Category Programme Management Archives - Differentis

Heavenly designed Service Centres are no earthly good

By David Marsh

Date 19 October 2010 Tags

In the scramble to save costs, claims made for ‘Shared Service Centres’ (SSCs) and ‘Utilities’ continue to entice. We’ve suggested in the past you look at these with a certain scepticism and it’s now time to explore our concerns.

We’re absolutely not denying that SSCs can produce dramatic improvements in process consistency, reduce error rates, and all at lower costs; there are many fine examples here and abroad that vendors will invite you to see.

But while you may be impressed by the destination, what you should know is that the journey can be no fun at all.

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Moments of truth in IT programme management (3/3)

By Jim Patience

Date 19 February 2010 Tags

IT programmes have a reputation for write-offs, cost overruns, missed deadlines and wide gaps between the promise and the payoff. There can be many reasons such programmes don’t live up to their expectations, and they’re not always obvious.

Every programme faces moments of truth – make or break points. Recognising the moments of truth and avoiding them can avert disaster. We’ve a long list, but this time we are going to look at conditioning the Programme for success.

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Moments of truth in IT programme management (2/3)

By Jim Patience

Date 19 January 2010 Tags

It’s the moment of celebration for the IT team, successful delivery of their latest project.

They’ve built a system (or configured a package) and put in place a brand new architecture. They’ve tested it all to destruction from both a functional and operational perspective.

It goes live in production with no technical issues.

But as with so many celebrations there is a morning after – the business has a headache.

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Moments of truth in IT programme management (1/3)

By Jim Patience

Date 19 December 2009 Tags

The greatest risk to any programme or project is at the very start. Getting things wrong at the beginning leads to a much higher risk of failure – it’s very tough to recover from a bad start.

Big programmes are fraught with risk. The Standish group recently reviewed a series of business critical programmes and only 28% were completed on time and budget.

So what can programme managers and sponsors do to ensure they get off to a good start? It’s all about mobilisation, conditioning for success at the outset.

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Keeping on the front foot, where it matters

By Jim Patience

Date 19 November 2009 Tags

You’re on the board of a serious company and you’re aware that among the many IT initiatives that run every year, maybe three or four would have a critical business impact on the firm, for better or worse.

You’ve got your best people running them, so why the niggling worry?

You may be thinking about getting your internal audit folk to give these programmes a once over. You’re aware though that they have no more experience of big complex programmes than the people you have running them. You’re also aware that by the time a problem becomes self-evident it may be too late.

If getting it right is the only option, timely objective insight could keep you on the front foot.

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