Posted by on February 23, 2018

Warwickshire Police & West Mercia Police

Description of Client : Programme Management Office for alliance between Warwickshire & West Mercia police forces
Strategic Objectives :     Review, refine and implement appropriate governance, reporting and controls strategy.
Operational Objectives :             Governance & reporting process redesign and implementation,                developing ownership and accountabilities to support cultural change.

CONTEXT

The Alliance leadership were aware of significant under performance of project delivery across the portfolio of change programmes. Specifically, there was poor management of risk, insufficient cost control and delivery of benefits from their investments were not being effectively realised.  The new Transformation team needed to quickly implement strong governance methodologies to gain control of in-flight projects and ensure all future investments would deliver the expected benefits.

CHALLENGES

The Project management function was consistently seen to be failing to deliver change projects on time and within budget. An initial audit of the maturity of the organisation’s project and programme capabilities, showing significant gaps in process and governance, was validated.

Leadership realised considerable effort was required to strengthen project management and delivery and to introduce improvements in governance and operational control.

Unclear accountabilities, an ineffective approach to prioritisation and resource allocation, compounded by the immature governance processes for the alliance change portfolio led to frequent missed milestones, cost over-runs and delayed/reduced benefits realisation.

 INSIGHT

I brought extensive experience in delivery of complex programmes, benefits realisation and process design to:

  • Re-define the programme team structure to meet the project delivery needs of the Alliance’s “Looking to 2020” strategy to maximise the return on its investments;
  • Develop and implement a new overarching governance approach;
  • Review existing processes and practices against a best practice baseline and assessed staff capabilities for improvement;
  • Share knowledge of how to change behaviours – through coaching and structured feedback to existing programme staff – when delivering transformation projects;
  • Improve capability in benefits management and risk management to align with strategic outcomes to support the leadership team;
  • Use leadership experience to support the senior programme manager in coaching and developing the management team;
  • Conduct a thorough cashflow assurance, identifying weak financial systems and controls, contributing further to weak ownership and accountability for project financial performance

ACTIONS

  • Designed & implemented new processes, based on best practice models and the maturity context of the organisation, to rapidly instill strong governance and visible controls;
  • Implemented robust and clear reporting regime, aligned to the control cadence of the project, programme and overall Alliance governance principles;
  • Developed high impact interventions, in the form of project masterclasses, covering:
    1. Project planning, governance and quality assurance,
    2. Benefits identification, assessment and realization planning,
    3. Risk identification, controls and mitigation planning,
  • Created simple, easy to follow process guides and flowcharts;
  • Implemented robust “gate” approvals and governance throughout the project delivery phases;
  • Reviewed in-flight projects, strengthening the immature and incomplete plans; identifying gaps, risks needing urgent mitigation and critical inter-programme dependencies not being sufficiently understood nor being effectively managed;
  • Created library of guidance documents, standard templates and project plan structure and associated documentation;
  • Created and implemented simple project cost tracking system and process to give clear reports, integrity to the data and executive insight and so enabling effective strategic decision making;
  • Coached the senior team and programme managers to increase knowledge sharing and best practice performance management methods;

RESULTS DELIVERED

  • More efficient team structure, reducing overall cost of PMO team by 50%;
  • Clearer lines of accountability driving ownership and improvement of individual and team performance;
  • Improved quality and clarity of project and programme reporting into project and programme boards enabling more effective risk management, cost control and benefits realisation;
  • More effective management of project budgets and overall project financial control;
  • Improved quality of handover into service, reducing re-work and poorly performing technology solutions;
  • Reduction in administration and project reporting through standard, best practice templates/guides and automated polling of key datasets;
  • Increased trust from senior officers and PCCs on Transformation programme’s ability to deliver financial and performance improvements in delivery of policing strategy;
Posted in: Case Studies