Raising the Excellence Bar

Excellence in the delivery of programmes and projects is the cornerstone of success. But how many organisations achieve it?
Many organisations seek to achieve Business Excellence across their organisations, they must raise the bar to achieve excellence across their programmes and projects.

Business excellence, as depicted by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM), refers to “outstanding practices in managing the organisation and achieving results, all based on a set of eight fundamental concepts.” These concepts are “results orientation, customer focus, leadership and constancy of purpose, management by processes and facts, people development and involvement, continuous learning, innovation and improvement; partnership development, and public responsibility.”

Excellence in the delivery of programmes and projects takes a comparable direction.  By utilising outstanding practices in managing the programmes and projects to achieve positive results for the organisation.

The target of improving delivery performance is based on the principles of customer focus, stakeholder value, and effective process management. Key practices are applied across the programmes and projects to ensure performance is achieved. These practices include continuous improvement, preventative management, management by facts, management by processes, along with mechanisms to measure, analyse, and compare performance.

In addition, programmes require management of interdependencies. Understanding dependencies within and between projects in the programme enable effective decision making at the programme level and facilitate impact assessment across the programme.

How are organisations ensuring excellence across the delivery of their programmes and portfolios of projects? Delivery Assurance.

Delivery assurance has been introduced into organisations who aim to achieve excellence in the delivery of programmes and projects. They have adopted this independent function as a key tool in ensuring projects and programmes deliver agreed business requirements and benefits.

Delivery assurance deals with proactive performance and preventative management, providing requisite assurance that projects undertaken will deliver customer satisfaction and financial performance whilst delivering the desired results to improve return on investment.

Financial services organisations in the UK, like Barclays, Capital One, Royal Bank of Scotland, have adopted delivery assurance functions into their programmes and project portfolios. They have observed that delivery assurance focuses efforts on and assures the ability to deliver planned outcomes and benefits to time, cost and quality. Additionally they have achieved unique ‘cross-programme’ perspectives, identified deficiencies and opportunities for improvement within their programmes and project portfolios that would have been missed if the delivery assurance function had not existed.

Raising the excellence bar, it certainly looks that way.

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