Request for help with a new project

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New Member
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri 10 Jul 2015 10:36 am

Dear All,

I've joined this forum in the hope I can receive assistance with a project I have been assigned. I am not a project manager but have been asked to deliver a piece of process improvement for the organisation. I don't really know where to start or the steps I should be taking.

In terms of background - a finance director recently started and quickly concluded a need for an external review. A review was completed and produced a fairly large document which included a target operating model and a set of initiatives to achieve the model.

I'm a bit confused on where to start because i have what feels like a lot of information to work with, including:
  • company vision, strategic objectives, etc
  • target operating model from external review
  • initiatives from external review
  • key processes - AS IS
I'm also under some time pressure because the window for change in a number of areas closes in September.

I would be really grateful if I could have some practical advice on how I should approach the project. Also what tools I should be using.

Many thanks.
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu 15 Aug 2013 1:43 pm

Hi SacktheGaff

Slightly concerned as to the fact they have given you what on paper seems to be quite an important project/change to undertake and that by your own admittance is a task that you aren't familiar with. Maybe your username is a clue as to how you feel about this! Just out of interest are these initiatives from the 3rd party recommendations? Or are they non negotiable changes of which are to be applied without any further scrutiny from your current users?

New Member
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri 10 Jul 2015 10:36 am


Thanks for your reply and question (and observation!). In short the 3rd party initiatives provide a framework and are not set in stone.

I've done some research (on this site and others) over the weekend and prepared a draft high level plan - does this look reasonable? If so, my next question is what tools / artifacts should I be employing?

Many thanks.

Stage 1
Programme PID, communications strategy, expected benefits, risk log, set up Steerco and Project team

Stage 2
Create project plan, resource planning

Stage 3
Complete process assessments against AS IS process taxonomy (add value, no value but necessary, waste)
Complete assessments by utilising/adopting/incorporating performance measures & metrics
Create baseline

Stage 4
Define purpose, objectives, deliverables of each division
Check alignment to vision, strategic objectives
Define suite of best practice comparators
Define frontier: RACI, VFM, performance reporting, value drivers, enablers, performance levers
Define TO BE processes

Stage 5
Define model for capability assessment
Identify required capabilities and skills to support TO BE processes
Complete capability & skills assessment
Identify capability & skill shortfalls (gap analysis)

Stage 6
Identify quick wins
Prioritise areas of change: business critical issues, key processes, skills gaps
Design change programme into phases 1,2 and 3

Stage 7
Define training strategy, including roll into Continuous Improvement Programme
Define training goals and success criteria
Conduct training needs assessment to address gap analysis
Determine what training can be delivered in-house
Create training schedule

Stage 8
Change programme Phase 1 - Implement changes for quick wins
Change programme Phase 2 - Implement training programme
Change programme Phase 3 - Implement changes for remaining areas with business critical issues & key processes prioritised

Stage 9
Assess performance across key activities against baseline
Identify performance outliers and contributing factors and report performance
Develop strategies to address performance outliers

Stage 10
Complete project evaluation by assessing success against project goals
Complete lessons learnt
Complete remaining project documentation
Prepare project close presentation and socialise
Steerco acknowledge programme complete & sign-off
Dissolve Project team & Steerco
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri 09 Mar 2012 8:45 am

It sounds like the document you refer to is very global / top level and a lot of it may not be directly relevant to your work.

Maybe agreeing a set of tangible objectives with senior management is a good place to start to get things into context.
Then you can the start to compile to necessary steps to take you from A to B for each objective.
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu 15 Aug 2013 1:43 pm

I'd certainly chair a comprehensive risk workshop to identify as many potential risks as possible. With appropriate risk response types considered too. New ideas may bring positive change to the organisation but are laden with risks. It may be that you decide to avoid parts of the framework as the risk of a negative outcome is too high. Or it may be that you simply choose to accept the risk and deal with it if it happens. Fallback plan always good. All depends on your organisation's risk appetite. Set up a project management team is good too. Make sure you surround yourself with good people, even if they may initially be reluctant to do so.

Looks like you have all of that covered. Maybe draft a business case too? Of which expected benefits can be part of. All of my projects have been relatively small and only infrastructure based, but getting a solid foundation laid down is paramount to its success.

Have you studied any frameworks? Something like Prince2 could be of a real benefit to yourself as it gives you a start to finish methodology of how to structure a project. With the capabilities you have already have this could be the icing on the cake.

Good luck.
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