The Importance of ITIL Frameworks for Major IT Infrastructure Changes

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From March each year through to the end of the financial year, we typically see an increase in the number of calls from CEOs and Executive teams as they move through their annual strategic planning processes. We love these conversations: it’s great to hear how so many different organisations have been progressing over the year, and to learn about their plans for the next one.

With information technology underpinning so many of our business processes these days, it’s not surprising that many of these plans involve major IT infrastructure changes. But establishing highly trained IT teams is only half the equation: we have seen time and time again how important it is to closely integrate IT infrastructure changes with business strategy changes so that your organisation’s overall performance improves.

If IT system changes aren’t closely integrated with a business’s strategic and operational plans, quality will slip and costs will go up, neither of which any business wants.

Over the years, we’ve partnered with all kinds of organisations that are accredited with best practice IT support frameworks such as ITIL, the Information Technology Infrastructure Library framework created by the British government in the late-1980s to increase the quality of government IT services while managing the overall costs of delivering those services.

If your organisation is a practitioner of ITIL, you’ll know just how much impact introducing best practice IT approaches such as accountability, consistency and clear boundaries can have on the bottom line. When processes are standardised and staff know what they are accountable for, the quality of service improves, customer satisfaction increases, and repeat business and referrals go up.

All of which is great for business! But as we also know, introducing any kind of change, even if it is a best practice approach, requires careful planning and transitioning so it is accepted across the organisation.

Which is where we come in: we help integrate the work of organisations’ IT experts on the information architecture into the Executive team’s vision for the enterprise architecture. We make sure organisations are structured so that their best practices approaches are dynamic, and can change when the business environment changes; because as Michael Scarborough says in his White Paper on ITIL, even if you’re not thinking this way, you can be sure some of your competitors are.[i]

Of course the creation of the right structure is only one half of the ITIL equation – as with every major transformative change the ability of the organisation to adapt to the new structure is the defining factor of implementation success. In order to gain the maximum acceptance of the benefits a fair bit of effort needs to be focused on preparing the organisation’s people.

Certus3’s Business Transition Team has worked with many clients to make the transition from current to future state as smooth as possible – Mel Young, our Business Transition Practice Lead, never ceases to emphasise the importance of defining and articulating the changes to the individuals impacted by the introduction of an ITIL framework. Not only does ITIL introduce new IT support processes but it brings with it newly defined roles and responsibilities for individuals – which require a fair bit of getting used to.

So if your organisation is accredited with ITIL or a similar IT best practice framework, contact us at Certus3 today and find out how we can help you successfully prepare your people and integrate your IT infrastructure changes into your business so you can stay ahead of the pack: +61 2 9238 2131, www.certus3.com.

 

[i] Scarborough, Michael, ‘Why ITIL is important’, http://www.globalknowledge.ie/content/files/documents/white-papers/itil/WP_IL_Why_ITIL_Is_Important.pdf, accessed 14 June 2016.

 

 

Executive Sponsor engagement – the key to program success

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An actively engaged Executive Sponsor is the key to program success, so why are more and more programs going without this essential senior-level advocate? Recent research by the Boston Consulting Group and the Project Management Institute indicates that fewer than two thirds of programs have assigned Executive Sponsors, resulting in significant losses for organisations globally.

It’s not all bad news however. There are simple solutions to arrest this trend and to boost the effectiveness of this central role.

Limiting factors for Executive Sponsors include:

  • an organisational culture that leads to the overextension of Executive Sponsors;
  • ineffective and inaccurate communication; and
  • lack of professional development of Executive Sponsors (1)

FACTOR 1 – Overextension

We all struggle with multi-tasking and have experienced the pain associated with missing appointments or losing sleep when attempting to spread oneself too thin. The same can be said for Executive Sponsors who, in attempting to be across it all, end up missing important details impacting the very initiative they are responsible for delivering.

According to the research Executive Sponsors report that on average they work on three programs at a time, spending an average of 13 hours per week on each program they sponsor in addition to their regular jobs. (2)

Solution: Eliminate the over-assignment of sponsorship responsibility.

FACTOR 2 – Ineffective and inaccurate communication

Ineffective and inaccurate communication is the second most impactful factor limiting the ability of Executive Sponsors to carry out their roles effectively. From US$1 billion approximately US$75 million is wasted due to ineffective and inaccurate communications. (3)

Effective and correct communication above and below the Executive Sponsor is vital. Information when conducted via the Executive Sponsor is used as means of influence in the alignment of stakeholders, as a means to confirm leadership (knowledge is power) and is used as a platform for organisational decision-making.

Conversely, communication that is provided to the Executive Sponsor from the program via the program manager is also crucially important. This information usually takes the form of regular progress status reports calibrated to the appropriate level of detail for the Executive Sponsor.

Practices like regular updates against clear forward-looking milestones tied either to KPIs (describing lead indicators of known risks) or to operational or economic impacts provide genuinely useful insight and help Executive Sponsors to be actively engaged but not overburdened. (4)

This logical approach to the design and delivery of program status reporting is more often than not lacking, with already overstretched Executive Sponsors commonly overburdened with unstructured, detail-heavy content.

Inaccurate status reporting provides yet another more overt cause for Executive Sponsor concern. This is particularly apparent when faced with a program whose status has suddenly shifted from green to red with little or no warning.

Such a predicament can and should be avoided. Certus3’s Insights360 tool provides Executive Sponsors, and other senior leaders, with a low impact, cost-effective means through which the ‘true’ status of a project can be quickly understood. The tool not only provides a platform for reporting but more importantly is able to identify key problem or success areas – just in case an adjustment is required.

Solution: support should be provided to the Executive Sponsor through the provision of clear, accurate and brief program status reporting; and

the Executive Sponsor should have access to an independent reporting tool which can be used periodically to check the ‘true’ program status against the reported status.

FACTOR 3 – Development of Executive Sponsor skills

Most Executive Sponsors are not program professionals and therefore need specialist support and guidance when charged with the responsibility of large-scale transformation programs.

Although on-the-job training is the most common way for Executive Sponsors to acquire knowledge and skills, better project outcomes are achieved when organisations invest in the professional development of their Executive Sponsors.

Solution: Create and offer formal Executive Sponsor development programs, which include access to mentoring from experienced Executive Sponsors.

According to the research as much as US$109 million is wasted for every US$1 billion spent on programs due to ineffective Executive Sponsorship. By eliminating or reducing the factors that limit Executive Sponsor performance this waste can be prevented.

(1-4)  PMI Pulse of the Profession In-Depth Report – Executive Sponsor Engagement, accessed via http://www.pmi.org/~/media/PDF/Knowledge%20Center/PMI-Pulse-Executive-Sponsor-Engagement.ashx on 24.05.16

 

 

Designing the Organisation

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Remember that old maxim, the only constant is change?

With the speed of global business increasing, leaders are constantly faced with change. Some of this change is driven by external factors – like competitors’ activities or new technologies – while other changes are internally driven, like when a new leader is tasked with turning around an underperforming company. Change comes at us from all sides, and requires come clever organisational design to be successfully managed.

But what is organisational design? And why is it so important?

Organisational design involves breaking an organisation down into its operational parts, then connecting those parts together to achieve the goals set out in the business strategy. It is important because it ensures that an organisation works well and is profitable.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yet over the years we have seen so many leaders struggle with redesigning their organisations to successfully navigate the changing business environment. Their businesses lose ground to whatever forces are working upon them and they are unable to achieve the results they expect. Leaders today cannot afford to do this.

