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Designing projects for success by Tim Banfield


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Presentation by Tim Banfield from the National Audit Office at the APM Conference 2013

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Designing projects for success by Tim Banfield

  1. 1. Designing projects for successTim BanfieldDirectorNational Audit OfficeJune 2013
  2. 2. I will cover:• Initiating Successful Projects;• Common features of projects:• Strategic importance and politics;• Stakeholders (influencers and the deliverychain);• Success.• Optimism and risk.
  3. 3. There are plenty of examples of goodproject planning and execution………Few could have envisaged howsuccessful the London 2012Games would turn out to be. Theconstruction programme wascompleted on time and withinbudget, 11 million tickets were soldand our athletes excelled.Crucially, the Games passed offwithout major transport disruptionor security incident.Taken as a whole, the Games werea success by any reasonablemeasure and it looks as if not all ofthe Funding Package will be used.
  4. 4. ……. and not just capital projects• Severe timescale andpolitical pressures• Variety of optionstested• Due diligence• Uncertainties managed
  5. 5. Five factors influencing successfuldelivery
  6. 6. Ten traits
  7. 7. The delivery cycleConceptPlanningEvaluation &sharinglessons learntExecutionImplementation CycleCitizenLobbyGroupsParliamentMediaInternationalBodiesThirdSectorLocalGovernmentCivilServiceCommercialPOLICY ASPIRATIONSUSTAINABLE BENEFICIAL OUTCOMESProcessChangeCulturalChangeINFLUENCERSDELIVERERSInformation – financial and managementGovernance – Portfolio & Risk ManagementCapacity
  8. 8. Political contextPublic AccountsCommittee on MobilePolicing"How did it ever get to be insuch a spaghetti-likemess?““I cannot quite get why youcould not build theexperience of the trials intothe management of theproject”Census 2011Learned lessons from the2001 Census and appliedthem to good effect:• Risk management;• Testing and piloting;• Stakeholder engagement.
  9. 9. The Norwegian Approach
  10. 10. The Norwegian Concept ProgrammeAnalysis - initiation freqAlternative concepts have not been scrutinised 16 64%Lack of realistic objectives and justification 14Project not relevant in relation to needs/market 14Tactical underestimation of costs 10Perverse incentives – benefits without liability 8Tactical splitting up and sequencing of project 7Tactical overestimation of needs and benefits 6Underestimation of future operational costs 6Decisions - deliveryMajor predictable surprises 15Sound advice overlooked by political preferences 11Lacking transparency affecting public debate 7Long lasting front end phase with shifting priorities 6Political horse-trading between competing parties 5Repeated play-off in political decision process 3Source: Knut Samset
  11. 11. Stakeholders: common themesInfluencers:• Actively managing expectations had positive consequences;• Failure to engage with all parties who can influence the delivery of yourproject causes problems.The delivery chain:• A failure to work well with the deliverers was a common problemexperienced in less successful projects.• Not having the commercial skills to engage effectively with contractors.• The nature of the relationship with the contractor has a significantbearing on the successful delivery of the project.
  12. 12. Impact on performance (ranking)Indicator Time Cost DefectsMutual objectives 8 7 4Gain and pain sharing 2 9 8Trust 10 6 2No-blame culture 4 3 6Joint working 1 10 3Communication 9 1 5Problem-solving 6 5 1Risk allocation 3 2 7Performance measurement 7 4 9Continuous improvement 4 8 10Source: International Journal of Project Management, Issue 30, Volume 2,2012
  13. 13. Strong working relationships deliver better resultsQuadrant 3403020100-10-20-20 -10 10 20 30 40 6050 1009080701246Quadrant 4 Quadrant 1Quadrant 27Percentage cost overrun sinceapprovalDelay (months) since approval385
  14. 14. Success2. OutcomesHow will a projectbe used to deliverthese benefits?ImpactRelevanceTake -up3. OutputsWhat?PerformanceTimeCostQuality1. BenefitsWhy?Identify the valueadded to society(realisation of policy)SustainabilitySatisfies needsEconomic effects
  15. 15. CAUSESPROJECT UNDERTAKEN ON UNREALISTIC BASISWEAKNESS IN PLANNING• Inadequate planning time allowed• Incomplete understanding (complexity and uncertainty)• Lack of consultation• Under-developed scope• Poor risk management process• Lack of contingency• Weaknesses in use of data and modellingBEHAVIOURAL- Inherent optimism:planning fallacy, over-confidence, ignoring pastexperience-Strategicmisrepresentation: e.g. togain project approval, self-promotion- Internal culture: hiding badnews, ignoring adviceEXTERNALCONSTRAINTS- Political and budgetarycycle: scopechange, financial pressures- Political pressure: policyand announcements madeprior to planningSYMPTOMSOUTCOMECAPABILITY- Lack of skills/experience- Resource pressure e.g.high turnoverRISK TO VALUE FOR MONEYACCOUNTABILITY:ASSURANCEANDSCRUTINY
  16. 16. Tim BanfieldTel: +44 20 7798 7662Fax: +44 20 7798 7588E-mail: