Project Management

Project Management is about
ensuring a one-off, multi-stage transition happens,
happens on schedule,
and happens within budget.

Step one in Project Management is to define the desired outcome … defined in detail. Only then consider

  • What is the overall strategy?
  • How will any deeply felt antagonism be overcome?
  • What resources are needed in terms of personnel and equipment?
  • What are the time-scales?
  • What is the total cost of the project, and the cost of doing nothing?

To quote Patty Azzarello: "I see leaders setting themselves up for failure and credibility loss when they don't differentiate the cost of doing a GREAT job from the cost of doing an OK job."

Is the project intended to deliver a bicycle or an F1 racing car? Which is the budget for?

One sure source of failure of a critical project is not treating as "chartered": not treating it as something that must happen.

We work with Vanston Project Services to extend the services available to clients.
Processes should not fixed: the documenation must not be a straight-jacket, but an ongoing repository of knowledge and wisdom. Incident and problem reviews are both potent opportunities to deal with process issues, looking to find ways to strengthen the processes, to make them more robust. The phrase "we've always done it this way" must not be allowed to pass unchallenged.

An example of success:
Gantt chart

A software company had a number of manual steps between their development servers and customer deployments


At the start of the project:

  • No process documentation: "We don't need that; we'll never need that"
  • Process training was by word of mouth
  • All release and deployment steps were done manually: this was prone to manual errors
  • Quality control was a cursory visual inspection


At the end of a multi-year project:

  • A library of over 200 process documents
  • Process training using the documentation
  • Four utilities automated the release and deployment processes
  • Two automated quality control utilities in place
  • A suite of Quality Management procedures in place for routine process reviews

When one of the new auto-QC utilities was first used against existing deployments, thousands of errors were reported.

Project Benefits:

  • Reduced operations staff time spent on release and deployment
  • Deskilling meant standardised routine work could be delegated
  • Greatly reduced lapsed time processes
  • Dramatic quality improvement
  • Periodic process reviews

Upgrades had been two days, with the deployment off-line. This became a maximum of a half day, with no distruption to service. Operations staff became process minders, freeing them to carry out other tasks.

For more information on how we can help you with improving process management, including carrying out an ad hoc review, please write to