In our experience studying and working with businesses of all sizes, there is a handful of organisational design principles that mean the difference between success and failure when navigating change. We have found the work of Gary Neilson, Jaime Estupiñán and Bhushan Sethi particularly useful in this area, and have distilled some of their key principles for you here.[i]

  1. “Declare amnesty for the past”: While it is crucial to start any process of organisational design with corporate self-reflection, getting stuck going over and over the old system does nothing to progress the situation. Instead, as Neilson and his colleagues suggest, declare an amnesty for the past and explicitly agree that you won’t try to defend or blame the design currently in place, but simply move on.
  2. “Fix the structure last, not first”: It’s tempting to short cut the organisational redesign process by simply rewriting your org chart, but this kind of ‘change’ is not really change at all. We know that if companies start by looking at the areas they need to improve and figuring out how to make them better, then the right organisational design often emerges during the process. So work out what you need to improve to reach your business goals and how you will go about it, then draw your org chart around that.
  3. Think about the people you need and want: Just like an org chart might work in theory but not in practice, an organisational design created for theoretical people won’t work either. As Neilson and his colleagues suggest, leverage the talent you have and want to retain and define the types and personalities of the people you’re seeking to recruit and design positions around them.
  4. Promote accountability: Research has shown that the strongest factors for improving the execution of an organisation’s business strategy are information flow and decision rights; in fact, Neilson and his colleagues found that these factors were twice as powerful as, for example, an organisation’s structure or motivators. We know that if information flows freely through an organisation and people are empowered to make decisions, their accountability increases and their performance improves. Make sure you consider these in your new organisational design.

The key to great organisational design is making sure your organisation fits your strategy, so your business is the right shape to achieve your goals. Certus3 is currently working with businesses of all sizes to create exceptional organisational designs that get results. To discuss the opportunity of utilising our experience to create the best design for your business, contact Certus3.

[i] Gary Neilson, Jaime Estupiñán and Bhushan Sethi, ‘10 Principles of Organization Design’, Business+Strategy, http://www.strategy-business.com/article/00318?gko=c7329, accessed 29 April 2016.

 

The Value of Virtue in Business

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One of the organisational theories gathering momentum at the moment is the concept of virtue and what it means for the success of an organisation.

As companies around the world become richer there is increasing pressure on leadership teams to not only do well, but to do the right thing well, whether that means providing nutrition programs for employees and their families or ensuring corners aren’t cut in safety checks. Transforming your business to a ‘virtuous’ model can have significant and long-term benefits, resulting in engaged employees and satisfied clients.

To help business leaders better understand the opportunities available, we have outlined the fundamentals of virtuous organisations below.

What is a virtuous organisation?

While there are several definitions of what constitutes a virtuous organisation, each has the same fundamental core: a virtuous organisation is one with a strong moral compass upon which it creates value for customers, employees, shareholders and the community.

Virtuous organisations are not concerned with chasing quarterly earnings that may have dangerous consequences for employees and the local community and environment; they put virtue at the core of their business to give them the edge in the broader marketplace.

What characteristics do virtuous organisations share?

Virtuous organisations come in different shapes, sizes and markets, but they all share the following key characteristics:

  • Concern for employees’ wellbeing
  • A long-term view, planning from generation to generation, not quarter to quarter
  • A sense of responsibility and a strong desire to give back, especially to the communities within which they exist because those communities have played a part in creating their wealth
  • A clear desire for social as well as financial betterment.

Who makes an organisation virtuous?

Everyone in an organisation is responsible for making it virtuous, but virtue must start with and be championed by the organisation’s leader: it is the leader’s values and vision that define and shape the organisation’s culture. If the leader’s values include compassion, a sense of responsibility, and caring commitment, then the company’s will too.

According to Frank Islam and Ed Crego,[i] the leaders of virtuous organisations fulfil three critical roles:

  • Navigator, guiding the business to do the right things and bring qualities like compassion and integrity into the organisation’s culture and operations.
  • Capital creator, thinking beyond the financial capital to the intellectual and spiritual capital, creating results that exceed the total brain power of the individuals in the organisation, and encouraging a motivational force that makes everyone want to do their best.
  • Value generator, creating ‘value circles’ that emanate out from them, through all levels of the organisation, and ultimately to customers and the community.

How does mindfulness work in virtuous organisations?

Mindfulness involves concentration, focus and harnessed energy, so in an organisational context, the spiritually mindful person is aware and discerning, able to identify issues clearly while also seeing the bigger picture, and acts virtuously, all of which are crucial capabilities for an organisation undergoing growth or change.

