About This Practice
Your projects face numerous challenges and obstacles throughout their execution and a project audit is an effective way to get to the bottom of problems on projects. Projects may be over budget and/or over time. The project team might be dysfunctional. The sponsor may not be providing the right kind of support and timely approvals. Or the scope of the project may have changed since its initiation. All these situations may pose a significant threat to you and your organization; contributing to project delays, cost overruns or even market position; depending on the size and strategic importance of the project. A project audit will not only uncover the root cause of the problem but can save your organization both money and time by helping get your problem project back on track quickly.
For large or complex projects, it’s wise to undertake a project audit midway to check the ‘health’ of the project and avert unanticipated surprises in the execution. This will provide a forensic view of the project and make sure that it is performing effectively within its constraints.
How We Can Help
Business Improvement Architects | bia™ provides a thorough project audit process to help you get failing projects back on track. Our project audit has helped numerous project teams get to the root causes of project problems and provided the direction for fast and effective corrective action. In most cases our project audit process can turn your project around in only three (3) weeks.
We have also applied our project audit at the close of projects and for forensic reviews of projects. This type of project audit is helpful for determining “success criteria” for future projects as well as uncovering project risks. Future project teams will benefit from the learning of their predecessors and be able to avert the repeating of costly mistakes. Such a forensic review provides insight and recommendations as to what went well on the project and recommendations for future execution. We have also used forensic project audits for to help our clients determine the extent of supplier liability.
The best time for an audit is when it can make a difference. Contact us to discuss your requirements.
Using a Project Audit to Evaluate the Comprehensiveness of a Project Plan
This large, high profile government naval project was a four-year, 200 million dollar project that was neither on time nor on budget. Our client brought us in to undertake an in-depth audit to uncover root causes of their problems and provide recommendations to get the project back on track. We worked with both the core and extended project teams in its early project development. There were approximately 300 resources assigned to work on this project and we met with all of them. We discovered that the project plan lacked sufficient detail and so we worked with the project team to correct this problem. With our guidance, within 6 months, the project team revised the project plan to incorporate the necessary 35,000 tasks, and included all the interdependencies as well as task durations and resource allocations to meet the project deadline. They clearly identified all milestones and by the end of that year the project was back on track.
Using a Project Audit in a Lawsuit
This large pharmaceutical organization undertook a major project to outsource their logistics. Their objectives for this project were cost savings and minimization of resources. However, the project ended with disastrous results and cost the organization much pain. Not only did they lose profits but the negative effect on customers and staff was significant. The organization’s President called us in to conduct a project audit to learn from their mistakes and make sure that a similar situation would never happen again. During our project audit we discovered that there was no risk assessment or contingency plan to deal with possible risks. As a result, when problems occurred, the project team behaved reactively rather than proactively and this led to more mistakes and problems. Our project audit report included many recommendations to help avert future problems and our client was able to successfully sue the logistics company for damages.
The Department of National Defence called in Business Improvement Architects to conduct a mid-term audit on a highly complex project with multiple stakeholders.
"Michael Stanleigh of Business Improvement Architects did an incredible job of assessing all aspects of the project and compiling a detailed assessment of what was working and what was not working. The most valuable information and guidance of this report was not only the identification of all major problem areas, but the substantive recommendations Mr. Stanleigh recommended on how to correct them. This report was invaluable to improving the overall probability of success for a highly complex project."
The Ministry of Environment was faced with the challenge of defining and documenting the scope of a large, complex and very high profile project. Their concerns centred on being able to develop a common understanding of the projects, its components, schedules, benefits and risks.
"Our experience with Business Improvement Architects and with Janet Williams is very positive and productive. The upfront cost associated with going through this type of project definition and planning exercise is insignificant compared to the potential cost and recriminations of a project gone wrong. The final results exceeded expectations. Janet Williams has helped us document the project in a manner that is professional, complete and credible. This will save us a great deal of effort and cost as we move forward."
Business Improvement Architects worked with this organization of 1200 employees to help create a Project/Process Management Office and implement lessons-learned from a previously failed try. The result has been positive due to our implementation-based consulting process and because we ensured that a solid foundation for change was in place before the implementation was done.
"Business Improvement Architects was instrumental in helping us turn around a project that was in crisis and bring it back in control with their expert processes and measurement tools. They were able to effectively identify the root causes of our problem and then continued to work with us to implement the solution and provide tools to manage on a forward-going basis."
Business Improvement Architects was asked to develop a customized, standard protocol and methodology that could be used for all of their projects. bia™ was highly successful because we recognized that all levels within the organization could benefit from application of a consistent methodology and our protocol addressed this opportunity.
"Business Improvement Architects drove the process to develop a standard protocol and methodology for all levels of the organization to apply consistently and developed a customized GWL Project Management Approach."
Business Improvement Architects worked with this organization of 1200 employees to help create a Project/Process Management Office and implement lessons learned from a previously failed try. The result has been positive due to the bia™ implementation-based consulting process and because bia™ ensured that a solid foundation for change was in place before the implementation was done.
"Business Improvement Architects was instrumental in helping us turnaround a project that was in crisis and bring it back in control with their expert processes and measurement tools. They were able to effectively identify the root causes of our problem and then continued to work with us to implement the solution and provide tools to manage on a forward-going basis."