In simple straightforward
terms, how would you best describe your services?
geared to improve what I see as singularly the most important factor
of a project – the communication. I deliberately
try to focus and concentrate on the art and science of communicating
We know, especially these days, that a project manager needs to be
good at a wide ranging number of disciplines and skills to be able
to do his or her job effectively. Being able to plan for example
and keep a tight rein on the purse strings.
For me though communications is the real key. If you can master communicating
effectively as well as building and maintaining good working relationships,
a lot of the hassle and grief associated with IT projects can be
at least overcome if not completely avoided.
So to summarise, all of my services deliberately focus around the
art and science of communicating effectively.
Above all I would say
turning around the fortunes of a project that has gone off the
rails for one reason or another (usually down to
the lack of communications!)
I always look to manage the various relationships associated with
the project. Ensuring that key personnel are bought-in to the stated
and objectives and that everyone is clear with what the project
has to achieve. This also includes making sure everyone knows who
doing what, why and when.
To date I have succeeded in rescuing projects where relationships
have broken down between the suppliers and the customer. Identifying
the customer sees as being acceptable and confirming it can be
I’ve also had great success in coaching and mentoring individuals
at the coalface. Over the years I’ve taken a lot pleasure in
bringing people on and improving their communication skills as well
as introducing a best practise approach to both the verbal and written
elements of running a project.
Quite often there has been no choice but to carry out this coaching
and mentoring in a ‘live’, tense and pressurised environment,
as the project has demanded almost immediate actions and results.
Obviously the success of this approach depends largely on how it
is conducted, how the individual receives it and how others interpret
it. I always believe in a delicate and sensitive balance of tact
diplomacy, paying particular attention to the feelings and needs
of the project manager involved.
I make every effort to practise what I preach with regards to communication,
especially as I see this as being such an essential part of a project’s
What are the main benefits you would bring to my project?
In a nutshell
I would say clear, efficient and effective governance. I’d
provide a firm hand at the tiller, clear vision of what we were trying
to achieve and the direction required to get there. I’ve
also a keen eye for quickly spotting and preventing the potential
I have an abundance of previous experience and knowledge of being
on both sides of the fence. As a supplier and a customer which
me a genuine empathy with business teams and what they’re trying
to achieve. In addition to this I’ve an acute understanding of
the trials and tribulations faced by a supplier. If necessary I’ll
identify and negotiate a workable compromise where necessary.
I would actively encourage all of the project teams to get
involved as appropriate. With the emphasis on key personnel,
I would make
sure everyone was kept in the picture and regularly updated
on the progress
and overall status.
The project would benefit from having a clear direction with
everyone knowing what was expected of them. I would provide
first point of contact, something often lacking in my experience.
The project’s progress would be accurately measured and tracked.
I would ensure that everyone agreed on what success looks like and
what has to happen for the deliverables to be accepted. The customer
would feature heavily in this, as they will be the ones who accept
the project when it has been delivered!
Stakeholders will feel comfortable and confident that the project
is being controlled and run properly with relevant MI being
demonstrate this. Risks will be regularly appraised with appropriate
mitigation, issues closely monitored and managed pro-actively.
Overall you can expect high standards to be set, but achievable
ones. The work ethic will be that of not only being professional
making time for a bit of fun as well, something very often
overlooked and neglected in today’s demanding IT project
Can you tailor a presentation for a topic or subject
of my choice?
Yes, no problem! I do have two standard presentations
that are based on the same theme as my key articles, “IT Project
Failure – When
Will We Ever Learn” and “How To Wear The 31 Hats
of the 21st Century Project Manager!” Click here to find these at Free Stuff.
I can easily tailor a presentation to a topic or subject
of your choice for an organisation or company. It could be
fit in with
an “awayday” type of event or activity. Perhaps for your
colleagues with a specific theme to emphasise a particular point or
message you are trying to get across.
What type of coaching and mentoring roles have you
done so far and how successful have they been?
One example was with
a senior BA who had been promoted into a project manager’s
role for a multi-million project still in its planning stage. It
was for a leading high street bank and the primary objective
was to migrate the bank’s retail network to a new platform.
In all a total in excess of over 1800 retail outlets – no
mean task, indeed a baptism of fire!
This was a great challenge for the both of us. In effect
I shadowed the individual initially reviewing the structure
in place to manage the project. Then either replacing,
additional measures for things like risk assessment, issue
management, tracking progress and reporting on the project
This proved a very successful exercise. There wasn’t a lot of
good news to start with as we quickly discovered the business requirements
had not been understood properly. Thanks to our efforts the proposed
migration strategy was proven ‘unfit for purpose’ and the
original supplier was shown the door! At that point over £16
million had been spent with this supplier for what turned
out to be an unsuitable solution!
A second example was where I was taken on to replace a
programme manager who the customer had fallen out with.
One of my project
the team had also been involved in a leading capacity in
the earlier days of the project and had also struggled.
My task was to get this project back on the rails, at the
same time coaching the PM in ‘best practise’,
killing two birds with one stone. Working together we managed
this and I was very pleased
to leave the programme six months later with the project
back on track and the PM a more disciplined and structured
individual well versed
in the finer arts of delivering a project and with a better
appreciation of what real quality looks like.
What do you
see as the most important part of a project?
A bit of a
tough one this because there are a number of critical elements
that go towards making a project successful.
very important, as is the financial side, but personally
I think having a really good working relationship with
facilitating effective communication is the most important.
To a certain degree this is down to opinion, but in my
experience the rough edges and shortcomings of a particular
have been overcome
where good working relationships and communication has
prevailed. It is often the biggest contributory factor
to building trust.
is unquestionable trust there is very often a successful
relationship, warts ‘n all!
Do you only work in
the north of England?
No, not at all, the projects I’ve
worked on have been based all over mainland Britain.
The locations have varied from Rosyth
and Newcastle in the northeast, to Milton Keynes and
Watford in the south of England. I am pretty flexible
with where I work
and will base
myself wherever is best for your project, also recognising
the importance to minimise your costs as well.
Can you give
an indication of the fees you would charge me?
There are a number
of things that would determine the fee you would be charged. The
most important elements would
size and type
of your project, the nature of the work, the amount
of travel involved and general expenses for example hotel costs
All of this would be discussed with you in greater depth
during your free initial consultation. If we then
decided to go ahead
together, the fees and structure for charging would
then documented in the proposal to avoid any confusion
further down the line.
I have been fortunate enough to have worked with
some great clients over the years and to date I’ve never had any
problems with fees.
Thanks you for taking the time to read this FAQ page.
If you would like more information click
hereNOW to find out How I Work, or visit my contact
page to request