The bottom line is, how we treat each other, our customers and our surroundings, affects how well our businesses do. We know that companies benefit by considering what it means to be virtuous, because to succeed today we must do the right thing, and do it well.

Certus3 is currently working with virtuous organisations to develop sustainable operating models, which put virtuous concepts front and centre. To discuss the opportunity of utilising our experience to explore the development of a virtuous operating model for your business, contact Certus3.

 

 

[i] Islam, F and E Crego, ‘The Need to Build Virtuous Organizations,’ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-islam/the-need-to-build-virtuou_b_4460396.html, accessed 6 April 2016.

Resolve to Kick-Start Your New Year

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A lethargic start to the New Year is a sure-fire way to put your project on the back foot when the team returns from the festive season.

High-velocity progress is the new normal for programs of work, so consider these 5 steps to set up your 2016 for success.

  1. Resolve to communicate with positive intent. Move early on your return to gather your team and refresh the collective understanding of short and medium term deliverables and to prepare solutions to the blockers that tired teams invariably hold over for New Year resolution.
  2. Re-connect with stakeholders. The New Year often entails getting to grips with year-end BAU organisational re-design and the consequent permanent departure of long serving and newly redundant BAU staff. Take time to re-connect with your business stakeholders and re-affirm shared commitment to your project objectives
  3. Manage expectations. Be clear with yourself and your sponsors about what your team is to achieve in the near term and that assumptions made earlier remain true. The chance for objective reflection that Christmas leave provides can often alter previously strongly held beliefs.
  4. Celebrate success. Recognise your team’s 2015 achievements and highlight the positive behaviours that contributed to those great outcomes. Avoid the trap of repeating mistakes made in the past when a slight chance in course can save recidivist practices.
  5. Achieve a quick win. Nominate a task that has a high likelihood of success early in the New Year to quickly restore motivation and instil confidence in the year ahead.

Make it your New Year’s resolution to accomplish these steps with grace, goodwill and cheer and you’ll make a fantastic transition from the festive season back into your program of work.

 

 

 

Certus3 Helps to Achieve Asciano’s Initial Move to the Cloud

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Asciano, Australia’s national rail freight and cargo port operator has recently completed a major IT Transformation Program, aimed at moving key IT infrastructure and applications to the virtual cloud environment.

Asciano “has achieved the initial platform from which further cloud-based, Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) enhancements can be made,” explained Sarah McCullough, Program Gemini’s former Business Program Manager and current Asciano IT Customer Experience Manager.

The program, spanning almost three years found its origins in the leading edge IT Strategy led by Asciano’s forward-thinking CIO, Kelvin McGrath, who sought to achieve multiple aims by moving in the ‘As a Service’ direction:

“The achievement of economies of scale and the need to reduce spending on nearing end-of-life technology infrastructure topped the list of aims, closely followed by the need to set Asciano’s path to future IT sustainability and improved accessibility for its internal and external customers.”

As the program’s implementation partner, Certus3, partnered with Asciano and its private cloud solution provider, Fujitsu, to:

  • deliver and embed IT Service Management (ITSM) protocols and processes to support the ongoing development of a managed service relationship with cloud partner Fujitsu
  • deliver more than 4800 new cloud desktops complete with hardware to more than 130 sites across Australia
  • migrate 6700 employee mailboxes to the cloud
  • merge two legacy email systems into one new enterprise-wide standard
  • recreate eight legacy business-critical enterprise systems in the cloud environment
  • replace existing Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems with a single cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) application
  • stabilise Pacific National’s transport management system, through the migration to the cloud of five integrated applications, five servers and the data warehouse

“The completion of Asciano’s first major cloud-focused foundation-building program of work, led by our CIO, was made possible by a team of great people, including Certus3 and its team of expert PMs.

 

Simo Popovac, Michael Devlin, Simon Toll and the extended team demonstrated a firm commitment to delivering our project on-time, within the defined budget and to a high level of quality. ” said Ms McCullough.

Charisma – a Key Influence in Business

 

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Charisma is a quality that many of us in the project community often mistake for ‘charm’, but a person’s charisma can influence whether we choose to engage with them – or not.

