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Copyright © 2009 Attra Partners Limited. All rights reserved.

PRINCE2® & The Power of Early Delivery - Practical Tips

The training and consultancy team at Attra Partners writes:

 

In the previous white papers, we discussed the significant benefits of early delivery to project success.  Basically that means delivering incrementally during the project life span.

 

Having understood the benefits of early delivery, we promised to provide practical tips on how to achieve this.  Depending on the project deliverable (as per PRINCE2 this is described in the “Project Product Description” document) this may require innovative thinking and planning.  As we mentioned in the previous white paper, there is no gain without (some) pain.

 

So let’s look at some examples to illustrate our practical tips - this will hopefully give you some ideas when you plan your next project.   Remember,  to include as many people as possible when doing the planning and particularly when trying to brainstorm ways to achieve early delivery.  We’ll use the following three project scenarios:

 

1. Building a new airport terminal

2. Building a new IT reporting system

3. Upgrading a firm’s website to accommodate a new product line

 

If you have any questions or comments please email  sales@attrapartners.com

Copyright © 2009 Attra Partners Limited. All rights reserved.  Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Attra Partners Ltd is prohibited

PRINCE2® & The Power of Early Delivery (ED) - Practical Tips
Building a new airport terminal

PRINCE2® & The Power of Early Delivery (ED) - Practical Tips
Building a new IT reporting system

PRINCE2® & The Power of Early Delivery (ED) - Practical Tips
(how processes are impacted for projects with early delivery)

PRINCE2

(Processes)

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TIPS:

Instead of the traditional approach of a big bang go-live/operational date, a soft phase can be considered which delivers parts of the terminal in an operational mode.   For example the check-in desks only be used as part of Phase I delivery.  Better still this could be used only by airline staff who are travelling abroad and who can experience and report issues to ensure any operational glitches are resolved prior to the check in desks being used by “real” passengers.

 

 

BENEFITS:

The benefits of the above approach are twofold;  firstly we are delivering benefit earlier in the project life-cycle, and secondly we are reducing the risk of operational problems once real passengers start to use the new terminal.

 

Clearly some careful planning and coordination is required to achieve the opening of the new terminal early to airline staff.   Logistics such as baggage handling, provision for parking, and signage.  However we are sure you’ll agree that the benefits far outweigh the dis-benefits.  Imagine how comforting your stakeholders will feel when they see a soft-phase approach which delivers both financial and risk reduction benefits.

TIPS:

 

Instead of the traditional approach of a go-live date, consider a “region by region” approach.  Supplement other regions manually in the interim period.

 

If an off-the-shelf reporting tool is being purchased, it could be separately installed and released on a trial data set to get the users trained on the user interface/GUI.  Sample data from a specific region could also be loaded to give users a real feel for the reporting capability and provide the project with early feedback on any issues or problems relating to the new reporting tool.

 

No doubt projects of this nature require significant infrastructure and feed interface/ETL (Extract Transform Load) capability.  However, manual feeds can be considered for a Phase I until full automation is achieved.

 

BENEFITS:

The benefits of the above approach are earlier delivery of benefits as the product will be usable earlier (albeit with manual feeds behind the scenes).  By releasing the reporting infrastructure early, all of the potential infrastructure, security, and teething issues with the reporting tool itself can be resolved independently from other data & feed issues that may arise when the complete reporting solution is released.

 

Again, some careful planning and coordination is required to achieve these benefits, but this is time and effort well spent.

Text Box: See available PRINCE2 Weekend Course Dates >>

PRINCE2® & The Power of Early Delivery (ED) - Practical Tips
Upgrading a firm’s website to accommodate a new product line

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TIPS:

 

Instead of the traditional approach of a go-live date, consider releasing the online sales and after sales support separately.  It may be easier to focus on a soft release for after sales support and tracking capability and have that bedded down and established.  No doubt the internal organisation will need to change processes and procedures to cater for the new online after sales support.  Therefore the sooner it is released and bedded down, the more bandwidth will be available to focus on the main online sales  release.

 

In terms of the online sales & tracking release, consideration should be given to undertaking an early release of product and price only information with manual telephone ordering and then a subsequent release with full e-Commerce payment and credit card ordering.   This enables the sales and marketing machine rooms to become engaged earlier as well as early feedback on the usability of the new upgraded website.

 

BENEFITS:

The main benefit of the above approach is that the project is in effect being split into two smaller projects with early delivery and bedding down of the after sales capability.   This gets all the headaches that are associated with a new system, internal staff training and processes changes out of the way.  Other side benefits are that project staff usage will be more levelled during the overall project instead of having an overload of work as the project would have approached a big bang go live.

 

Again, some careful planning and coordination is required to achieve these benefits, but this is time and effort well spent.

PRINCE2® & The Power of Early Delivery (ED) - Practical Tips
Conclusion

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Evidence clearly indicates that the more moving pieces involved in a project, the higher the risk and failure rates.  We hope the three mini case studies help to show the importance of breaking the project down into manageable chunks that can be delivered as early as possible in the project life cycle.  This increases return on investment while also reducing the risk of failure.

 

It may help to daw out the main aspects of business change and through early delivery try and decouple these as much as possible.  Finally, prioritise the delivery based on business benefits to maximise the return on investment.

 

 

 

If you need help with a specific project we can provide a limited amount of no charge consultancy:

 

 

Email us at:   sales@attrapartners.com

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