What is an effective Governance system?

What is an effective Governance system?

Why is Project Governance so important to a business?

What is Project Governance?
The term governance was derived from the Latin word “gubernare” which means to steer highlighting the dynamic mechanism in front of an everchanging environment.

However, Project Governance is defined differently across industries and enterprises. The Association of Project Management (APM) states that “Governance refers to the set of policies, regulations, functions, processes, procedures and responsibilities that define the establishment, management and control of projects, programmes and portfolios”.

What should your governance system include?
• Balance – providing the right equilibrium between control and coordinating in order to allow for growth.
• Actions – appropriate insight of all the responsibilities of the business so that they can be properly carried out.
• Flexibility – organise the enterprise to suit the current needs and then adapt and evaluate over time.
• Rewards – create the right incentives so that employees properly motivated

What should you look for when searching for an effective cloud-based Governance solution?
1. It should set out an internal and external governance framework. There should be a portfolio and program management approach to projects overseeing the initiatives of the organisation or project management stage-gate processes tackling the project itself.
2. The project manager should be able to assign and allocate resources respectively to their roles and structure.
3. The ability to engage with the stakeholders with an all-encompassing system that ease communication.
4. The facility to add and manage risks dynamically across the project lifecycle.
5. A reporting system that has the ability to extrapolate different reports at different times in the project lifecycle including budget, risks, issues, project status and timesheets.

The benefits of creating a strategic plan

The benefits of creating a strategic plan

How important is it to create a strategic plan for your business?

Strategic management is the process of managing a business to achieve a defined set of goals.

In contrast to operational management, which focuses on the day-to-day operations of a business, strategic management focuses on long-term goals and planning for the future success of a business.

One of the most common methods used in strategic management is the SWOT analysis. This method is used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats facing a business. It is a way of identifying the opportunities for growth and improvement and the areas where a business might need to change its strategy to meet future challenges. Another simple method used in strategic management is the PESTEL analysis, (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal). This analysis is used to assess these six external factors concerning your business situation.

How do you create a strategic plan?
The first step in strategic management is to clearly identify and state your business goals. This is the starting point for any strategic plan. You need to be clear about what you want to achieve over the long term to define and plan the short-term goals that will help you get to the strategic point.

Your short-term or interim goals should be challenging but reachable, and they should be specific enough that you can measure their progress.

A company can achieve its goals in different ways, depending on the situation. It is therefore important to ensure your strategic goals are being reflected within the deliverables of your Business Initiatives and Projects.

The use of clever reporting tools will provide valuable insight into the many variables that contribute to the successful delivery of the projects.

Benefits of creating a strategic plan

  1. Allows organisations to be proactive rather than reactive
  2. Provides a sense of direction
  3. Increases operational efficiency
  4. Helps to increase market share and profitability
  5. It can make a business more durable and adaptable
Goal Management and Goal Setting

Goal Management and Goal Setting

Demystifying the myth of Goal Management and Goal Setting

Firstly, what is Goal Management?
Goal management is a process that helps you to identify and achieve your goals. It is an important part of strategic planning and it can help you to make better decisions.

Goal management helps you to break down large goals into smaller, more manageable steps. You will be able to see how far you have progressed towards your goal and what steps need to be taken next. Goal management also helps with motivation as it allows you to see the progress that has been made so far. When goals are reached, they provide a sense of accomplishment and a benchmark for progress.

Goal management can be difficult for individuals who have issues with goal setting, especially when they have goals that have not been met. In addition, goal management can be difficult when there are no clear goal statements.

There are many different ways to set goals. One of the most popular methods is SMART Goal Setting.

SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. These five components ensure that your goal is achievable and will provide motivation to work towards it.

When goals are set, they provide a clear direction for what needs to be done and when it needs to be done. When they are reached, they provide a sense of accomplishment and a benchmark for progress.

Headaches of Project Management, Solved?

Headaches of Project Management, Solved?

When it comes to Project Management there can be several pain points that an organisation and their project manager are confronted with.

Below we have identified four common problems and how to solve them.

1. Planning and Organising?
Being organised is often the most time-consuming part of a manager’s work life. Planning, delegating and keeping track of delegated tasks are essential to getting things done in an orderly manner. Once these processes are set, a manager is able to concentrate on other responsibilities.

Organisational tools, for effective resource management or capacity planning, help to ensure teams stay on target and stay organised without requiring the constant supervision of a project manager or for someone to have to remember each action item that is delegated to a colleague.

2. The need for constant follow up
Staying up-to-date with who is doing what and whether each element of the project is on track is an essential part of the project manager’s role. Keeping up with each member of the team, particularly those working offsite and third-party service providers, can eat into your working day.

Although these can seem boring and time-consuming tasks, they are a critical part of the project’s success. It is vital for the project manager to have an idea of the overall state of the direction of the project. Therefore, having a mobile app that enables you to quickly and effectively manage your projects directly from your mobile device will help you receive and react to instant notifications on the fly.

