How We Do It
This initial phase of activity is all about planning and build-up and is focused on defining the fundamentals: what problem needs to be solved, who will be involved, what will be done and how will the work be scheduled.
We take the important step of looking beyond the obvious symptoms observed at this point to understand any underlying issues that our client may be trying to address. This approach significantly increases the chances of successful resolution and ensures that, at the earliest stage, our clients are satisfied that we will address the right issues to deliver their objectives.
We spend the time to clearly identify who the stakeholders are – that is: which functions or people might be affected by the project’s activities or outcomes, who will contribute resources (people, space, time, tools, and money), and who will use and benefit from the project’s output. We work with them to spell out exactly what success on the project means and get their sign off on what they expect.
We also determine the scope, resources and major tasks involved, which ensures that the scale and deliverables are realistic and that no significant part of the work has been overlooked. It is also at this point we review the three key variables of Quality, Time and Cost which typically dictate what can be achieved.
This helps to establish what is mission critical and what can be avoided in terms of unnecessary activity. It also means that if anything changes, we are able to respond to keep things on track and, by understanding which variables are most important to the stakeholders, we are able to make the right changes on the way. The key for us at this stage is to clearly establish the level of quality that will meet our client’s needs.
Finally, we assemble our team so that we can apply the most appropriate skills to the task at hand and create the schedule of planned work. This sets out the time required and the conditions or constraints which apply, and this allows our client to confidently expect the right outcomes.