Project

Leading Major Projects That Require Senior Level Experience to Ensure Implementation

The Solution

Most organizations make progress one project at a time. Trouble is, in a busy organization, the CEO will keep running out of executives able to take on one more project leadership assignment, as well as keep up with the routine responsibilities of his/her job. However, the project would not have been proposed unless it could be supported by a business case, i.e. net benefits to the business. Having worked with the client’s team to create solutions, the interim project manager will not abandon the process, but be available to supervise the action plan that applies these solutions, to measure and account for the results. The cost of bringing in an interim to plan, lead and implement the results of a project now will pay off by bringing the potential net benefits on line sooner.

Examples

  1. You have an active mid-size manufacturing business. You are doing okay, but everyone in the organization knows there are some major quality assurance issues to be dealt with and that margins would be more favourable if the company could reduce the associated costs. While all can make worthwhile contributions to the needed solutions, no one on your management team really has the capability to pull all the elements of a comprehensive solution together. All of the partial solutions suggested have upfront costs and initiatives are generally blocked by the accountant who cannot see where the return would come from to justify expenditures. Starting with building and explaining the business case for improved quality assurance, an experienced interim manager can acknowledge and utilize everyone’s input, establish quantified performance measures and integrate solutions across departments as required (an outsider, working as temporary part of the team, often has more success in this area than an internal team leader).
  1. A major piece of equipment, vital to your operation, is on its last legs and needs to be replaced. Downtime and high maintenance costs associated with this beast are killing your operation. You can’t replace it with a new version of the same machine – they don’t make them anymore. Modern alternatives are expensive. You are getting panic signals from your plant manager and paralyzing caution from your accountant. Your need now is for an interim project manager who has previous experience with these kinds of capex decisions. First, because the interim is an experienced executive accustomed to functioning on an strategic level, he/she will examine this as an opportunity to usefully increase or diversify your production capacity and look at various alternatives in that light. Next, the project leader will build a business case for each identified alternative. Business case analysis will address quantified benefits, costs, payback period and ROI. This is crucial in making the right decision for the future of your organization, not to mention putting your accountant and banker more at ease with the situation. It is also something solid you can take to the company owners/board of directors for approval. When the strategic level decision has been reached, the interim can also address the nuts and bolts process of creating specifications, identifying qualified suppliers, requesting quotations, making the final purchase decision, planning for delivery and installation and handing the disruption in production while the old equipment goes out and the new equipment comes in. The interim project manager will also set up a tracking method for ensuring that the positive business case is met after the new equipment goes into operation. The support and leadership provided by an experienced interim achieves better results and with much less stress on your permanent staff.
  1. As successful enterprises grow it is not uncommon for the development of business systems to lag behind growth in sales and production. As General Manager, you have come to realize that systems and procedures that were adequate when the business was smaller cannot cope with higher volumes of work and demands for higher speed and greater accuracy. While the accounting, payroll, inventory, manufacturing and other systems that have been installed over the years may be excellent by themselves, the bits and pieces need to fit together seamlessly and work efficiently to support the growing business. Here is where your organization can use, for a short time, the talents of an experienced business analyst – one with CIO-level capacity to see opportunity and initiate changes. This interim is capable of capturing all of your essential business processes and determining what information is required to move each of them. Once that has been documented he/she can turn to looking for ways to enhance information flow in the business: making existing systems more effective, integrating information exchange, seeking out opportunities for business process automation, suggesting new investment in IT where cost savings are available and payoff is short term.

Need More Answers?

If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Mark Olson
Managing Partner
Email Mark

Gord Forbes
Managing Principal
Email Gord