Project Health Checks-Why & How..

“Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing.” 


“But I am very health conscious, I exercise daily, I eat healthily. Why did this occur suddenly”   “You think you did all things right? But did you validate that you were getting what you wanted in terms of your health? Didn’t you see the need to do regular health checkups?” 

What a medical health check is to your body, project health check is to your project. A tool to guarantee that each component operates optimally so that the advantages can be realized holistically- To fulfill each project objective, achieve value creation, minimize outcome variance, and get things done the right way!  

Companies undertake multiple Projects simultaneously, each being different in its own way. But some require an extra level of attention and monitoring as the occurrence of mistakes creates a multifold impact that has company-wide implications.  When it comes to such crucial projects the cost of rectifying a mistake is far greater than preventing it…  

John Doe Insurance Company initiated a system replacement initiative – with great hopes & expectations. To kickstart their journey, they brought on board a meticulous project manager, made Intricate plans, allocated resources, set a deadline of 6 months for the first product release in one state, and so on. Everything had been planned Perfectly and it started to roll.  

Cut to 6 months later…….  

The requirements were still changing, IT deliverables were not as per expectations, the budget had exceeded by almost 20% and the product was no way closer to release.  

Wondering what had gone wrong, the Management decided to take a step back for gaining perspective on the entire Project outcome, and they approached us to understand ‘WHY’ they are where they were…  

We then got to doing what we do best and through analysis, we detected the following key issues:  

  1. Their relationship with the vendors was somewhat passive, with one party operating at a time rather than all working together  
  2. The plan was not updated as per the progress of the projects  
  3. They failed to manage all Mid- project corrections right which caused delays and persisting quality issues  
  4. Due to inadequate dependency management practices, they couldn’t identify the dependencies beforehand and were unable to take action to resolve them when they were faced with challenges, etc.  
  5. There were gaps in communication across the boards – that led to confusion, repeat/redundant activities etc.  

So, what could be the solution to all their problems and how could they make sure that implementation went as “Planned”?  

The essential concept to remember here is the 90/10 rule that credits the success of a project to the Right implementation (90%) rather than just planning (10%) alone. The right implementation requires active and continuous efforts in the form of checks and balances which JDIC was missing and could have achieved through PHC because:  

  • It allows the business case to be at the center of the project so that its relevance, purpose, and alignment remains well defined at all times  
  • It helps in identifying and predicting risks in hindsight which allows teams to come up with Focused solutions saving a significant number of resources, costs, and time  
  • It ensures accurate adherence to the best practices and processes to maintain quality standards, disciple, and commitment to the project  
  • Overall, it helps in the precise delivery of the project holistically – Scope, Timelines, Budgets, Goals, etc.  

So, how this is done?   

Introducing Manomay’s Project Health Check Framework, which guides you through each project stage and provides strategic PHC measures so that you can derive Constant assurance for constant improvements.  

A steady start to a project is impossible to achieve without adequate planning. It is crucial to break down the bigger picture into small measurable goals, tasks, and timelines for proper resource allocation and Company alignment. PHC measures that go behind a successful project are:  

  • Strategic Alignment- Are your business vision, aims, and objectives, right?  Are the vision and objectives aligned with broader corporate and technology strategy? This Measure helps in reaching the goal faster and channel the resources, attention and actions in the right direction   
  • Workstream Management Evaluation- Are the Company’s skills evolving into a mature core capability to achieve the set targets? Is there complete transparency amongst group members? Are we prepared with sufficient Resource Backup?  
  • KPIs Evaluation- Be prepared with the right Performance indicators so that you can measure progress, make adjustments, monitor company health and tackle every opportunity that arrives.  
  • Management Control Metrics Evaluation- Start by understanding the Project purpose to determine the critical success factors that need to be fulfilled to reach that purpose. Identify how you can measure these critical success factors and conduct regular evaluations to derive continuous value and improve performance.  
  • Project Risk Assessment (Qualitative and Quantitative)- Identifying potential risks can help predict their chances of occurring and prepare the teams in coming up with all necessary possible mitigating actions so that it’s impact is minimal.  
  • Roles & Responsibility Evaluation- Evaluate whether the roles and responsibilities are being monitored, reviewed, and made visible. Communicate to receive feedback from team and track whether adequate leadership is being provided to the teams as per requirements  
  • Project Delivery Evaluation- Making sure that deadlines are met, quality is maintained and set targets are achieved is an important measure of knowing that everything is going on the right that right track. Project delivery evaluation is meant to make managers aware if each aspect of the business is being delivered in the right fashion or if interventions are required.  
  • Exception management- Conduct Deviation Analysis to understand the current situation, assess & compare the current situation with Project Objectives, and set New Objectives that align better with the Project to successfully solve exceptions.  
  • Quality Control- Set benchmarks, check the quality with regular intervals to check the project functioning and the occurring variance, and accordingly resolve them by introducing improvement techniques.  
  • Risk Management- Identify and measure the risks that are creating an imbalance in the project, based on that come up with a treatment plan and continue to monitor it till it has completely submerged.  
  • Business Case Economics- Is Cost vs benefit on track? Is value creation on track wrt. certain parameters like time and cost etc.? It’s imperative to keep notice of the ROI at every step of the project  
  • Project Finance and Control- Through measurement of Planned value, Schedule and cost variance, ROI, Gross profit margin, etc. Companies can project how optimally the finance is being used that further helps in managing financial ratios, lowering risks, and making strategic decisions  
  • Outcome Assessment & Benchmarking- It gives insights into the significant learnings, areas of improvement and skills acquired in the project period, etc. Foster the improvements and adopt the best practices for better overall performance in future projects.  

Overall, Project Health Checks is THAT powerful tool in your arsenal that can make increasingly complex projects simpler, and more manageable by providing a structured approach throughout the project life cycle. It makes Managers aware of the “Vitals” that the project requires to deliver desired outcomes, tackle the unknowns, or formulate recovery plans to restore the project’s health back.Reach out to us for further details at inquisite@manomay.biz and biztechinsights@manomay.biz 

Biz Tech Insights Team Manomay

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