Click/Tap the “+” icon to understand more about what services are offered for each stage of the project lifecycle.
Initiating a new project can be challenging if the scope, cost, time or level of quality required to deliver the successful outcome is unclear. Leveraging best practices methods, Project Parker can provide consulting and contracting services to clarify: why the project should be approved; what outcomes/benefits the project sets out to achieve; who will be required to deliver successfully; where change will be required; the most suitable approach in executing the remainder of the project stages; and initial estimations on the work breakdown, budget, complexity and schedule. The end goal is for your organisation to be left with the confidence to approve the project into the next stage of the lifecycle.
Project Parker can offer extensive planning services, refining estimations, scheduling and work breakdown structures as agreed. The planning stage will work with project stakeholders in defining, in more detail, the activities required to deliver the requirements captured during the definition stage. Typically carried out through a series of workshops with a varied set of disciplines/skillsets present, the understanding of who and what will be required to deliver the project and their dependencies, becomes clearer and budget estimations are refined.
This stage typically sees the approach to executing the project stage emerge;
- a waterfall approach
- an agile approach
- a scaled agile approach [SAFe]
- a hybrid approach
The approach most suitable for your needs can be covered as part of the Initiation stage if you engage with Project Parker from the outset, or covered as part of the planning stage if Project Parker is engaged at this stage.
Project Parker can provide both consulting and contracting services to ensure the planning stage of your project is completed with confidence and your organisation understands how your objectives will be delivered, the risks associated with it’s delivery and an updated financial management plan for the project.
The stage where the effort in defining the requirements, clarify the work, agreeing the quality standards are brought to life. Project teams begin to deliver what has been agreed and release work to meet the outcomes originally agreed upon.
An important distinction here; a waterfall approach will have the entirety of the previous stage completed before moving into this stage; an agile approach can take a completed sub-section of the previous stage and execute on this whilst remaining sub-sections are still in the previous stage of the lifecycle.
The agile approach results in the project running stages in parallel as opposed to series for waterfall. An agile approach will require greater utilisation of key stakeholders for what can initially appear to be longer periods of time. However, the faster release and feedback capabilities can result in a faster turnaround of iterating the work until it meets the acceptable standards, enabling quicker course correction capabilities, increased user adoption and lower overall cost of investment.
Project Parker offer consulting and contracting services to track the delivery against the requirements, providing regular reports on how the execution is tracking to plans, updates on risks or emerging risks, alongside options and recommendations to mitigate them, as well as recommendations for any decisions requiring your approval to meet the project’s intended outcomes.
Project Parker can consult with your organisation to create a project management framework by leveraging risk management, stakeholder management, financial management, configuration management and communication management to ensure key stakeholders are;
- kept informed on the project’s progress;
- willing to participate in the project’s success;
- able to make informed decisions to steer the project’s to success.
Typically, meetings are setup at multiple levels or organisational hierarchy to communicate and manage the information flow for the project to succeed. These can take the form of steering meetings, catch-up meetings, demonstrations, planning meetings, retro’s, lessons learned and surveys to name some of the examples.
At the beginning of any engagement, Project Parker will discuss with you what existing monitoring and control practices are in place and/or engage with you in introducing monitoring and control measures for your project. Project Parker offers consulting services to carry out reviews and recommendations as well as contracting services to implement any monitoring and controls agreed upon.
Once the project has delivered the outcomes the project has agreed upon, closing the project is an important step to ensure; transition of project activity is successfully transitioned into adopted organisational behaviour; benefits management is tracked; an exercise of learning what lessons the project realised; and how they can benefit future project investments.
Project Parker offers consulting and contracting services to ensure these activities are completed and fed back into the project framework to mature it’s capability and value for future projects.
Click/Tap the “+” icon to understand more about what skills are utilised for project management services.
Requirements management is the process of documenting, analysing, tracing, prioritising and agreeing on what is needed to successfully meet the outcomes of the project. Requirements management is a continuous process throughout all stages of the project lifecycle to communicate and refine with the relevant stakeholders. Without this, expectations of what a stakeholder believes is to be delivered versus what is actually delivered can be misaligned. Tracking decisions to add, change or remove requirements is key to ensuring all stakeholders are aligned with what is to be delivered.