Charisma can help enable influence and inspiration – gold for any Project Head or Business Transition/Change Manager looking to distinguish them self as a leader, rather than merely a manager.

Often associated with movie stars, sports people, populist politicians and dictators, charisma is actually identity-neutral and can be developed by anyone.

Charisma as a leadership competency

Sociologist Max Weber (1864-1920) pioneered research into charisma as a leadership capability, defining charismatic leaders as those who can inspire, motivate and attract followers.

Contemporary studies  have shown that the full spectrum of personality types, notably including introverts, can demonstrate charismatic behaviour. Indeed, sociologists appear near to arriving at consensus on the set of characteristics common to charismatic people.

Nikki Owen, of the Executive Faculty at UK’s Henley Business School, has offered a blueprint for leaders to improve their natural charisma and unlock team engagement. “The Charisma Model”  targets development and measurement of five competencies for charisma effectiveness:

1. High Self-Esteem – self-confidence, inner-calm, self-reliance, independence. Charismatic people have high self-esteem – which conveys confidence and authenticity. When you have high self-esteem you are relaxed about exposing your authentic self.

2. A Driving Force – purpose, personal values, principles. Charismatic people have an underlying sense of purpose, a set of values – principles important to them – which drive their decisions and actions.

3. Sensory Awareness – empathy, emotional intelligence (EQ). Charismatic people are aware of their own feelings and the feelings and moods of others. They are in touch with their emotions and are uninhibited about showing them, making their communication compelling.

4. A Vision – visualization, belief, a mental picture, a positive attitude towards an aim. Charismatic people have a strong vision of what they want. To imagine and believe the aim – to see it happening in your mind. This creates strong intent that others can feel, and often see and hear too.

5. High Energy – passion, enthusiasm, commitment, determination. Exhibiting high personal positive energy builds and maintains a positive energetic response in others. Positive energy makes others feel good, become energised, feel valued and productive.

Developing charisma

The significance of training and experience in effective emotional communication cannot be overstated when learning charisma since each of these three words combine to form an important underpinning principle:

  •  Effective – engaging, relevantly targeted, inspiring, confident
  • Emotional – passionate, empathic, two-way (the charismatic person feels and reflects the feelings of others)
  • Communication – beyond words alone (body language and expressive style are crucial) underpinning this is self- confidence and belief in respect of the purpose and area/audience being engaged

Charisma development & the Certus3 Business Transition Model

The Certus3 Business Transition Model incorporates strategies and activities that support the development of the abovementioned ‘charisma competencies’ for change leaders.

Wouldn’t your life be easier, if you could inspire, motivate and excite the people in your life?

For more information on charisma competency development contact Certus3’s Business Transition Lead, Mel Young.

Emotional Intelligence: A Contemporary ‘Must Have’ for Change Leaders

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BY CERTUS3 & BLUESEED CONSULTING

In his first interview as Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called out ‘emotional intelligence’ – also known as ‘Emotional Quotient’ (EQ) – as his defining characteristic. Anyone embarking on large-scale transformation should heed his remarks.

In isolation, good IQ (‘Intelligence Quotient’} and sound EQ are commonly accepted to be desirable capabilities. But the right alchemy of both is fast becoming a requirement for contemporary change leaders.

EQ is not the opposite of IQ. We need to understand how they work together. Deficiencies in either space can be detrimental to advancement. That’s why Australia’s new Prime Minister has sought to supplement his high IQ credentials with EQ commitment before promoting his change agenda.

Turnbull said: “The important thing is to have the emotional intelligence and the empathy and the imagination that enables you to walk in somebody else’s shoes.

To be able to sit down with them on a train or in the street, hear their story, and have the imagination to understand how they feel. Emotional intelligence is probably the most important asset for – certainly for anyone in my line of work.”

One assumes the ‘ability to relate to everyday Australians’ would be part and parcel of the Prime Ministerial brief. But let’s not go there. Instead let’s explore what EQ means as a differentiator for Leadership.

