“Successful Project Delivery”

“Successful Project Delivery”

Riskwest recently co-hosted a panel session on ‘Successful Project Delivery’ with the Department of Transport at Albert Facey House in Perth. This provided the opportunity to hear a number of different perspectives on how to ensure the successful delivery of projects, whilst managing and balancing stakeholder expectations, timelines and budgets.

The panel members were Colin Harris (Project Manager with WA Police), Mike Maloney (General Manager Operations, Regional North, LandCorp) and Jim Hodges (Partner, Riskwest). The session was facilitated by Mark Humphreys (Partner, Riskwest).

Colin Harris is a highly experienced Project Manager and Program Manager with Fujitsu. Since January 2012, Colin has operated in the role of ‘Western Australian Police (WAPOL) – State Intelligence (SI) Program Manager’ (under contract with Fujitsu). His responsibilities include introducing a program structure and related disciplines to the large number of SI business and technical change projects and initiatives being planned or progressed; providing the SI executive team with a reporting mechanism that provides visibility to milestones, dependencies, budget performance and the progress of individual projects and program as a whole; supporting the development or refresh of divisional Business Continuity and Risk Management plans; and providing project management oversight for SI projects. Colin stressed the importance of using common language, and making sure that frameworks (like PRMBOK and Prince2) are appropriately tailored for the context. Colin emphasised the need to manage by deliverables, and focus on outcomes. He talked through the importance of stakeholder mapping, developing an energetic project team, implementing ‘fit for purpose’ governance and decision making. He left attendees with the reminder “don’t try to be the subject matter expert” and “make sure you balance the ‘black hats’ versus ‘group think’”.

Mike Maloney is the Executive Team member at LandCorp responsible for all of LandCorp’s regional north operations. He has over 30 years’ experience in both the public and private contracting sectors. Mike has been involved in the evolution of some of the State’s most important and complex developments. These have included creation of strategic elements of Joondalup City, the delivery of Pilbara Cities and development of the Ord-Kimberley Expansion Project; key strategic priorities for the State Government. He is a key player in ‘Directions 2031 and Beyond’, ‘Pilbara Cities’, ‘Royalties for Regions’ and ‘Regional Development Assistance Program’. Mike emphasised the importance of project manager ownership and structure, senior management commitment, stakeholder management and the use of sessions to consider both risk and opportunity. Mike talked about the need to purposefully scope projects, encouraging attendees “to know ‘what you don’t know’” and “to celebrate the successes”.

Jim Hodges is a Partner at Riskwest, and has over thirty years of experience across a large variety of different industries. His experience includes the implementation of enterprise wide risk management frameworks for major projects including Perth City Link Rail Alliance Project, Perth New Metro Rail Project, the South Australian Kanowna Belle Gold/Copper Mine and the North West Shelf Project. Over the past 25 years, Jim has facilitated over 2,500 workshops and planning sessions for executive committees, Boards, management and project teams focussing on a range of different issues and outcomes, including strategic, operational and project risks across the private sector, Government and Non-Governmental Organisations. Jim emphasised the importance of timely, accurate and consistent stakeholder communication, project planning with clear outcomes and deliverables, and building on different perspectives of risk (including insurable and non-insurable) rather than simply focussing on financial and insurable loss. Jim emphasised to attendees the need to “involve the right people at the right time”.

All the panellists talked through the main underpinning hallmarks of project success and failure, they discussed the role of risk management and change management in that determination.  The pertinence of these points were highlighted in ‘Lessons Learned’ presented by Gateway New Zealand[1]. This indicates that ‘…many projects still fail to follow standard good practices for risks and issues management; identification, assessment of likelihood, impact and residual impact after treatment, assigning ownership, and active iterative management throughout the project’, and ‘….the most common theme is the tendency of a project to focus on delivery of its asset with insufficient attention paid to ensuring that the necessary business changes are planned and controlled. This is particularly true of ICT-enabled business change projects, where there is a marked tendency to focus on the IT aspects and pay insufficient attention to the organisational changes required to support the new system’. The panellists finished by emphasising the benefits of a structured project management approach to ensure management of stakeholder expectations, communication, timeliness of planning, actions, decisions; ownership, accountability, clear authority levels, clear project objectives and appropriate resource management.

Please talk to your regular Riskwest contact or email enquiries@riskwest.com.au to find out more about our project risk management services.


[1] Gateway Review ‘Lessons Learned Report’ December 2013 (www.newzealand.govt.nz)