In the pre-recession era, driving down costs was not top of the agenda. Rapid growth through acquisition was the trend. And during the banking turmoil further mergers and acquisitions were initiated to save the banking industry. This has led, in some organisations, to the growth of multiple platforms, quick-fix manual workarounds and high-cost, inefficient processes. In the post-crash era the rush to consolidate, automate and transform has put CTOs and CIOs under intense pressure to help drive down year-on-year business costs. A further complication is that the projects and programmes that have been launched to tackle the problem tend to be all in the same phase of their lifecycle. The recession, like a hurricane, hit hard and hit fast, then left its victims to re-build from the ruins – all at the same time.
It’s not surprising then that we have witnessed project management resources at all levels becoming suddenly scarce. Project managers, administrators, business analysts are all in demand, and there are only so many to go round.
However, we have found that organisations that recognise that there is not a bottom-less resource pit, and use effective prioritisation and slick governance to assess and prioritise their projects, are moving ahead faster than those that don’t. They are able to be realistic about what they can deliver and therefore increase the likelihood of on-time delivery and benefit realisation. Those that are simply growing their project portfolios and merely tracking project delivery are experiencing a growing list of ‘red’ projects, as thinly spread resources try to do everything at once.