Delivering sustainable change: Ensuring you are doing the right projects in the right way

Change Management

The selection of articles in our latest Spotlight looks at the ever debated topic of how to achieve project success and avoid failure through different lenses: governance, the pros and cons of project methodologies, business case development, SOX compliance and stakeholder management. We also have interviews with the authors behind two of the articles – Seamus O’Sullivan and Andy Jones.

Taking the right approach to managing a project is crucial and there is much discussion on the relative merits of different frameworks. However, key to success involves understanding the pros and cons of each methodology and how it fits with the project.

To ensure alignment and performance, focused organisations do both top down and bottom up governance. In any case, great project managers always ensure good project governance and that well informed decisions are made – including stopping the project if intended benefits are no longer needed or won’t be achieved. If a project doesn’t add business value, it’s still a failure even though it may deliver on time and within budget. To perform well, projects must establish a clear view of its strategic value, build a robust business case, and maintain continuous focus on business objectives. Because the business case often is the biggest risk and to guard against failure, we argue that the project manager should play a critical role in evaluating the business case. He or she must understand, trust and be able to defend it. If they can’t, they should escalate the risk.

When a company is required to remain Sarbanes-Oxley compliant, project managers must always perform an impact assessment to understand if a project will impact a financial system or process. If this is the case it’s critical to structure the project so that evidence is captured consistently and can be referenced easily. Managing SOX compliance is a critical dependency for go-live and a key deliverable. A “no-go” decision because SOX assurance cannot be provided will be a critical issue at exactly the wrong time.

Projects lead to changes – something that many instinctively oppose. No matter how well planned a project is, there is always a risk it will fail unless the change is accepted by the people affected. A key component of securing success, too often neglected, involves identifying and managing stakeholders. Here we explain 3gamma’s unique approach to this, which includes not just mapping influence and interest, but also attitude.


Related Articles


Agile & PRINCE2: The best of both worlds

Change Management

Taking the right approach in project and programme management is often half the battle. Wise choices early on can set you on a course to success. However, an inappropriate choice can leave you wasting valuable time. In this article we use a recent project to explore the pros and cons of using agile and waterfall methodologies, and highlight the advantages of adopting an agile development approach supported within a PRINCE2 framework.


Whose project is it anyway?

Change Management, Governance, Risk Management

Most traditional methodologies hold that a business case is something that a project manager inherits and that its responsibility sits with a sponsor, project executive or even a governance board of some sort. However the project manager can, and should, play a critical role in assessing and critiquing the business case to guard against project failure.


Interview with Seamus O’Sullivan, author of ‘Whose project is it anyway?’

Change Management

Hi Seamus. Your whitepaper has the intriguing title ‘Whose project is it anyway?’. Where does it come from?
The title is a play on a film title from the early 80’s ‘Whose Life is it Anyway’, however it mainly is inspired by the somewhat frightening fact that in the midst of an active project it is a question which many stakeholders struggle to answer.


Embedding compliance: How to integrate Sarbanes-Oxley in your projects

Assurance & Compliance, Risk Management

Internal controls are incredibly important to business operations but are often seen as something abstract and separate while they in fact should be part of business as usual and all ongoing develop­ment activities. Trying to resolve and remedy a lack of internal controls as a separate, post-event activity is not only risky – it’s also expensive. Control and assurance must be based on the business risk, be in line with external rules and regulations and be built in from the start.


Understanding attitude is key to successful stakeholder management

Change Management, Risk Management

Projects lead to changes – something that many people instinctively are sceptical about or even hostile to. No matter how well planned a project is, there is always…