EQ has been the focus of much executive research, particularly in the U.S. A recent study conducted at the Centre for Creative Leadership (CCL) on derailed executives, “The rising stars who flamed out” discovered that each member of the ‘derailed group’ exhibited an ‘interpersonal flaw’ and not, as many would have expected, a technical one.

The research carried out on top executives in the U.S and Europe uncovered several flaws, including – poor working relations, authoritarianism, ambition and ‘prone to conflict with upper management’. Such flaws, not surprisingly, fell firmly within the emotional frame.

When it comes to the field of Change Management, or Business Transition as described within the Certus3 and Blue Seed Consulting change frameworks, EQ is king. We have Change and Business Transition Managers with the ability to manage personal responses to change while at the same time building resilience to it and creating exceptional change outcomes.

“Emotional intelligence is a critical tool in business. After years labelled a discretionary “soft skill”, two decades of scientific and business research has demonstrated the value of emotional intelligence for leaders and anyone whose job involves influencing and engaging people.” Langley Group

Isn’t EQ what’s expected of all leaders today (and tomorrow)?

The higher a leader rises in an organisation the more emotional intelligence matters particularly as they begin to face increasing levels of uncertainty, volatility and complexity.

Emotional intelligence was originally defined by Salovey and Mayer (1990) as the ability of an individual to monitor one’s own and others’ emotions; to discriminate among the positive and negative effects of emotion; and to use emotional information to guide one’s thinking and actions.

The great news is that emotional intelligence, unlike IQ, can be developed over time in order to improve performance. Emotional Intelligence forms the suite of soft skills such as empathy and listening, which are ranked highest among the competencies of successful global leaders and C-Suite executives.

Benefits are two-fold: they support higher levels of employee engagement, which translates to happy customers and greater business results; plus they give leaders themselves greater self-awareness, understanding of others, personal resilience, decision-making abilities and the capacity to influence others.

Many HR reps will tell you IQ gets you in the door but a good grasp on your emotional side provides the yellow brick road to promotion.

We’d suggest that a balanced blend of both IQ and EQ will now get (and keep) you in the door, especially during times of change.

“Emotional intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence, it is not the triumph of heart over head – it is the unique intersection of both.” David Caruso

From preschools to corporations to the hallways of the nation’s leadership, people are plugging into their “touchy-feely” side which, once derided, is proving to be a major contemporary key to success in business and in life.

For more information on Emotional Intelligence check out:

Footnote: Salovey, P & Mayer, J 1990, ‘Emotional intelligence’, Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 9, 185-211.

The Art of Scheduling

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By Gabe Lopata

Some major projects are fated to fail due to shortfalls in the planning phase, so in this post I thought we’d look at what a good schedule looks like and how it can increase the likelihood of your project succeeding.

A schedule comes from the program’s scope of work and ensures the designated direction is followed without deviation. While schedules for agile projects tend to have a horizon of only weeks (known as “sprints”), waterfall programs plan for the life of a project.

Creating a project plan is no walk in the park – at times it can feel like you’re in the middle of a prolonged bi-lateral free trade negotiation. It’s taken 10 years for Australia to secure a deal with China but the longer-term benefits of that deal for exporters dwarf the effort spent on settling the arrangement.

So too with project scheduling, which you should approach from both top down (strategic objective) and bottom up (practical needs) perspectives in the same way as a negotiation, with each party providing insights and logic until the balance between strategy and practicality meet in the middle.

The top down schedule is often referred to as the Driver Plan since it’s the point of origin for planning and combines the thinking of both senior management and the business owner as described in the strategic objective of the project.

The development of a schedule goes through much iteration, with the pathway becoming clearer as information is added cumulatively. This being so you should make the effort to manage and time the act of ‘iterating’ at logical points.

A logical time to stop for some R & R, (Refining and Re-baselining) in the context of a SDLC, would be at the point that separates high level design and detailed design. Not only is R & R good for one’s constitution but it helps immeasurably with critical activities such as effective cost and contingency forecasting.

