Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 30th 2013 Contents From these benefit statements, a set
of "things to do" is generated. For
example, you may need to consult cus-
tomers, redesign products, or imple-
ment a new system.
The outcome of this is a business
case document that analyses the project
in terms of costs, and of the benefits
will be delivered.
The project team then focuses on
detailed planning, and on delivering
the line items in the project plan --
building a new system, developing
training packs, mapping out new
processes, and so on. At this stage, the
team may forget about the benefit
This often results in a project deliv-
erable that s well built, but doesn t pro-
vide the necessary benefits. For exam-
ple, if the project plan focuses on
designing and building a system, you
could get a fantastic system, but one
that s not being used by the business.
To avoid this problem, adopt a ben-
efits management approach throughout
the life of the project, and remember
the need to deliver the required benefits
when you re planning and delivering
The environment changes
This is probably the trickiest area. If
the business s needs change, then your
business case can become outdated
before you ve actually completed the
You may have to review your original
requirements and goals partway through
the project to decide how to proceed,
and this may result in changing the
scope of your project; or even canceling
the project altogether!
If you re working in an environment
that s changing fast, you can help reduce
the risks by doing the following:
Making timely decisions: If the proj-
ect is clearly not going to be able to
deliver the revised requirements, don t
The sooner you communicate this,
and the sooner you make a decision
about the project s future, the better.
Considering smaller projects: It s
more difficult to change direction in a
large cruise ship than in a tugboat. So,
think about whether a proposed proj-
ect s scope and delivery timeline are
appropriate within your business envi-
Delivering projects in smaller pieces
is not always appropriate, but it s worth
Managing expectations: Just because
you cancel a project does not automat-
ically mean that the project is consid-
ered a failure. This depends on many
factors, including how you manage the
involvement of key project stakeholders
in the decision-making process.
Be sure to manage the expectations
of your stakeholders, so that they stay
supportive. After all, these are the peo-
ple who will declare your project to be
Tuesday, April 30, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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nidad and TT
obago is seeking a suitably
Please refer to our website a
with at least 3 years at a senior level.
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From Page B10
Governance is poor
Few projects ever start without
a sponsor. This is the person who
has identified the need for change
in an area of the business, and who
is committed to making that
change happen. He or she plays a
vital role in ensuring the project s
success. A good sponsor can make
a mediocre project fantastic, and
a poor sponsor can delay and frus-
trate a fantastic project team.
The project sponsor is supported
by the project s governance bodies,
usually in the form of a steering
group. These governance roles are
essential: they provide direction,
guidance, and critical review of
the project and its progress.
As project manager, you re
involved in the day-to-day running
of the project, but governance
groups can take a step back and
look at the project from a different
They can ask difficult questions
about progress and performance.
They may see things that you ve
overlooked. However, they can also
support you by providing contacts
and insights that help you get
things done, and by providing
"political cover" when you need
it. Project managers don t usually
have any influence over who their
project sponsor is. Sponsors either
self-select, or they re chosen
because of their position in the
organisation. However, you often
have more influence over who is
in your steering group.
As such, if you know that your
project sponsor lacks passion for
the project, or if the sponsor
doesn t like to say no to people
who keep trying to expand the
project scope, then make sure you
balance this with tougher or more
engaged steering group members.
Implementation is poor
If you deliver your project com-
petently, you ll avoid poor imple-
it s not that clear. Delivery can be
complex. You need to manage
risks, issues, and scope; manage
your team; and communicate with
Delivering change is hard, and
not everything is in your control.
Therefore, being competent isn t
enough for good implementation,
but it s a good start! There are a
lot of tools available to help you.
People lose focus on the
Projects are based on a list of
benefits that must be delivered.
For example, you may need a faster
customer service process, you may
need to produce products more
cheaply, or you may need to
improve the quality of your service.
These benefit statements should
be refined so that they re clear,
concise, and quantified.
Why do projects fail?
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