3. Accuracy when estimating 
Estimates are a forecast of the length of time needed to complete different activities within a project.  Accurate estimates can help determine the overall profitability of the project and achieve ROI. In order to produce accurate project estimates you need to rely on your data and the quality of that data.  Understanding the importance of data in your projects and how this will impact future planning is one of those project management pain points that is also a data issue.

Despite the complexities involved, it is still important to do the very best job with your project estimates. Faulty estimates mean missing deadlines, breaking budgets and leaving your clients less than impressed. It is therefore essential to have key reports that are always ready and available and are easy to create, quick to produce and distribute to colleagues, stakeholders and executives. Utilising financial and performance management reports helps keep your projects within budget and on track.

4. Visibility
In a traditional setting, employees are not privy to the information that is being used to evaluate their performance and the details of the project. This can be an inefficient way of facilitating continuous improvement, as employees do not know what they are doing wrong and what they can do to improve their performance. Using an integrated solution enables you to set up a project in minutes, with real-time visibility into available resources, and update its progress instantly.  This will give you holistic project management dashboard views and full control over the life and resources of the project

Does your company struggle with Reporting and KPIs?

Does your company struggle with Reporting and KPIs?

Below we have identified four common problems and how to solve them.

Firstly, what are Key Performance Indicators in business management?
Key Performance Indicators or KPIs as they are more commonly known are a way of measuring how well the business is meeting its objectives. In other words, KPIs provide organisations with the means of measuring how various aspects of the business are performing in relation to their strategic goals. KPIs provide critical performance-based information that enables an organisation, and its stakeholders, to understand whether or not objectives are on track and thus take action accordingly.

1. How do you measure everything?
Unfortunately, there is often a disconnect between whether something can be measured and whether it should be measured. Therefore, one of the biggest mistakes that people make with KPIs is measuring everything that is easy to measure, regardless of its relevance to the business. It is essential to have a system that provides you with the right tools when it comes to reporting and measuring. Best practice has shown that reporting on risks, issues, budgets and resources, help you make the right business decisions.

2. Not linking KPIs to your strategy
KPIs are only really useful if they are aligned to your strategy and inform strategic decision making. Anything else is just window dressing. When KPIs are not linked to your strategy, you end up wasting a lot of time and money collecting information that is not going to benefit the business. KPIs are useful if they deliver mission-critical information that is relevant to your business. Once you know what you are trying to achieve in your business, you should use those objectives to help you select the relevant KPIs.

3. Providing accurate reporting
It is key for any business to provide accurate reporting in order to deliver a critical analysis of how the business is performing in all areas of the organisation. It is essential to have a tool that can generate a report within seconds and can be downloaded in the form of PDFs or Excel Sheets, which helps you integrate any sort of information.

4. What are the benefits of a project report?
It keeps project stakeholders informed of critical aspects of project health such as status, schedule, issues, scope, resources, cost, etc and allows management to take action to address project issues and risks. Project status reports can also be used to provide a documented history of the project. It is key to have a tool that understands that everyone is in an individual and can give you the ability to filter reports depending on different parameters including programmes or project managers or even the timing.

For more information and how we can support all your business initiatives

Do you struggle with Project Budgets and Financial Management?

Do you struggle with Project Budgets and Financial Management?

Does your company struggle with the financial management of strategic initiatives and projects?

Below we have identified four common problems and how to solve them.

1. Recording Transactions Accurately
Managing corporate finances requires accurate record-keeping, which companies may find challenging. Without correct financial data, management may be unable to stay on track with long term project spend. A portfolio management tool can help you manage your monthly actuals against your budgets, enabling you to manage your financial performance across all your strategic initiatives and projects.

2. Seeing the bigger picture…
It is sometimes challenging for companies to see the bigger picture. Standard finance and ERP software platforms are not designed to manage projects and initiatives. It is important to have a software solution that supports and complements your finance system. This solution can also help streamline your organisation’s initiatives and budget tracking to deliver actionable intelligence through key metrics and KPIs. This will allow you to make the right strategic decisions and enable you to reach your business goals now and in the future.

3. Managing your costs vs resources
Managing the costs associated with all your resources can be time-consuming for any financial department. If one does not have an effective system, this can lead to financial and resource errors. Having a resource scheduling tool that includes dynamic timesheets allows the finance person to keep track of employees’ and consultants’ progress, minimising budget overspend.

4. Publish Accurate Financial Accounts
Accurate journal entries translate into financial accounts which enable the company to publish correct financial statements in line with accounting standards. Although this sounds simple, it can be extremely difficult for some organisations. CFO’s often act as stewards for an organisation’s financial portfolio and assets. They are also strategic advisors who play a key role in setting actionable goals. Hence an efficient Work Management Solution can help with this structure and drive business strategy to focus on the most important initiatives.

Learn more about how Counterpart Insight can help you.