In response to a problem or opportunity, Mike is able to use a range of business analysis skills, techniques and tools to explore, evaluate or clarify the situation, present findings, and recommend solutions. Naturally Mike is used to working in complex and politically sensitive environments at every level, and across a wide range of sectors.
During the analysis Mike is able to employ a variety of techniques and tools, ranging from qualitative analysis through to facilitating workshops and conducting interviews. These may, for example, include process mapping, conducting data or financial analysis, or root cause / multiple cause analysis. It may also involve evaluating the effectiveness of the corporate management operating system, the use of IT, the internal interfaces between departments, or external interfaces with customers, contractors and suppliers. It may also involve examining the appropriateness and effectiveness of roles, responsibilities, and organisational structures, or exploring the perspectives, culture and concerns of internal or external stakeholder groups.
Although the output may well involve preparing a traditional report of findings and recommendations, other options are also possible. For example some consultancy assignments have taken the form of feasibility studies, with the output ranging from business plans through to outline implementation and communications plans. Other assignments have lead directly on to implementation action.
Mike’s experience in programme and project management date back to his early career in the construction industry, since when he has used his expertise to manage a wide range of assignments.
In addition to managing programmes from scratch, Mike also has experience of rescuing poorly performing and late-running programmes, and of providing independent assurance on problematic programmes.
Aside from the technical aspects outlined below, Mike knows the realities of business life and adopts a practical, pro-active and hands-on style. He understands the need to lead from the front and is used to the demands of working across functional, organisational and national boundaries, and the need to address issues such as change-resistance.
Whether or not preceded by a period of consultancy, once the objectives, scope, budget and timescales, are clear Mike’s first step is normally to build a governance framework around the programme. Prince2 or related methodologies are typically used, though these can be adapted to suit the particular circumstances. The individual elements are typically formalised into one or several project initiation documents, then consolidated within an overarching programme.
Standard project planning techniques may then be used to draw together the work into a logical sequence and to identify the critical path. Project and programme level risks can then be identified and mitigating actions developed. As the initiative continues, progress against cost, quality, and time is monitored, and reported within the agreed governance structure.
On a day-to-day basis, Mike is used to working with multiple internal and external stakeholders, managers, contractors and suppliers, as well as with lawyers and other professional advisors, in order to successfully deliver the programme.
Despite the increasing need for businesses to change and transform the way the operate, deciding what or how to change is frequently not straightforward, and neither is successfully implementing the solution to deliver the expected benefits. As a result, many organisations experience change-related problems, and many change or transformation initiatives fail to achieve their objectives or realise the expected benefits.
Mike’s ability to combine the strategic skills of management consultancy with the practical skills of programme management, and his experience of working at all levels across multiple stakeholders, can help to ensure that change or transformation within your organisation is planned and implemented effectively.
Key to this is Mike’s ability to adopt a change management approach, giving proper consideration to how the changes may be shaped and implemented to each individual organisation, spanning technology, processes, people and structures. This includes addressing issues such as training and coaching, as well as leading stakeholder management and communications, to overcome resistance, embed the change and deliver the anticipated benefits.