Here’s some tips to help you make a better project plan:

  • First, be clear about the project scope
  • Always plan with a view of strategic top-down and practical bottom-up
  • Be aware of dependencies between tasks
  • Be realistic when allocating time and resources against tasks
  • Accompany the plan with change management considerations designed to address key change impacts
  • Make sure team members, team leaders and end users are consulted along the way, understand their role, and are committed in the program’s success

Ongoing evaluation of actual performance against scheduled activity is essential in hitting project milestones. The Certus3 Phase Domain Model can assess if the right level of deliverables are available within the project. It can also assess how a program is currently performing, and is likely to perform, into the future based on the completion level of deliverables.

ABOUT CERTUS3

Established in 2007, Certus3 assists organisations manage large-scale programs of work involving wide reaching organisational change. Offering program delivery and program management consulting services, the team’s growing client portfolio includes successful Australian corporations like Woolworths, Perpetual, Asciano and Myer.

certus3.com

ABOUT INSIGHTS360™

Insights360™ is a survey-based diagnostic tool that guarantees early risk and issue detection for senior executives in charge of large and complex programs of work. The proprietary tool is used by program managers and senior executives interested in understanding the ‘true’ status of their projects.

insights360app.com

CONTACT

Melinda Young
Certus3 PR & Communications
M: 0430 433 989
E: melinda.young@certus3.com
T: @MelCertus3

Greg Searson, Asciano IT PMO Leader Rates Insights360

 

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Certus3’s Insights360™ has more than delivered for Asciano, providing the organisation with ‘real’ insights into the projects they are undertaking.”

What do you mean by ‘real’ insights?

“The differences that exist between the officially reported project status, as put together by the Project Manager, and the informal project status is vast. Insights360™ enables the layers of traditional project reporting to be peeled back, exposing the ‘real’ status, commonly understood but never officially declared.

A review of Asciano’s projects showed that status updates did not provide a ‘real’ view of progress and consequently were not a good indicator of project health and future success.”

Why is it important to understand the ‘real’ project status?

“An understanding of the causal links between attitudes, behaviours, project progress and future outcomes is crucial in either rescuing a project in-flight, or protecting one from failure in its infancy.

Insights360™ gives valuable time back to those responsible for project management – time to prevent risks or repair issues before their impacts leave an indelible impression. This was certainly our experience.

With a minimum amount of effort the tool enabled us to provide a comprehensive view of project success, our distance from it and an indication of the areas we needed to zero in on in order to achieve success.

In addition to protecting projects from failure the tool also highlights well managed projects and can be used to establish benchmarks and perform periodic project health checks.”

How often has Asciano used Insights360™?

“Asciano has leveraged the insights provided by the tool in many of its recent and most notable projects:

Project Gemini, a cloud-based managed service solution migration for its infrastructure and applications

Patrick Terminal Operating System (TOS) Project, a newly designed system responsible for all aspects of day-to-day terminal ports and stevedoring operations

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System Project, currently in its scoping and business case development phase.

The repeated employment of Insights360™, has created a pattern, unplanned initially, but one that has unofficially become part of our stage-gating process and one that is well positioned to become an official pre-requisite to any silver or gold stage gate milestones in the future.”

What aspect of the tool do you find most helpful?

“The relationship that the tool establishes between behaviours and factors that determine project success or failure, such as scope, solution, schedule, stakeholders, team, budget, benefits, issues and risks is invaluable.

Being a data-driven decision-maker, I appreciate the statistical basis of the tool and find comfort in the logical back-end.

Other helpful aspects include ease of use, it’s available online and so can be completed at any time and from virtually any device, it’s anonymous, fast, and not particularly expensive – all important traits and helpful selling points when attempting to gain executive buy-in.”

Would you use Insights360™ for another project in the future?

 “Absolutely.”

ABOUT INSIGHTS360™

Insights360™ is a survey-based diagnostic tool that guarantees early risk and issue detection for senior executives in charge of large and complex programs of work. The proprietary tool is used by program managers and senior executives interested in understanding the ‘true’ status of their projects.

Insights360app.com

 

CONTACT

Melinda Young
Certus3 PR & Communications
M: 0430 433 989
E: melinda.young@certus3.com
T: @MelCertus3