Project review

Project review – overview

All organisations today operate in an environment of constant and rapid change. Managing this change effectively is often achieved through a portfolio of formal projects.

Many organisations today have qualified and experienced project management staff to run their projects.

Some organisations today have dedicated functions, staff or processes to support their project management teams. The very largest organisations have in-house Enterprise Programme Offices, or project management specialists in corporate audit or risk functions; or organise ‘Red Team Reviews’ of a project by other staff with project management experience who are not participating in the reviewed project.

But for many mid-size businesses and SMEs – and even some larger organisations – these resources are simply not available. For them, having access to external expertise to assure project management disciplines and to coach project managers can be a major contributor to project success. Such reviews can take place at project initiation; at major stage-gates (especially if significant capital is to be committed at the stage-gate); or at any other time if concerns arise concerning project quality, cost or timescales.

And it is for those organisations that we offer the necessary expertise, on an ad hoc basis, in reviewing projects and coaching senior project management staff.

Full details below or download course outline.

Learning objectives

A document review and workshop led by one of our consultants can help you assess whether:

  • The strategic goals and priorities for the project are clear and being addressed
  • Governance of the project within the business is defined and being effectively executed
  • Project roles and responsibilities are clear and effective
  • The credibility and robustness of the project plan can be enhanced
  • Performance measures and reporting procedures are effective
  • Critical risks are identified and being managed and contingencies are agreed
  • The roles, responsibilities and capabilities of the key players in the project team are fit for purpose
  • Budgets are realistic and costs being managed effectively
  • Communication and change management activities are effectively planned and being executed

At your discretion, you can capture the outcomes from the workshop for yourselves, in terms of identifying opportunities for improvement, or you can have our consultant write a report and make recommendations to you.

Success factors

A successful workshop requires:

  • Clear objectives – we would work with you in advance to agree the objectives and draft a workshop agenda and attendee list accordingly; we would also agree with you at this stage whether a one- or-two-day workshop will be required or whether a different format might be more appropriate
  • Formal ownership – the workshop can be initiated by a stakeholder, a project manager or jointly by both; either way, we need to know to whom we are accountable and there needs to be clarity within the organisation as to who will be responsible for implementing any agreed improvement opportunities
  • Buy-in – by definition, this type of workshop may be unprecedented within your organisation; it will therefore be essential to get the internal communications right and we can help with this
  • Rules of engagement – different organisations have different styles and cultures; the culture can sometimes be part of the problem; this type of workshop may take people out of their comfort zones; participants need to understand the approach being taken as well as the objectives if they are to take part constructively in a free and frank discussion; our consultant will need an equally free and frank discussion with you in advance to uncover any sensitivities and to agree any boundaries
  • A review by the consultant prior to the workshop of any existing project documentation such as a project charter, project plans, project team organisation structure, risk and issue logs, steering committee minutes, stage gate papers, etc
  • Excellent facilitation ‘on the day’ – this is a given; see our lead consultant’s profile, below
  • Effective follow-up – we can help capture the outcomes for you; we can also make recommendations to support implementation.
Consultant profile

Alastair is a highly experienced consultant specialising in project and change management, and with a good understanding of operations excellence and risk management. His project management experience includes procurement and supply chain, ERP/CRM/bespoke systems implementation, supplier management, premises commissioning, TUPE transfer, risk and internal audit transformation, IT project portfolio rationalization, operations excellence and contract mobilization. Alastair has also led international project teams with team members across Europe and in India.

Alastair established his independent consultancy practice in 2018, following 22 years’ experience in top-tier management consultancies and nine years in industry. He now offers a range of management training and team development programmes. He also provides facilitation and consultancy services to help clients with specific projects or to assist them with staff and management development programmes.

After studying mathematics at Oxford University Alastair worked for five years as an engineer at Marconi Defence Systems and then at Andersen Consulting as a management consultant. The major part of his career was 20 years with the Management Consultancy practice of Deloitte, 12 as a Partner. He founded and led for seven years the Deloitte Operations Excellence practice, growing it to be the largest services team in the consulting business. He has led a wide variety of complex programmes, with varying mixtures of operational transformation, IT systems enabled change and organisational change management. He also quality assured projects led by other Deloitte partners. He has worked in the public and private sectors and in large multinationals and smaller SMEs and charities. In 2013 he left Deloitte to join his client, multinational security services and outsourcing business, G4S. He was hired to establish a new Group Risk function and to lead a project to address, to the UK government’s satisfaction, a number of key risk and delivery issues which had led to two high profile public sector contract failures. Following successful delivery of the latter project and completion and early implementation of the risk process design he took on the internal audit function, as Group Director of Risk and Audit, responsible for integrating the businesses’ assurance functions and ensuring they had a risk focus. This role also involved conducting risk review and audits of major service delivery contracts. Having implemented these changes Alastair handed over the reins to his successor and was appointed to lead a global transformation programme enabled by an integrated finance, HR and operations system.

Next step

A phone call with Alastair? Give us a call on 01582 714285 and we’ll be happy to put you in touch for a ‘no obligation’ discussion.