation will deliver helps to ensure the delivery of real outcomes and benefits.

2. Be clear on the ‘why’

Leading change in an organisation requires more than just a clear definition of ‘what’ you are doing, but a focus on ‘why’ you are doing it. The ‘why’ allows organisations to use purpose as a lever in their change portfolios to deliver outcomes effectively.

3. Communicate the Purpose

It is vital that project teams see and hear leadership talking about the purpose. Considering the dynamic environment of projects, purpose must be reiterated on an ongoing basis. Purpose emanates from the leaders, and project teams must hear them talk genuinely and show that purpose truly is central to project strategy. Employees must embody the beliefs, behaviour and values that exemplify the organisation’s purpose to maintain it.

4. Live and breathe the purpose

The multi-team, multi-layer penetration of purpose throughout the organisation and its projects is essential to embed, integrate and measure the impact. Purpose is activated internally by leaders who believe and whose daily behaviour and decisions reflect the project’s purpose and values. Purpose is a two-way street, ask for input and feedback.

5. Implement standard methodology

Projects are more likely to deliver on their planned outcomes with a consistent way of working. EY have supported a number of large organisations across utilities and financial services to implement standard methodologies frameworks at scale, and those organisations have reported to have seen a step-change in delivery capability and resulting outcomes.

6. Remember a PMO adds huge value

Think about automating some of the repeatable aspects to provide additional capacity for the team to work on other things if required. EY’s PMO toolkit is a good place to start to see what aspects of your PMO can be optimised with minimal investment.

7. Stay focussed on ‘who’

Change is a journey, and successful projects place a focus on embedding that change. Historically, projects were a success if they produced the desired system or solution. However, this omits the need to ensure that the skills and processes for the people impacted are in place so that change is adopted in a sustainable way.

8. Make more effective decisions

Inadequate governance is one of the most frequently cited reasons for failed programmes, and capturing and sustaining value through strong governance presents an ongoing challenge for organisations engaged in major transformation programmes.

9. Embrace assurance

Having an independent viewpoint on your delivery can ensure gaps are highlighted and the relevant plans are put in place to address missed items. Our Programme Risk Management practice supports our Advisory clients to ensure their delivery models and plans are up to scratch, and work with our broader Advisory teams to recommend changes to programme delivery where needed.

10. Celebrate Success

Celebrating success is a key enabler for an organisation and its people to show how far you have come in achieving the purpose. There are thoughtful ways to simply say thank you, and recognise contributions. 

Summary

To deliver effective change or reform, a programme needs to be rooted in a common goal or purpose, with all stakeholders committed to the desired outcome. Throughout the journey, clear and effective governance is needed to support timely decision making.

About this article

By

Marcus Gageby

Ernst & Young — Ireland (EY Ireland) Advisory Partner 

Leader in supporting clients through Major Transformational Programmes. Usually involving significant technology and people workstreams.