….However you only have to spend a little time on-line or looking through social media outlets to find statistics that contradict this claim.
Only 64% of projects are delivered successfully across all industries (Project Management Institute).
One in six IT projects have an average cost overrun of 200% and a schedule overrun of 70% (Harvard Business Review).
High performing organisations successfully complete 89% of their projects, while low performers complete only 36% (Project Management Institute).
75% of IT executives believe their projects are “doomed from the start.” (Geneca)
Only one-third of companies always prepare a business case for new projects (Wrike)
It’s clearly always going to be difficult to substantiate these claims, however experience suggests that the sentiment of these often stacks up.
If we take this in the context of change and project delivery within financial services today this starts to set alarm bells ringing.
In the current climate there are two key areas of focus for financial services organisations, regulatory and compliance change where there is little room for error, a failing project could result in loss of trading licence or huge fines as a result of non-compliance.
Additionally and symptomatic of the regulation levelled at financial services organisations is the increasing need to cut cost or transform a business either as a means for survival or to embrace innovative technologies that are ripping up established all powerful business models.
The stakes are high and therefore to counter this organisations have invested significant amounts to institutionalise change management practices supported be dedicated applications all of which as increased the level of complexity around project delivery.
However in most cases this has been performed without addressing the organisational differences required to embrace a change delivery mind-set.
Often when 32T are engaged to either review projects that are labelled as failing we find that relatively simple, common sense changes in a few fundamental areas tend to deliver significant and immediate benefits, this wins the trust of those delivering the project and allows 32T to work in partnership to resolve and improve more ingrained issues which hamper effective delivery.
Leadership and Organisation often work hand in hand and the good or bad habits displayed in one of these key areas are often reflected in the other.
What is clear is that more often than not programmes and projects aren’t led by change professionals, often an expert in a particular field tends to be given the responsibility to deliver a project in their specific domain. This in turn tends to drive the approach and agenda of the entire delivery, where by the main focus becomes the detail of the subject with the processes adopted by organisations to track and manage change reduced to tick box exercises.
Often what we find are extremely complex matrix project organisations spanning multiple vendors and internal staff in numerous locations, the key is to ensure this complex environment is properly organised with clear and effective management structures and that the resources scheduled to deliver are defined within a clear programme organisation, and most importantly the team is aware of and understands the organisation structure
Additionally we tend to see how strategic objectives and or the business case of the programme become lost over time, and more worryingly the realisation of benefits the foundation of project or programme was initiated aren’t tied back to delivery and formally executed.
This is often due to organisational changes, but more often than not this is a symptom of the clear strategic objectives defined at executive level are not being filtered through the organisation and crafted into an effective delivery structure with defined benefits that relate to the delivery.
In simple terms it becomes the responsibility of programme leadership to bridge the gap between the strategic objectives and the objectives and understanding of delivery teams, the purpose and reasons why a project is happening need to be clear and these should be lived and breathed through the programme organisation.
Our favourite question we like to ask project and programme managers when assessing and remediating projects is whether they’ve had a good week? Now this tends to garner all manner of responses however in most cases the response provided is often disconnected from the actual progress.
This is often down to a lack of transparency within the programme and more importantly an effective well defined plan signed off by the project manager and understood by the project team with reporting of progress and status tied to the underlying delivery of tasks and milestones and not what the project manager wants to expose to the management team.
Finally what we have seen over the years is a fear and dislike of imparting effective governance and control around a project or programme, in fact in more recent times the word governance has been replaced with all sorts of alternatives which attempt to soften the impact.
Clearly there is a need to ensure any processes and controls put in place to assist with the management of a project are fit for the organisation in which they sit. However implementing core elements in a consistent way using common centralised tools is essential for the effective governance of any project or programme.
32T practitioners are vastly experienced delivery consultants who throughout their careers have focussed on gaining an insight into the needs of organisations to understand how change is delivered within financial services organisations, becoming trusted advisors to senior project and programme teams, turning strategy into reality.
Using 32T to support your regulatory delivery or to transform your organisation does indeed help to make change simple.