Increasing the project and programme management skills of a local authority

At Redington Consultancy we have worked with many public sector organisations to improve their project delivery capability.  This has involved writing good practice guides, supporting project management toolkit implementation and training staff in the various skills required of a good project manager.

At one London authority we worked with them to enhance the project management and programme management skills of staff and managers.  The work started by examining areas of good practice in the organisation, looking for what worked there and what could be improved upon.  The key issues that project managers faced were highlighted; these included managing the political interface of projects, gaining on-going organisational commitment and support for initiatives, as well as the challenges of planning resource and work commitments in what was a constantly changing environment.

We developed a series of events that were aimed at staff in different positions and areas of responsibility:

  • Some were aimed at giving staff the basic skills of project planning and control, no matter what scale or type of project they were managing
  • Others were aimed at those managing larger or more complex projects and covered the needs for increased governance, more detailed planning and control methods, and managing larger and more varied stakeholder groups

We also presented at conferences for senior managers in the organisation to support the Chief Executive’s desire to improve the management and control of the organisation.

While the training was being rolled out, a major change initiative was implemented throughout the organisation, with the commensurate need for effective change and programme management.  We supported this by helping to develop potential programme and project managers within this change initiative, in particular looking at the interface between the programme and its constituent projects.  This highlighted several key issues on how the change programme was being managed and communicated throughout the organisation, resulting in a change to the management approach to the change programme.