How Are You Going To Control Your Project?
Finding out two years later after you have started, that the Value vaporized during the project and that the net result was negative when (and if) the project staggers over the line, is not good project governance!
On larger and longer projects/programs you need to demonstrate how the progress and status of the project is going to be tracked and how the business value to be delivered is going to be protected and then delivered.
Your controls need to not only focus on tracking time and cost; but also on tracking scope, value, risks, viability and many other factors.
You need to answer the following questions …
- When will it be reported and to whom? (Hopefully there is a standard value-based reporting process for all levels up to the Board).
- How often will in-depth health checks be conducted? And who will get the results?
- How will increases in the risks/critical success factors be reported?
- How will the financial viability of the project be tracked and reported?
- Is the governance team trained in, for example, tracking the leading indicators of failure; and how will they be reported?
Identifying Gradual Erosion
Too many projects go off the rails 1° at a time and are often not picked up early enough. Those close to the project don’t “see” the gradual erosion of value, increase in risks, accumulation of 95%-completed tasks, or the progressive departure of key staff — as each event, by itself, is not significant but only gains significance when viewed alongside all of the issues and risks.
At the end of this section you need to have established:
- that the proposed controls will ensure the project is successfully delivered,
- that any problems that arise will be identified and acted upon early
- and that this will all be visible to those that need to know.
You need to give senior management the accountability that this project won’t go off the rails and crash before anyone knows; and that if it does go off the rails, that both you and they will be aware and know what is being done about it.