Project Parker offers consultancy services in reviewing outcomes created, requirements gathered, the associated documentation and providing an assessment as to the suitability of the requirements in representing the successful delivery of the outcomes desired.
Project Parker offers contractual services in delivering the co-ordination, extraction and confirmation of requirements meets with the outcomes expected for the project.
Estimation is key to establishing investment expectations. Estimations are ‘easier’ and generally more accurate when utilising in-house expertise. Where 3rd party specialist expertise is required, the estimations can often be distorted as a result of the 3rd party seeking to win the commercial agreement to deliver the work estimated.
Project Parker can provide both consultancy and contracting services to work with in-house and 3rd parties to scrutinize the estimations to provide a sanity check on how realistic they are based on multiple factors: 1) In-house estimation accuracy by reviewing historical estimation and actual data; 2) 3rd party reviews and modelling out the potential range of investment and ‘tolerance’ required to deliver the project; 3) Professional experience from over 15 years of carrying out estimation for multiple sectors across the globe. The result is producing a quantitative range and using the cone of uncertainty to manage your expectation on the certainty of the estimation and level of investment required.
Arguably the most involved skill during the planning stage and maintaining through the remaining stages. Planning for schedule planning within the project plan as part of Project Initiation is mandatory if the project is to gain a level of confidence in the estimations produced. Scheduling requires definition of the project activities, sequencing of those activities, consideration for dependencies and their impact to sequencing, estimation of the resources required for each activity, the duration of these activities with said resources to ensure there is no over-allocation (capacity management) and multiple iterations with delivery stakeholders to ensure the emerging schedule correctly covers all the known activities required to meet the project goals.
Project Parker offers consulting services to review the project schedule for appropriate levels of due diligence and care has been invested into it’s creation and provide recommendations for improvement where appropriate.
Project Parker offers contractual services to assist your organisation in the production of the project schedule to agreeable standards.
The production of a work breakdown structure (WBS) is a hierarchical representation for the scope of the project. It’s value enables key stakeholders, at varying levels of the organisation, understand what is to be delivered. At it’s highest level, the capabilities or outcomes each work area will produce is outlined. These capabilities/outcome aare then broken down into logical groupings of work. Within these logical groupings of work are typically work packages and contain definitions of work to be performed and tracked. WBS work well with product deliveries, and the structure works well with agile delivery. There are notable similarities between initiatives, journeys, stories and tasks when mapped to WBS terminology. Thinking about it this way enables a project manager the ability to trace the requirements to a work breakdown structure, which in turn can be tracked throughout the duration of it’s execution. It is an effective way of tracking the progression of each capability/outcome on an ongoing basis. Producing WBS for a project is almost an art form. It is the challenge of ensuring technical language meets with business outcomes in a way that makes sense for all stakeholder groups to agree upon.
Project Parker has extensive experience in reviewing and producing WBS and can offer consulting and contracting services specifically in this area. Investing the time correctly to define and agree this is perhaps the single most important step in ensuring a project’s scope is understood and agreed.
A huge topic to cover! Put simply, if a stakeholder is worried that something may happen as a result of the change to be delivered, it is a potential risk to the success of the project. If communication is king, listening the queen. Even the most passing of comment can highlight a risk that a stakeholder has been too shy to articulate openly and may turn out to be the single biggest factor is determining a project’s success. Communicating with stakeholders on progress and creating an atmosphere that allows stakeholders to communicate their concerns openly enables the project manager to listen and document any risks identified. Documentation allows for the process of understanding what the impact will be if this risk is not addressed. Is the impact tolerable? What actions need to be taken to mitigate, and by when? Is this risk really part of something larger? Risk management is a large part of a project manager’s role in delivering a successful project. Project Parker is PRINCE2 and MSP Practitioner certified. This allows for understanding of risk at multiple scales of investment and experience of what communication will be needed and with whom in order to reduce the risk to tolerable levels.
