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Project Management and Rescue

Managing the implementation of complex systems is a specialist task. Of course, there will be technical issues to be overcome and many people see this as the area where most problems will emerge. However, whilst technical issues can be frustrating, handling people issues is generally far more testing. The successful implementation of a system depends much more upon solving people and logistical problems than anything else.

This will come as no surprise to anyone who has implemented a major information system. Having invested time, effort, and resources in selecting the ‘right’ system clearly the implementation needs to be managed to the highest standards.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Is this relevant to me?

If you are planning to implement a new system soon then this service is relevant to you. You will be looking to implement the system quickly, effectively and with the minimum disruption to your business. In particular you will want to avoid the common pitfalls of system implementation including:

  • The implementation stalling at Phase 1, a partial implementation covering only a limited sub-set of the envisaged scope
  • Continual delays in the project often lead to ballooning costs, disillusionment, and loss of interest
  • General disappointment with the capability of the system vs expectations set pre-sale
  • Users are disillusioned with the system after all the effort they put into helping to implement its
  • Training and implementation support resources were found to be insufficient leading to processing difficulties and visibility of the failures to outside agencies
  • Major operational problems after go-live are caused by poor preparation and result in poor customer service, loss of income, or major cost penalties. This can even cause the go-live to be aborted, forcing the company back to the old system.

These and other common problems can be avoided by ensuring that all aspects of the implementation are properly managed by people with extensive experience of this type of project.

What is involved?

  • We can provide assistance and advice at several levels. A high-level view needs to be maintained so that executive sponsors of the project have a clear overview of the status of the project including budget and timescale issues.
  • At a day-to-day level, we can provide experienced advice and guidance to project teams to help ensure that their efforts are coordinated and the project is executed effectively. A Project Manager with an eye for detail, and experience in how these projects run in practice, can also spot things going wrong well before they impact the project.
  • We can also help to ensure that end users are involved, trained properly, and re-assured because ultimately, it is the user that will determine the success of the project.

For all of this you need an experienced, independent, Project Management resource.

Benefits

  • multi-level project management keeps all parties up-to-speed with the project at a relevant level of detail — no unintelligible techno-babble, no glossing over the issues, no surprises
  • proper and timely input of the issues at risk helps to ensure that timescales and budgets are properly managed and objectives achieved
  • experience of what needs to be done, and when, helps to ensure that hard pressed internal resources are used effectively &mdash no project management by trial and error.
  • Perhaps this is unsurprising, since they are invariably multi-dimensional — often with technical, process, financial, scale and people issues. So REMS International offers a project rescue/troubleshooting service to help customers with problem projects. We can often rescue projects which seem to be failing, thus avoiding the consequences which follow from a complete collapse or progression to legal action.

Is this relevant to me?

If you are involved in an IT project with any of the following characteristics, then this service may be of interest to you:

  • the implementation stalling at Phase 1, a partial implementation covering only a limited sub-set of the envisaged scope
  • continual delays in the project often leading to ballooning costs, disillusionment and loss of interest
  • lack of supplier interest and motivation
  • general disappointment with the capability of the system versus expectations
  • users disillusioned with the system after all the effort they put into helping to implement it
  • training and implementation support resources found to be insufficient leading to processing difficulties and visibility of the failures to outside agencies
  • major operational problems after go-live caused by poor preparation and resulting in poor customer service, loss of income or major cost penalties
  • performance problems affecting the users and the business as a whole

What is involved?

The approach we adopt is of course tailored to the specific case. Generally our initial activities would involve reviewing all the project paperwork, including plans, project mandates, specifications, proposals, contracts etc and meeting members of your project team, any suppliers and other parties involved in the project. From this review we use our broad knowledge and experience to determine the true status of the project, the options open to you and make recommendations as to how the project could progress to a successful outcome.

Often, we are asked to provide an independent project management service to operate the rescue plan and bring the project to a conclusion.

What if my project can't be rescued?

Some projects are too far adrift to be rescued and we would advise the customer of this at the earliest opportunity, complete with an analysis of our reasoning. In these circumstances you may also benefit from our expert witness service.

Benefits

projects considered to be failing or failed can often be put back on track and brought to a successful conclusion usually saving a considerable amount of time, money, disruption and inconvenience

time spent analysing the project will not be lost should the project move into arbitration or legal action. Our independent analysis can often be used as the substance to brief legal advisors