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Will Noble

When Was Your Last Health Check?

Posted in by on April 14, 2014 and has no comments yet

Don’t worry; we haven’t turned into a medical clinic! At Asq, we are all about projects; so the health and wellbeing of yours are our top priority.  With this in mind, we have developed a unique way of assessing the current state of your project and providing you with insights to improve the future success.

Why do a project health check?

Our project health check tool can be completed at any time throughout the life of your project; although for the best results, the earlier the better, so that changes can be implemented to improve the outcome.

Despite the best efforts of many PMOs and project sponsors, sometimes an extra (external) pair of eyes can quickly identify areas where projects are failing and provide suggestions for mitigating the risk. Just like anything else you work on, a project needs careful and regular attention, and being able to look at it from an objective point of view can mean the difference between halting the project altogether and experiencing a commercially acceptable outcome for everyone.

What’s included in a project health check?

We have devised a tool that encompasses all aspects of a project and the major success/failure points businesses often encounter:

1. Executive Support

Project sponsor support, success criteria, budget and business case

2. Scope

Looks at your defined objectives and documentation as well as stakeholder input

3. Project Management

Identifies the success of your project management framework, including PMP, meetings and stakeholder representation

4. Change Management

This often forgotten element of projects reviews how ready your organisation is for the change this project will bring, including communications plans and training

5. Resource Management

Identifies the assignment of human, financial and technical resources to your project

6. Risk Management

Looks at the project risk factors, mitigation activities and ownership/accountability

What happens next?

After completing the questionnaire (which should take no longer than 10 minutes), we will send you a Project Health Check Report, which is a visual representation of where your project currently sits. We will also include our observations on the risk factors and potential ways to realign your project. This is done in conjunction with one of our project consultants who can walk you through each element in-depth.

Here’s a sample of the visual you will receive after completing the Asq Project Health Check:



[Click to view full size]

What’s the state of this project?

The good…

Each of the six elements includes some very positive areas, meaning the project is fairly balanced across the spectrum. There seems to be excellent planning, training and alignment with the business (never to be underestimated!) and ownership of risk is good too.

Written plans are well defined (with the exception of the business case) and the PMP is scoped (and followed).

The change management plan is also looking healthy for training employees on how the project could impact their work (although the communications plan needs some work).

The bad…

This project is at an overall ‘medium risk’ rating, which is fairly typical of most commercial projects. This means there is always work to do, but to know which areas need your attention the most, can help to prioritise your efforts.

In this project, for example, we would definitely be recommending more executive support is sought; from the sponsor as well as the executive team as a whole. This will keep everyone in the loop that needs to be and reduces the chance of project failure or abandonment later down the line.

Also, the risk probability, impact and proximity (PIP) assessment needs serious attention – this means the project is probably running along quite well at the moment without anyone thinking about possible risk until it’s too late. This can signal the end of even the most successful looking project.

What’s next?

If this sounds like a typical project for your business, don’t fear! While a project in this condition is not ideal, it is also not terminal. There are improvements that can be made to address the risk factors and reign in some of the losses in finances, resources and confidence.

The Asq Projects team of consultants can fully assess your organisation’s project capacity and capability to keep this (and future) projects in better long-term health.

Complete your free Project Health Check

About the Author

Will Noble – Commercial Consultant

Will is an accomplished business leader with 10+ years experience in key operational senior management roles in high tech, digital and ICT sales and marketing, application and infrastructure solutions businesses in Europe and Australia.

His broad background includes SaaS, infrastructure, VOIP, financial applications, CRM, managed services and systems integration/application development. He brings to Asq experience of divisional and organisation-wide operational responsibility, and a key skill is “getting the business piece”. Will brings experience in the areas of Finance, Sales & Marketing, Production, Project Management, HR, Supply Chain and Customer Experience with specific insight to Systems Analysis, Change Management and Improvement, Business Analysis and Stakeholder Consulting/Negotiation

Connect with Will via Asq and LinkedIn.


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