Project Parker offers consulting services in reviewing the risk management practices in place and produce recommendations for improvement where appropriate.
Project Parker offers contractual services in managing risk as part of any project management engagement.
The ‘who’ of project management. Who are your stakeholders? Why are they to be a part of the project? What is their perceived commitment to the project? What commitment do you need from these stakeholders to succeed and what actions will you take to gain the correct levels of commitment? Who do you keep informed, who should be consulted, responsible and accountable? Building out a stakeholder map, grouping stakeholders, producing an action plan, communication plan and RACI allows for the project manager to organise people to contribute to the project in a meaningful way.
Project Parker offers consultancy services in reviewing any stakeholder maps, communication plans, RACI’s and commitment curve tracking plans to help identify what measures should be in place.
Project Parker offers contractual services in building out these artifacts, and delivering upon their outputs to meet with your project’s needs.
How is the end product/outcome configured? What checklists are in place to ensure the right work packages have been delivered before it is available for use? How is this thing going to work and how are we going to maintain it as efficiently as possible? Ensuring appropriate documentation, testing, training/coaching and support are all key activities in delivering a package of change ‘into’ an existing environment.
Project Parker offers consultancy services in reviewing existing configuration management plans and providing recommendations where additional measures need to be taken.
Project Parker offers contractual services to produce the necessary plans and activities to ensure configuration of your outcomes are met to agreeable standards.
What is the budget required to deliver the project successfully? How much is CapEx vs OpEx? How much contingency should be applied and how is this to be treated? What does the cash flow look like for the duration of the project? Project managers require a deep understanding of financial modelling and the impact a change could have to these models at any point in the project. The budget of a project and the tracking of spend over time is a key measure in enabling stakeholders to be informed in the success of the project in delivering the desired outcomes. Discipline and commitment from all project stakeholders is required to keep track of the effort spent on the project if the project is to be successful in identifying measures such as cost and Return on Investment (ROI).
Project Parker offers consultancy services to review the financial management of a project and provide recommendations where improvements may be made to achieve the outcomes required.
Project Parker offers contractual services for financial management as part of any project management engagement and will agree the level of tracking required as part of the engagement. Project Parker can also provide templates for tracking where no tracking mechanism currently exists.
Project governance is the management framework within which project decisions are made. Project governance is a critical element of any project, since the accountabilities and responsibilities associated with an organisation’s business as usual activities are laid down in existing organisational governance arrangements; a specific framework should exist to govern a project from start to finish. A governance framework may already exist in your organisation and if it does, a new project should always look to see if it will be fit for purpose or whether the project may need to refine the framework to suit it’s specific needs. Some organisation’s will cater for different ‘bands’ of projects, with smaller budget project’s requiring less governance requirements than project’s over a certain threshold (for example).
Project Parker offers consulting to review existing frameworks, recommend improvements where applicable as well as create new frameworks for a single project, or to be used as a framework for multiple projects planned for the future.
Project Parker offers contracting services to deploy governance frameworks into your organisation as and where agreed to do so.
The purpose of investing in a project in to reach an outcome that is beneficial to the organisation. How do you quantify the benefits to the organisation produced the return on investment originally suggested? Benefits realisation management at a project level is tracking the cost of the change incurred to the business by the project, and recognising the cost to the business if it did not carry out the change. A project managers responsibility is to track the cost of the change incurred to enable the business to track the ROI once the project outcomes are live. It may be appropriate for the project to schedule a lessons learned some time after the project has gone live to review whether the benefits are meeting with their original estimations to inform the business as to whether their estimations need refining when considering future project benefit estimations. This process can take years to mature dependent upon the size and nature of the project outcomes.
Project Parker offers consulting services to review the estimates and tracking mechanisms put in place to enable benefits realisation management to exist. Consulting services are offered to analyse and review the benefits of project deliveries to identify whether the realisation of the benefits meets with original estimation agreed.
Project Parker offers contracting services to work with your organisation on identifying the benefits to the organisation, implementing tracking mechanisms and where appropriate, systems to record realisation measures.