Your organisation is unique. We respect that. We tailor what we have to your needs and context. We work with you to embed your case studies, history, governance approaches to everything we offer.
We help companies who are looking to transform and improve the way they run their operations. You will find we will not impose “one size fits all” thinking. We meet you where you are, and work from there.
A government client asked us to review two of their major programmes. Both of these were transformational.
We set up an assessment and interview plan. During our interviews with different role-players within the programme we discovered some key strengths and some key gains the client had achieved in the six months prior to the assessment. We fed these back to the client. Our concern was that if they did not focus on the improvements that they would lapse on these hard won gains.
Also we identified some “force multipliers”, items that would give the client the most benefit from the least effort. These were not hitherto obvious to the client. Following the debrief we gave, the Portfolio Director wrote, “Thank you for a very helpful feedback session… I felt we shared a better understanding at the end of it.”
Change management is even more critical than project management when it comes to matters such as business buy-in, smooth transition to operations, and benefit realisation.
Using the Change Management Institute’s maturity framework, we can work with you to help you gain tangible results and make real differences through the way your operations’ staff and customers are led through change.
Greater maturity often means a shift from people resisting change to wanting it and drawing it into their working lives.
“P3” means we look at your whole Portfolio management – the totality of your investment in change – your Programme management, and your Projects, and how they are managed. This means we help you look at how this system works in concert to achieve genuine strategic improvement.
Although we use a standard P3M3 assessment, one internal auditor we worked with commented: “I can see you do not merely take a ‘box-ticking’ approach but take a much broader view of things, noticing nuanced issues that affect real business outcomes.”
We agree. Today’s business environment is far too complex and volatile to gain any real value from any other approach. Our assessments provide not just diagnosis, but also affirmation, next steps and … hope.
We can provide a programme SRO or director, or project executive, with much-needed confidence in their critical programme or project, at key crossroads in its life.
Our report is confidential, clear, and with the minimum of jargon. We aim to affirm the strengths in a programme or project, as well as recommend positive adjustments, together with an overall view of the likely success of the venture.
Whilst we recognise that one of the defining features of a programme or project is that they are unique, we have seen enough recurring patterns of health or risk across a wide variety of organisations to give a rapid, trusted independent view to the person who is accountable.
A local government was driving through a transformational change programme that would require profound change in everyone’s working practice. It also required two departments to work differently together. A major risk emerged in the new value chain crossing these two departments.
Our consultant was able to use diagnostic tools that showed both departments their different views of each other in a non-judgmental way. This opened up a much-needed conversation that led to greater understanding and ultimately a fluent hand-off from one department to another, a way of working that was absolutely critical to the whole organisation.
Our client commented: “I doubt if we would have recognised this problem until we had gone live, and it would have taken us months, if not years, to resolve it afterwards.
Using the acclaimed APM Competence Assessment we helped a professional services client establish a TNA (training needs analysis) statement and development plan for a cadre of project managers.
Working with the client, we identified a key subset of the APM competences and added some critical change management competences. Then we provided a series of assessment interviews and an assessment day. Following this we provided the client with an overview for the cadre. This confirmed who their lead/senior project managers were. It also identified some systemic competence weaknesses around risk management, to which the group had previously been blindsided.
Finally we produced an outline development plan for each of the managers and worked through these with the individuals and their managers. The outcome was a clearer and more positive move to raising the reputation of these managers with their customers.
An operations manager within a management team of a service organisation felt she was very much “out of sync” with her colleagues. She was more focused on stability, keeping things running, whereas other members of the team always seemed to be exploring new ways of doing things. At times she felt this was her problem and that she didn’t “fit” this organisation. At other times, she believed the other managers had their heads too much in the clouds.
When we did an AEM-Cube assessment of this team we gave each manager access to an online portal. When they had each completed a short assessment, our specialist consultant gave each manager a one-to-one feedback of their profile and how they contributed to the team.
When we gave the operations manager her feedback, we explained with examples that she actually helped to complement her colleagues such that they became a more high-performing team as a result. She felt valued and re-affirmed, and saw more clearly her contribution to the whole team. Likewise, other members of the team had a language and reference to value her contributions during management team meetings.
