SPOCE Consultancy and Support Services

In addition to Accredited training, SPOCE also assist clients in embedding the Portfolio, Programme and Project (PPM) best practice methods though facilitated workshops, consultancy and mentoring. The links below give information on the standard services we provide. If you have a specific requirement, then contact us on +44 (0)1202 736373

Portfolio, Programme and Project Implementation

The key to success in establishing an effective structured management environment is to ensure that a clear structure exists, with guidance to all levels of the programme and project teams. SPOCE has a proven approach to ensuring the the methods and guidance are integrated into your organisation. For more information click on the "Implementation" tab above.

Programme & Project Facilitated Workshops

A number of workshops can be facilitated by SPOCE, including Programme or Project Initiation, Definition and Planning; Product Based Planning; Risk Analysis; End of Tranche/End Stage Assessments; Project Assurance; Project Stabalisation; Project Status and Planning. For more information click on the "Workshops" tab above.

Project Assurance

SPOCE's Project Assurance Support gives organisations the best possible assurance that projects are starting, managing and closing in the correct manner. Coupled with facilitated workshops, this service from SPOCE ensures that the PRINCE2 method is being applied properly and is consistant with the project's needs.

SPOCE's Project Assurance Event is key to establishing that individuals responsible for undertaking a Project Assurance role fully understands the implortance of the role, and gain practical guidance on how to best undertake the role.

For more information click on the "Project Assurance" tab above.

Programme or Project Health Check

All programmes and projects need to be monitored and controlled, regardless of success or difficult times. Triggering a Programme or Project Health Check helps to establish the true status, and will ensure that the programme or project is in line with the corporate Best Practice standards. For more information click on the "Project Health Check" tab above.

Portfolio, Programme and Project Implementation

SPOCE's management expertise is incorporated into guidance that has been implemented into many organisations, assisting with establishing standards at portfolio, programme and project levels.

Using best management guides such as MoP, P3O, MSP and PRINCE2, SPOCE can work with you to ensure a robust and effective structure is in place.

For example, at the project level, SPOCE's PM Guides can be used as a quick route to generating an online guide which incorporates your own standards and approaches, integrated with the PRINCE2 method, all tailored to your organisation's need.  SPOCE's proven approach for tailoring and implementation at this level is:

Initial Study

Review of current processes, followed by a project definitions workshop to begin to define project levels (i.e. simple, normal, complex, etc.)

PM Workshops

SPOCE bases its implementation for PRINCE2 on the seven Themes (Business Case, Organisation, Quality, Plans, Risk, Change, Progress) and asks your organisation for “Theme Leaders” who will own a theme and assist SPOCE with running a half-day workshop to match PRINCE2 to your organisation’s environment. 

PM Guide Development

Using the output from the workshops, SPOCE will tailor its standard PM Guides and will develop this into an online solution.  This will include:

  • Overview Guide – Explaining the types of projects and levels or project, along with a summary of project controls that should be applied to each.
  • Managing Projects Guide – a step-by-step guide for managing each type (or level) of project
  • Techniques Guide – Explaining how your organisation carries our various areas of project management (i.e. risk, planning, etc)
  • Templates Guide – A full set of project templates that have been tailored to your organisation.  The template documents are provided by SPOCE, and then modified by your own resources with the help of SPOCE.

Review & Implement

The PM Guides should be reviewed by your resources prior to being launched.  Launch usually would be recommended as a half day demonstration, with open surgery for handling questions, etc.

Click here to access the online demo of SPOCE's PM Guides. This will give you access to some areas of the product and may help to give you some ideas for input into your own version.  If you would like to use SPOCE's PM Guides as a baseto build from then call us on +44 (0)1202 736373 or email info@spoce.com.

Whether it be a complete P3O implementation, or a simple project setup, SPOCE's experience and knowledge can provide the cost-effective solution that you need.

Project & Programme Workshops

Overview

Bringing in an independent, experienced professional to lead a facilitated workshop often gives an excellent return on the time and effort invested.  Workshops offered by SPOCE cover all aspects of Portfolio Management (MoP), Programme Management (MSP®), and Project Managment (PRINCE2®), all supported by a P3O environment, and reviewed using the Management of Value (MoV) guidance.

