The company was approached by a large multi-national bank whose program and project managers were facing the need to deliver projects of increasing complexity. International initiatives that involved extremely high level sponsorship and focus, offshore outsourcing and aggressive timelines were taxing the bank’s project management team.
After examining the nature of the projects in the bank’s portfolio and understanding the related challenges being faced by the project managers, the Mindavation team proposed a combination of education offerings as outlined below.
The nature and magnitude of the business change being sought after by the bank’s senior leadership was extensive, and timelines were aggressive. The project managers were attempting to deliver their projects amongst a plethora of conflicting priorities, especially where individuals with significant cross department knowledge were concerned. The PM’s simply could not get access to the “thought leaders” within the organisation. In addition, they were not successfully conveying the nature of business problems or posing arguments in such as way to allow the prioritisation and integration of initiatives to come together for the optimal benefit of the bank.
Some of this stress was relieved by the overall portfolio management provided through their project management office. However, many of the individual projects themselves were multifaceted and required a prioritisation of benefits in their own right. The project management office was not managing an overall portfolio at that level, which created “strategy gaps”for the individual project managers trying to get their initiatives “across the line.”
The nature of the issue the bank’s project managers were having was their ability to successfully communicate with senior leadership The business challenges were significant, however so were the objectives and changes being managed by the project managers. They needed to be in synch with, and have active involvement from, their senior sponsors to achieve the business outcomes expected of their projects. Two primary education courses were proposed and delivered for the bank. These were:
- Intelligent Disobedience: The Difference Between Good and Great Leaders
This course provided the bank’s project managers with new ways to capture and share the essence of the issues their projects were facing. In addition, approaches for preparing for and conducting challenging conversations were shared as part of this course. These issue capture and communication approaches were shared in the context of an appreciation of the world of senior leadership – a vast amount of emails, issues and business decisions cross their desks. The sponsorship support the project managers needed for their projects must successfully weave their way through this myriad of demands on their sponsor’s time.
- Recovering Troubled Projects
Normally, the focus of this course is on the analysis and control techniques required to adjust projects that are at risk of not meeting their intended business outcomes. However, in the case of the bank’s issues, Mindavation applied our standard customisation service to alter the course to meet a specific need. That need was to analyse their complex change projects as if they were troubled from the start. As the projects were complex and far reaching, the techniques used to diagnose and relieve a troubled project were viable strategies to apply at the beginning. These techniques were taught to help the bank’s project managers establish enhanced control processes as projects were initiated to increase their probability of success.
- Several sessions of each course were presented over a three year period
- Individual project objectives and approaches within the bank were altered as a means of accommodating varying priorities with business initiatives
- Project manager success and confidence increased throughout the duration of the training program
- Ongoing coaching is available to the bank’s staff to refine strategies and review proposed senior management communications
I have worked with Edwin on a very large and ambitious program, he performed the role of program manager at the time. Edwin was responsible for a fixed price, fixed date engagement of considerable size and complexity (10M $ budget, less than a year timeframe and a large scope of work). Edwin demonstated endurance and stamina and successfully managed both the customer expectations as well as ...
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