Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Project Completion is not Project Closedown

Over the weekend, Maven completed a series of office moves that has seen us relocate our training centre and co-locate our administrative offices. The project was forced upon us by the discovery earlier in the year that the Crossrail project was going to leave us working next to a building site for the next 6 years - hardly conducive to effective learning!

Now that all of the crates have been unpacked and people have worked out how to log back on we can settle back, safe in the knowledge that the project has come to a close...well, that's one view anyway.

In project management terms, we have completed the deliverables (slightly under budget, on time and having exceeded the quality expectations of the Board). However, we are still experiencing the impact of change - on each of us, and as an organisation. Individual experiences of change have included learning a new route to work, remembering to carry security passes and finding where the best local coffee shops are. As an organisation, the process of change is harder to define, but it is a powerful force nevertheless. The main impact is the speed at which things get done in the first few days after a move as all the things we need to do the job are not as easily to hand, telephone extensions have changed and remembering where the contents of a particular desk have ended up can be a challenge.

The critical thing for our Board to remember is that the benefits of our move will not be felt for several months. The financial business case will only be realised as we stop paying for services in the old office, and start seeing the reduction in costs from our new building. The strategic benefits of co-locating to fully exploit the potential for efficiencies, will only be felt once everyone has got used to the new situation and have formed new teams and working relationships.

We have scheduled a post implementatation review in 6 weeks, but I am conscious that this will only be a meeting to sign post that we are on course to realise the benefits, not that we have data to prove that we have realised them - that will not be available until the early part of the new year. The thing we must remember is that these benefits management responsibilities are still with us, and even though the project manager has been released to manage the next big project she will have to schedule some time for the review to finally consider the project closed - and be able to enjoy that large gin and tonic.

No comments:

Post a Comment