 

Designed for

Organisations or individuals identifying a need for portfolio, programme and project assurance to help facilitate, mentor and assure any of its change initiatives.  These workshops are suitable for internal and external consultants, Senior Responsible Owners, Sponsoring Group members, Programme Managers, Project Board members for Project Assurance, Project Managers and Project Support, and Team Managers.  Senior managers from any discipline will also benefit from understanding how decision-support information is assured prior to major project decisions.

 

Objectives

The key objectives of SPOCE Workshops are to:

  • Provide customers with access to the knowledge and experience gained by SPOCE consultants over the past fifteen years.
  • Provide a facilitation service to customers that will get change initiatives off to the best possible start
  • Help to recover programmes and projects which are running over budget and/or schedule.
  • Facilitate communication strategies with project management colleagues responsible for using PRINCE2® and MSP® as the means of planning and controlling projects and programmes
  • Ensure that sufficient knowledge transfer takes place to enable customers to go forward without day-to-day consultancy support should they wish to take this route.
  • Motivate the teams to deliver a realistic plans that everyone buys into.

 

Typical workshops

SPOCE provide a number of workshops that are tailored to the client's needs. Below are a few of the typical "off-the-shelf" approaches that SPOCE offer.

Programme Definition and Project Initiation Workshop

Typically a 2-3 day facilitated workshop to provide the best possible start to your programmes and projects.  The teams will work, under the guidance of the SPOCE consultant, to create the Programme Definition Document or Project Initiation Document which may be reviewed and approved on the final afternoon of the workshop.  Control will gradually be handed over to the Programme/Project Manager as the workshop progresses.

More extensive consultancy can be provided to run over a number of weeks or months to support the development of Programme Definition Documents, producing the Project Briefs and then facilitating PID Workshops. This provides you with the expertise to work within your teams to ensure the best chances of success form your programmes and projects.

Risk Analysis Workshop

Using the guidance provided in the MSP® and PRINCE2® reference manuals, blended with the Management of Risk guidance, a SPOCE consultant will facilitate a risk analysis and management event, usually over 1-2 days.  A spreadsheet risk analysis tool is also available for use on this workshop.  This workshop is useful to run as a separate event where the programme or project is perceived to be of high-risk or where the investment and exposure is high and the risks largely unknown.

Product-Based Planning Workshop

Product-based planning is the backbone to a successful project.  The use of Product Descriptions and their associated Quality Criteria plays a key role in ensuring quality is built into Products and that progress is accurately tracked.  SPOCE has developed a workshop which examines the concepts and provides a practical vehicle to develop realistic product-based plans at any level within the project.  This workshop can also be run with our 1-day training event PRINCE2® planning with MS Project”.

Project Stabilisation Workshop

This event is directed at errant projects which need to be reviewed, prioritised, status-checked and forward planned.  The aim of the workshop is to provide a stable environment for the future management and control of the project and to provide senior managers with the confidence to proceed with a project which has deviated significantly from its timescales, budget, objectives or scope.  It is recommended that the Project Stabilisation Workshop is preceded by a short consultancy assignment to establish the reasons for the problems and the impact on the project and organisation.

Project Status and Planning Workshop

Similar in concept to the Project Stabilisation Workshop, this event is used to ensure a smooth transition of an existing project into a PRINCE2® environment.  These are usually held in organisations that are implementing the method and wish to bring existing projects to the new standards.

 

Scope

The scope for each workshop will be agreed before any work is carried out. This is important as a pre-requisite to a successful event

 

Approach

All workshops are delivered by associates and staff of SPOCE Project Management Limited under the direction and guidance of Directors of the company.

SPOCE staff and associates are all highly competent and experienced in management in general, and programme & project management in particular. The overall approach adopted by the company is to transfer knowledge and skills in order to leave the customer in full control.

 

Workshop Timings

Timings and costs will be provided on request when following discussions of the specific requirement and outcomes.  Workshops to help with the recovery or migration of programmes and projects to a best management practice environment will typically ran over 2-5 days.  Product-Based Planning Workshops last 2 days.

To discuss your requirements with our experts call SPOCE on +44 (0)1202 736373.

