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Introduction to Consulting and Strategic Project Management March 16, 2011. This information is confidential and was prepared by RAS & Associates solely for the use of our client; it is not to be relied on by any 3rd party without prior written consent. Agenda. Introduction to Consulting.
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Introduction to Consulting and Strategic Project ManagementMarch 16, 2011 This information is confidential and was prepared by RAS & Associates solely for the use of our client; it is not to be relied on by any 3rd party without prior written consent.
Agenda Introduction to Consulting Project Management Approach Sample Deliverables Q&A
RAS & Associates is based in Denver, Colorado and focuses on the development of long-term strategic relationships with its clients Summary RAS & Associates is a Denver, Colorado based management consulting firm whose services are retained by large and middle market companies Services We provide management consulting services to our clients across the value chain • Mission • Partner with our clients to develop and deliver critical initiatives that address their most difficult challenges and build the capability to improve their top and bottom lines • Business Strategy / M&A • Asset Analysis / Disposition • Market Analysis • Organizational Transformation and Design • Business Process Mapping and Optimization • Procurement & Supply Chain Management • Product Strategies • B2B / B2C Lift • Pricing • Customer Management • Channel Development • Marketing Strategy • Staff Credentials • Our professionals bring former Big 5 and boutique strategy consulting experience to every client relationship • Our people have worked with clients in multiple industries including Banking, Telecommunications, Retail, Aerospace & Defense, High Tech, Financial Services, and Not-for-Profit • Our team has a diverse background that includes Tier 1 MBA education, large systems implementation experience, procurement transformation initiative leadership and strategy development and execution Areas of Expertise • Community • As a firm, we are actively engaged with university programs teaching and leveraging our relationships to benefit students • We are working directly with Mile High United Way and have provided numerous gift-in-kind projects to the organization, working with the senior leadership team on a number of internal and public-facing initiatives • Additionally, our Associates are committed to community involvement and are personally engaged in multiple community organizations Procurement & Supply Chain Management Organizational Transformation and Design Business Process Mapping and Optimization
Management and Technology Consulting firms offer clients a variety of service offerings, rate structures and value propositions Consulting Industry Summary* • *Sources: • RAS & Associates research and proprietary information • A variety of firm sites were researched and incorporated into our analysis • ConsultingMagazine.com • Vault.com
Consulting economics are fairly straight forward, however, when you blend rate, utilization, client budget and competition it gets complex Consulting Economics Summary • Professional services have three fundamental measures to gauge economic performance: • Actual Engagement Rate • Actual Consultant Cost • Utilization/Chargeability (How often a consultant is actually earning their rate) • Firms within the industry are focused on: • Obtaining the highest rate • At the lowest cost • For the longest period possible • The problem is, it never works that way • No revenue and no pipeline = bad • Given how fragmented consulting is, pragmatism, interpersonal skills and the desire to compete means anything goes: • Selling is different than delivery • Client budget is a limiter
Agenda Introduction, Background, and Objectives Project Management Approach Sample Deliverables Q&A
The ability to effectively manage projects is vital to career progression Background • You have a real-world Conoco Phillips case study that you are already working to tackle • You’re excited about challenging yourself in the workplace after graduation • Effective project management can help in both instances Meeting Objectives • Discuss the critical components of effective project management • Present a practical approach that works Takeaway Goals • Learn a thought process you can use immediately • Get advice you won’t find in your text books Use the Conoco Phillips case study as an opportunity to build your project management skills
Project management skills are a key component to maximizing your potential as a consultant • Long-term corporate viability depends on effective project management • Corporate strategy defines what the company needs to be to in the future to be successful • To accomplish the corporate strategy, many initiatives/projects must be completed • Failed or marginally successful projects can derail the corporate strategy • Effective project management unifies and motivates the workforce to accomplish more than otherwise would have been possible • Differentiate yourself; the world is full of people who “do stuff”, but there is a shortage of those that take the initiative required to successfully drive projects to completion
Chronologically, there are a number of key activities that should be performed throughout a project’s lifecycle Goals Present & Transition Define Implement Communicate project completion and transition as necessary Build or maintain a competitive advantage, or reduce a competitor’s advantage Build relationship capital with key stakeholders Determine project goals and create detailed project plan Execute project plan while building unified support Objective • Identify project team in addition to list of key stakeholders • Create relationship management plan • Determine primary project goal(s) • Define detailed project requirements • Create detailed project plan • Update and communicate project task plan • Identify and mitigate issues • Perform quality checks on key tasks and deliverables • Communicate progress and escalate issues • Transition ongoing support if applicable • Make project completion presentation to sponsor • Always look for additional opportunities that were uncovered during project execution • Execute relationship management plan Key Activities 1 2 3 • The project has a clear purpose • The project team has been defined • All key stakeholders have been identified and relationship development plans are in place • Detailed project requirements have been defined and a project plan has been created • All project tasks have been completed and validated for quality purposes • Critical risks to project budget and timeline were identified and proactively mitigated • Ongoing support team is positioned for success • Official approval has been received from the project sponsor • Related additional opportunities have been reviewed for operational and financial viability Key Exit Criteria We are going to dig into the details in three parts: Relationship Development Project Planning Project Execution 1 2 3
