Making Sure A Project Goes To Plan

Issue 33

In the fifth part of a six-part series, Louise Dodds, Programme Manager at Prosper discusses the key things needed to make sure a project is successfully delivered

Once the project implementation process is complete and a supply chain partner is on site, the key focus of a project team should be to develop a collaborative partnership which at its heart encourages open and honest communication.

At Prosper we believe that all those involved in the project working as one team enables all parties to have full awareness of the projects goals and deliverables, as well as ensuring any unforeseen issues that may arise can be resolved quickly and efficiently.

To support both your organisation and the project delivery partners, the contract management team at Prosper undertakes effective contract management and reporting to ensure the delivery of the project is monitored and tracked to identify early any potential difficulties which may arise.

Adopting a structured contract management process life cycle on every project is much more likely to ensure successful, effective outcomes are delivered. The typical steps we implement include:

1: Regular engagement meetings – (we’d suggest these were at least monthly)

You should meet with your project delivery partner each month (or at regular intervals agreed between the parties) to monitor progress and to ascertain if there are any issues that may affect the scheduled programme of works.

At these review meetings, monitor contract variations/modifications to assess if they may impact on the overall budgetary forecast or duration of the project.

We all know that even with the best planning in the world, there are always elements that come left field, and on occasions these issues may be more complex and difficult to resolve. Where these types of situations arise, work with an independent procurement consultancy who will first speak to both parties and ascertain whether a resolution meeting is required. If it is, at this meeting, the consultant will act as an impartial team member to effectively agree solutions in a fair and transparent approach. Where you don’t use a consultancy, always remember resolving problems fairly, equitably and quickly is the best way to build long term partnerships and ensure the project delivery is not impacted in any way.

2: Contract performance monitoring

As mentioned in our previous article on the implementation process, KPIs and relevant management information should have already been agreed between the partners at the pre-start meeting.

As part of the contract management process it is essential to monitor any data supplied by the project delivery partner. This allows parties to assess any trends as well as highlighting any potential issues that may arise.

This information can then also be used to benchmark against other project delivery partners working with your organisation, or can provide an informed view of the pros and cons of the project for future assessment of procurement methods and routes to market.

Additionally, understanding issues that have either arisen from the procurement, implementation process or simply day-to-day can also help as it allows new and innovate solutions to be developed that can be adopted in future tenders.

3: Partnership development meetings

In many cases, building collaborative, long term partnerships for your organisation with your delivery partner can bring significant benefits for both parties. It may be prudent to set up regular best practice forums including all key personnel who will discuss and develop a range of initiatives to create efficiencies for the organisation- this can be cost, resource or process efficiencies.

In an ever-changing economic environment, we understand more than ever the pressures organisations face to manage budgets and the requirement to deliver more for less. As a consultancy firm, we know how important it is to look at value for money outcomes and process efficiencies that create positive outcomes. Effective contract, management can help you to achieve those amazing results.

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