I was fortunate enough to be involved in a discussion held by an Executive of Health Projects in South Australia.

Executives, Project Sponsors, Project Owners, Steering Committee members – these are all terms used to define the overarching body governing the premise and strategy involved in any project.

The view of the Executive is much like the view held by Project Managers. The value on key project elements is maintained, the need for valuable and consistent information and ultimately the need for cohesion within the Project Team, inclusive of the Executive.

The discussion touched on the increasing need for a “pre-mortem”, or what is commonly referred to as a Readiness Review or a Technical Assurance Review. Essentially, these are a detailed status update on each Project Functional Team to gauge the overall health of the project from Project Management or Warehousing to Contracts or Operations. The pre-execution review aims to highlight strengths, weaknesses or opportunities through process auditing as well as personnel capabilities against an industry-standard benchmark. This review has proven crucial in exposing gaps in the planning phase before those gaps eventuate.

Although often seen with negative connotations of micro-management, complete transparency by reporting accurate progress data more often than not empowers Project Managers to highlight issues, risks, concerns at an early stage to gain guidance and effect informed decisions. As we all know - communication is key, and with further onus placed onto the Executive to be an active member of the project team, this includes communication to that overarching governing body.

In a data-centric industry it is more and more common to value effective Project Management and Project Controls service inbuilt within the Project Team or as third-party reviewing function. The shift towards PMBOK and Agile methodology standardisation is a step forward in providing sustainable portfolio management and consequent economic growth within Australia.


Author: Alex Hanly 

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