Wissen - Life Sciences News - Topics - Downloads - Newsletter
Contact
Daniel Flossbach
Daniel Flossbach
Home | Project Health Check – A Project Audit How to get your project back on course!
August 17, 2016

Project Health Check – A Project Audit How to get your project back on course!

What is the difference between the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport and the railway tunnel through the Gotthard?

Or in other words, what have the people in charge of the construction project done better to not only complete their project successfully, but also to do so earlier and at lower cost than planned?

According to a study from GPM, the German Association for Project Management, the cause for the failure of projects is frequently due to a lack of integrated project management. Often, there is no reaction or incorrect reactions to the first signs of the difficulties of a project.

 

Why do projects fail?

Project Health Check GMP Study

Graphic: “Why do projects fail?” – A study by GPM, the German Association for Project Management

 

Get your project back on course with the right tools and methods!

We will show you an example from one of our customers.

 

Initial situation

In the spring of 2016, one of our customers, a medium-sized Swiss company, approached ARCONDIS, because there was no transparency regarding the state of a strategically relevant IT project and there was initial doubt among management about achieving their objectives. The steering committee, however, was not sure whether there was an actual need for action – and if there was, what were they to do?

The aim of the project is to harmonize the IT platforms and services across all locations. The biggest challenge is that every branch not only has its own IT set-up, but also that there is a different level of expertise among the IT managers.

That is why we were brought in as experts with a neutral external view.

 

The task

Our task: to use a methodical pragmatic approach at a fixed price to analyze the project weaknesses in a targeted manner and to derive corresponding measures from this to get the project back on the path to success. For this purpose, we developed a tool kit that has already been proven over the years: the Project Health Check.

 

Procedure

The Project Health Check is a standardized procedure that is based on PMI® and IPMA® frameworks as well as the best practices from our wealth of experience from around 2,500 successfully implemented projects. Our procedure model has clearly defined expenses and provides quick results. The implementation of measures can be started immediately based on our final report with recommendations.

In four steps, we systematically retrieve critical success criteria for projects, always with a view to the specific circumstances of the life sciences industry and its regulatory requirements. We always bring the “human factor” into the equation, because we know that soft skills, such as the ability to work in a team and the mutual understanding of IT and business, influence the success of the project considerably. We base our final evaluation on a maturity model with a score from 0 to 5, which you can use to measure the success of the measures.

 

In our final report, we therefore recommend building a common understanding for the harmonized IT landscape and project procedure and put together corresponding steps that are specifically tailored to our customer’s initial situation, within one to three weeks as needed.

Project Health Check Prodecure

Graphic: ARCONDIS Project Health Check procedure model

 

Results

Following a kick-off meeting, we started to analyze our customer’s documents and reached the following two significant results:

  • Around three-quarters of the required key deliverables were not available or were only available in a very poor quality
  • Only 9% of the documents were in a sufficient to good condition

 

Project Health Check Procedure Model

Graphic: Quality of the project documentation – Final report of the ARCONDIS Project Health Check

Through our interviews, we were able to trace the cause back to the poorly defined project management processes. Our customer had no clear guidelines for documenting projects, which resulted in a prevailing uncertainty among those involved with respect to their responsibilities. This made the transfer of knowledge and expertise between different locations difficult.

We identified other gaps in our interviews, including:

  • Low project and change management expertise among those involved in the projects
  • Good internal communication within the individual project teams, but insufficient communication across the different branches
  • A lack of resources

The insufficient communication and lack of expertise not only resulted in a lack of commitment to the harmonizing of the IT structure, in particular on the business side, but also resulted in a different understanding at different locations and therefore generally in an unstructured project procedure.

In our final report, we therefore recommend building a common understanding for the harmonized IT landscape and project procedure and put together corresponding steps that are specifically tailored to our customer’s initial situation.

Project Health Check Final Report

Graphic: Strengths (green) and weaknesses (red) of the project in the maturity model (0 = lowest, 5 = highest level of maturity) – Final report of the ARCONDIS Project Health Check

 

What’s next?

In the case of our customer, our catalog of measures convinced the project sponsor. Amongst others, we recommended to introduce an operational committee to reduce the workload of the steering committee and to define their functions within a project management governance. In addition, we suggested creating an operational concept including agreed service levels with the departments. The implementation is in full swing so that the project can get unerringly back on the road to success.

Would you like to learn more about the topic of Project Health Check or do you need the neutral perspective of an expert?