Understanding and accommodating for the human element is invaluable Project Management Internally Managed Externally Managed 1 2 3 Relationship Management Planning Project Planning Project Execution Build the relationships needed to gather the required information and support/buy-in Illustrate how the strategic objective will be accomplished, step by step Manage the execution of the plan while mitigating risks and issues Purpose • The best plan in the world won’t work if the people don’t understand it, don’t buy into it, or don’t trust you • Relationship capital is the ace up your sleeve that enables you to escalate issues and request additional support when needed • This will raise your game and awareness Why This Matters
Building strong relationships with key stakeholders enables you to collect difficult to find information, attain buy-in, and escalate issues Relationship Management Overview: Relationship Management Planning Identify all Key Stakeholders Define the Role and Perspective of each Key Stakeholder Create Relationship Management Plan Identifies the list of people that hold keys to the project’s ultimate success Defines how each key player contributes to project dynamics Details the steps necessary to build each key relationship Purpose Having an separate plan for managing relationships may seem like overkill, but in practice it may be the most important planning you can do
Identifying and analyzing the key players is more art than science Relationship Management Identify all Key Stakeholders Define the Role and Perspective of each Key Stakeholder Create Relationship Management Plan • Identify all stakeholders that can have a significant impact on project success • To the good and the bad • Identify not only decision makers, but also key influencers • Sometimes the most influential on a given project aren’t the highest on the ladder • Understand what each stakeholder cares about • Work expectations • Personal values Key Activities Sample questions to identify key stakeholders: Who are the key advisors to the decision maker? Who are their advisors? What types of hard-to-get information might I need? Who has access to this data? If critical issues arise, who might I need in my corner to offer advice, additional resources, executive support, etc.? Practical Advice Refer to appendix for Stakeholder Analysis template
Win the support of key stakeholders by having a plan and staying on top of it Relationship Management Identify all Key Stakeholders Define the Role and Perspective of each Key Stakeholder Create Relationship Management Plan • Set a relationship goal for each stakeholder • Be realistic, and know the minimum requirement • Account for where you currently stand to assess relationship gaps • Again, be realistic • Define the steps required to build each desired relationship • Usually these revolve around demonstrating capability, building rapport, and getting things done Key Activities • Gain credibility by taking initiative where other people make excuses • Any time you raise an issue, have an opinion on how it can be fixed • Collaborate frequently to expand on your ideas and build support • Present yourself appropriately – dress for the job you want Practical Advice Refer to appendix for Relationship Management Plan template
A project plan is the proof-of-concept that you will use to gain support and motivate the team Project Management Internally Managed Externally Managed 1 2 3 Relationship Management Planning Project Planning Project Execution Build the relationships needed to gather the required information and support/buy-in Illustrate how the strategic objective will be accomplished, step by step Manage the execution of the plan while mitigating risks and issues Purpose • Turns a complicated project into a set of smaller, more manageable pieces • Provides the roadmap to build and maintain buy-in from project team and extended stakeholders • Done well, the plan provides meaningful opportunities for others, offering personal growth and increasing their commitment Why This Matters
A good project planning process ensure that you not only create a technically sound task plan, but that it makes sense to others Project Planning Overview: Project Planning Process Define Primary Project Goal(s) Create Project High-Level Milestones Define Detailed Requirements Assess Current State Create Project Task Plan to bridge the Gaps Purpose The overriding purpose of the project, often tying directly to a strategic initiative Breaks a complex project into a set of smaller, more manageable components Sets a series of small objectives that in aggregate accomplish the primary goal(s) Identifies current capabilities and/or progress relative to requirements Details, step by step, how gaps between current state and future requirements will be met A good project plan is the proof you need to sell your approach
Defining a primary project goal is critical in not only ensuring the proper direction, but also in motivating and unifying the project team Project Planning Define Primary Project Goal(s) Create Project High-Level Milestones Define Detailed Requirements Assess Current State Create Project Task Plan to bridge the Gaps • For projects directly tied to the corporate strategy, the goal should be obvious • Be realistic, and know the minimum requirement • For projects not on the strategic radar, define the expected business benefits • Make sure your project doesn’t conflict with the corporate strategy Key Activities • Have a comprehensive understanding of the goal and how it should improve the company’s efficiency, intelligence, return on invested capital, market share, compliance, etc. • Be prepared to effectively communicate this message to the project team and leadership Practical Advice