A government agency recognised it had issues among its project managers with engaging its stakeholders. Despite an initial workshop, the client was disappointed that delegates had not evidenced their learning on the workshop with a different set of behaviours in dealing with their projects’ stakeholders. The workshop had been inspirational and everyone had bought into the concepts and techniques, but it seemed that back at their desks, old habits continued.
The client then put these managers through our online learning pathway. Each project manager was teamed up with an internal mentor. Over the course of the next few weeks, the project managers had to complete a number of modules using the pathway. At the end of each module, each manager met with their mentor and discussed their experiences and ways forward. This gave several managers the courage to make unsolicited approaches to some of their stakeholders and they found that this was well received.
Using the pathway, this client also found some financial benefit from saved meetings and shortened delivery times. Overall it helped some managers to shift their mind-sets in terms of what was legitimate in their work.
A senior manager in a public utility had had difficulties with their performance appraisal, getting feedback they did not know how to deal with. This manager asked one of us to coach him.
Our sessions lasted between two or three hours at a time, about once every six weeks. The client set this frequency. Over a period of six months, this manager began to appreciate the confidential nature of the sessions, allowing him to use the coach as a safe sounding board. The coach also challenged some pre-suppositions the manager brought to the sessions. The coach made it clear that the coach was always the client’s.
Since then this manager has recommended our coach to several of his colleagues and has continued to meet with their coach on an occasional basis.
A services company that works with the UK National Health Service has an exemplary offering that radically reduces nursing agency fees to cash-strapped hospitals. However, it was finding difficulty in getting its client hospitals under way post sale.
Using pearcemayfield it held a one-day workshop where they were able to identify a key stakeholder that they had missed. This made all the difference to both their clients and themselves, with clear financial benefits to all parties.
A global publishing needed to shape a major upgrade to its IT Services support office. Working with one of our consultants, they were able to develop a programme plan that included a series of tranches – intermediate step-ups – towards the final target capability.
We have helped numerous clients fast-track the process to their project getting onto a firm footing before substantive work gets under way.
An Oxford-based hospice charity that was seeking to establish a project using an Agile approach.
With two of our consultants, the client was able to leave a one-day workshop with a Prioritised Requirements list as well as a plan with a known number of iterations.
The feedback was that this workshop was so helpful; it avoided further planned costs to this charity.
Banco Central do Brasil, the Central Bank of Brazil, has an ambitious social change agenda: the Financial Literacy programme, which affects 70 millions of its citizens. Such people are vulnerable to loan sharks due to the increased availability of mobile phone technology. The Central Bank asked pearcemayfield to help them shape a social engagement strategy.
This strategy identified key social stakeholders, for example local schools, and helped the Bank work out an educational strategy that would help protect its citizens by leading them to greater financial literacy.
Using the AEM Cube, we were able to help a programme team and its SRO gain a measure of confidence about the different contributions of team members. As the programme had progressed, it was clear that during roll-out, it needed to access a very different style of management. As a result, they were able to take another individual on-board with the perspective necessary to deliver that style.
Using our online learning pathways we can help a team engage with new behaviours in a consistent manner, ensuring that support extends to internal mentors.
One of our managers has worked with one major client to promote and establish better working practices in programmes and projects. Her work has extended to advising programme directors, project executives, as well as developing short work topic-based workshops for the programme managers, project managers and project support personnel.
The client has appreciated her contribution as being pivotal in championing a general improvement in project management professionalism within that organisation, with consequential benefits on the ground: an organisation that had a history of late delivery or even non-delivery, now is self-confident and professional in its delivery of projects.
Another manager took over the management of a programme at a critical stage, when the incumbent moved on. He found the programme definition was underdeveloped with some key elements of resource management lacking. This was critical within this organisation where resources were scarce.
Whilst continuing to manage the programme and coordinate the projects, with the agreement of his programme director, he made good some of the deficiencies in the programme and scheduling key people between the projects improved with less internal conflict. He stayed in post nine months until a permanent programme could take over and be effective after a full briefing by our consultant.