Project Assurance Support

In addition to the support services for Project Assurance described here, SPOCE also offers a Project Assurance training event for Project Board members and Project Assurance personnel. Click here for details.

 

Overview

The Project Assurance role in a PRINCE2® environment is key for ensuring that the standards of the method are embedded.  This important function is best carried out by somebody who is independent of the Project Manager, and indeed the project teams, so as to maintain an independent view of assessing the project and the standard of project management applied to the project.  Some organisations experience difficulty in finding appropriate resources to carry out this role, and this is where consideration can be given for project assurance to be carried out by a SPOCE consultant.

 

Approach

SPOCE's approach to Project Assurance is usually undertaken using the following steps:

Step 1 – Initial Meeting with the Project Management Team

This is usually an initial meeting with the Project Manager who is acting on behalf of the Project Board.   This initial meeting will essentially be a briefing by the Project Manager (or Executive) to provide the background to the project. 

Step 2 – Requirements definition & Proposal

A follow-up (sometimes at the same meeting described in Step 1 above) will be required for so the Executive and other Project Board members can describe the requirement of the Project Assurance function.  SPOCE will be able to advise the different types of Assurance responsibilities, and identify any responsibilities that should be retained by the Project Board members.

Step 3 – Proposal

SPOCE will prepare a proposal outlining the Project Assurance services that can be provided to the project, and will submit this for approval to the client.  This will explain the details of the undertaking made by SPOCE, with a summary of expected effort and costs.

 

Assurance Services

A summary of some of the Assurance responsibilities that SPOCE can undertake are described below.

Business (Executive)

  • monitor the Business Case against external events and project progress
  • assure that the project remains in line with Customer strategies
  • monitor the business risks to ensure that these are kept under control
  • monitor changes to the Project Plan to see whether there is any impact on the project Business Case
  • assess the impact of potential changes on the Business Case and Project Plan
  • advise the Executive of User and Supplier excesses
  • monitor stage and project progress against the agreed tolerances

User

  • assure that specification of the User's needs is accurate, complete and unambiguous
  • monitor the development of the solution at all Stages to ensure that it will meet the User's needs
  • assure that the impact of potential changes is evaluated from the User point of view
  • assure that risks to the Users are constantly monitored
  • assure that testing of products at all Stages has the appropriate User representation
  • monitor quality control procedures are used correctly so that products meet User requirements

Supplier

  • monitor that any Supplier and operating standards defined for the project are met and used to good effect
  • monitor potential changes and their impact on the correctness, completeness and integrity of products against their Product Description from a Supplier perspective
  • monitor any risks in the production aspects of the project
  • assure quality control procedures are used correctly, so that products adhere to requirement

 

How does SPOCE carry out the role?

In practice, to carry out these assurance functions, SPOCE will visit project personnel at the frequency required by the Project Board to assess the status and management of the project. This will be summarised by providing an assurance report to the Project Board, or by adding comments onto Highlight Reports.

To carry out the Project Assurance role effectively usually required SPOCE would dedicate around 2-3 days per month to assess project standards and systems, and to provide assurance reports to the project board.  The time required to be committed to the project obviously depends on the type and size of the project; the extent of the assurance services required; and how the assurance should be carried out (formal, informal, etc).  All of these factors are discussed and agreed during steps 1 & 2 above.

To discuss SPOCE’s Project Assurance services, or to arrange an initial meeting with one of our consultants, call +44 (0)1202 736373 or email info@spoce.com.

 

In addition to the support services for Project Assurance described here, SPOCE also offers a Project Assurance training event for Project Board members and Project Assurance personnel. Click here for details.

Project Health Check

All projects need to be monitored and controlled, regardless of success or difficult times. Triggering a Project Health Check on any project helps to establish the true status of the project, and will ensure that the project is in line with the corporate Best Practice standards.

SPOCE's experienced consultants use best management practice guidances to ensure that your projects are aligned to the standards required for operating in a successful environment. This approach can also integrate with your organisation's QMS to ensure corporate standards are being used within the projects.

Health checks can be combined with project workshops to help move the project on in the right direction. Project Assurance can also be included, which can assist passing on the approaches to your internal resources.

 

Project, Programme and Risk Management Best Practice– Video Bytes | SPOCE

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