By breaking a complicated project into it’s key subcomponents, you can more easily define requirements for overall project success Project Planning Define Primary Project Goal(s) Create Project High-Level Milestones Define Detailed Requirements Assess Current State Create Project Task Plan to bridge the Gaps • Break the overall goal into its various components (top-down approach) • Incorporate the project team to get their valuable insight and build commitment • Perform a sanity check on your diagram to ensure that all endpoints sum to the primary goal (bottoms-up approach) • Again, leverage others Key Activities • This is your biggest opportunity to simplify the project… simple is good Practical Advice
Once a diagram is in place, defining future requirements relative to current state identifies project gaps Project Planning Define Primary Project Goal(s) Create Project High-Level Milestones Define Detailed Requirements Assess Current State Create Project Task Plan to bridge the Gaps • Set goals for each component of the project diagram • Define what “done” looks like • Define the requirements necessary to reach each component’s goal • Assess current state in relation to each future requirement • This identifies the gaps the project plan will need to address Key Activities • Goals should be very specific and date oriented, otherwise it may be difficult to know whether its been achieved • Don’t take guesses – work with subject matter experts to define requirements • Having good relationships here is crucial Practical Advice
A task plan is used to show how each goal/requirement will be met, who is responsible for its completion, and when its due Project Planning Define Primary Project Goal(s) Create Project High-Level Milestones Define Detailed Requirements Assess Current State Create Project Task Plan to bridge the Gaps • Assess the gaps identified from the previous step • For each gap, define all steps required to achieve the requirements • Assign an owner for each task • Explicitly define start and due date for each task • Account for dependencies and their impact on project schedule Key Activities • Tips for building task accountability: • Build strong executive sponsorship • Sell the importance of each due date • Offer your help… most people will not need it but will appreciate knowing it’s there • Create a fair balance of work for each team member • Provide growth opportunities for others through task assignment Practical Advice Refer to appendix for Task Plan template
A good idea without good execution is a waste of time Project Management Internally Managed Externally Managed 1 2 3 Relationship Management Planning Project Planning Project Execution Build the relationships needed to gather the required information and support/buy-in Illustrate how the strategic objective will be accomplished, step by step Manage the execution of the plan while mitigating risks and issues Purpose • Maintains the sense of urgency and importance • Identifies risks and issues early so they can be assigned, escalated, or otherwise mitigated • Serves as a platform to complement and reward to maintain morale and incent desired behavior Why This Matters
Proactive day-to-day management is required to properly execute a task plan and ultimately drive successful project completion Project Execution Ongoing Project Management – Parallel Activities Update & Communicate Project Task Plan Identify and Manage Risk Perform Quality Checks Communicate Progress Keep project plan current and communicate task expectations to ensure all task owners are explicitly aware of what is required Effectively identifying and managing risks ensures that project tasks are completed accurately, on time, and within budget Validating the accurate completion of critical tasks is critical in upholding a consistent standard of quality throughout a project Communicate how the project is progressing – keeping leadership and the project team aware of progress, successes, and risks/issues Purpose • Prevent people from using the excuses: • “I didn’t know I was responsible for that” • “I didn’t know when it was due” • Use a structured risk and issues process • Know when to escalate risks/issues • Procrastination is the surest way to turn risks into issues… start strong and maintain momentum • Effectively communicate quality expectations, this will increase their quality of work • Be constructive with feedback • Be concise in readouts • Have an opinion with executives – “kinda” doesn’t cut it • Learn when and how to give callouts (good and bad) to incent behavior Advice Refer to appendix for Risks & Issues Log templates
Agenda Introduction, Background, and Objectives Project Management Approach Sample Deliverables Q&A
Appendix: Stakeholder Analysis template Relationship Management Identify all key stakeholders Define the role and perspective of each key stakeholder Create relationship management plan Execute plan Example: Company ABC is seeking to enhance supply chain capabilities through an enhancement to their currently existing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system
Appendix: Relationship Management Plan template Relationship Management Identify all key stakeholders Define the role and perspective of each key stakeholder Create relationship development plan Execute plan
Appendix: Task Plan template Project Planning Define primary project goal(s) Create project diagram Define detailed requirements Assess current state Create project task plan to bridge the gaps Tasks can be grouped by either the endpoints or midpoints of the project diagram A simple readout of task status helps summarize progress Gantt charts are often used to graphically show task expectations 1 3 5 Managing start and end dates help ensure the timely completion of critical tasks. Alternatively, some projects are better served using dependencies and durations. 4 Assigning owners creates accountability 2
Appendix: Risk & Issues Log templates Project Execution Basic examples of both a risk log and issues log are shown below to outline what needs to be considered to either prevent or mitigate threats to project success. Risk: A potential threat to the project that hasn’t yet occurred and may be prevented with proper, timely action Issue: A threat to the project that is already in motion and needs to be mitigated