SJK Consulting
Making IT Happen
Making IT Happen
IT Strategy and Planning
ProServices Oversight
Program Governance

 

True Story:  How an Internally-Run Program Can Get Out of Control

 Background

  • The Company:  Medium-sized, full line-of-business health plan operating in multiple states

  • The Systems:  Multiple, quasi-home-grown, core administration systems running in multiple data centers

  • The Project:  Consolidate all core administration systems onto one, new, vendor-supplied and supported system

  • The Execution Approach:  Hire consultants to perform much of the work, but plan and manage the project with internal expertise

Major Issues 

  • Company executives were only partially engaged and unwilling to fight for the project team until it was too late – some executives were against the project

  • The company Project Executive lacked experience with very large projects, and the type of system being implemented on this project

  • The Project Management Office was not prepared to control such a large project

  • The project management team was more focused on administration than on on-time, on-budget, accurate results

  • A critical piece of software functionality had an unusually high level of defects

 Results

  • Project team size ramped up to twice the number of people actually needed due to inadequate PMO controls and process-focused project management techniques

  • Project delayed for months while vendor de-bugged their software

  • Upon completing a third of the project scope, two thirds of the project budget was consumed

  • Project was re-planned, most of the consultants were terminated to save costs, and the project completed over a year late 

 
 


To Help Clients Avoid this Type of Outcome, I Offer the Following Services

  Project and program planning and organization  – I assist executive management with:

  • Determining a realistic, measurable project/program schedule and budget, the risks associated with them and management’s buy-in to those risks . . . or not

  • Creating a project/program organization structure that can succeed.  This includes assessing what skills exist, what skills are needed, what the reporting relationships should be, and how the organization structure should change with different phases of the project
  • Assuring that a steady, measurable, results-driven implementation methodology is employed

  • Establishing solid, reliable project management and control processes and tools – processes and tools that get results instead of just documenting how the project is spinning out of control

 

 

Project and program oversight I assist executive management with:

  • Monitoring actual project progress in the context of the schedule and budget – this involves looking at measurable results rather than processes whenever possible

  • Course corrections – no project goes as planned.  Software doesn’t work, people don’t deliver as planned, people quit, new technology doesn’t perform as planned, and more.  I help with figuring out how to adjust, compensate, and get back on track

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