Estimations for Project Success
Todd Williams

Todd Williams

Tuesday, 04 November 2014 00:00

IT Assessment Services

Your Information Technology (IT) Organization needs to provide key capabilities, support and services for your business and your customers. However, many organizations feel gaps in IT capabilities hamper their progress: projects are delivered late, system outages occur, IT costs keep rising, IT is unresponsive, or IT turnover is excessive. How do you know if your organization is getting value from IT? Often it takes an experienced outsider to compare what your company's IT needs are versus its capabilities and develop plans address the gaps.

The Business IT Assessment gives you visibility into your IT group’s strengths, gaps, risks, and business alignment, complete with recommendations to gain the value you expect from your IT spend.

Tuesday, 04 November 2014 00:00

Capabilities Assessment Services

Plans are nothing without the ability to implement them. People are paramount. Ninety-eight percent of the people in a company are focused on running the daily sales, marketing, manufacturing, finance, IT, product delivery, and so forth--in other words "their day job." They neither have the time and often do not have inclination to drive the implementation of a new plan. New plans require bringing in temporary staff and sometimes new full-time skills to ensure the new goals are met in a timely manner.

Second to people, the right level of process is needed; however, too many organizations rely on process as the Holy Grail. Process needs to provide structure without bureaucracy. It must be agile enough to enable a team to quickly deliver critical capabilities yet adaptable to the inevitable adjustments as the business climates change.

Finally, and only after people and process, the focus turns to technology. It is only a tool to make the right people and processes more effective and efficient.
At eCameron, we live by the credo - people, process, and then technology all aligned to your strategy.

Tuesday, 04 November 2014 00:00

Developing Program and Project Execution Plans

Gears for Success

Gears for Success

A vision is just a dream without a strategy to implement it. The act of strategic planning helps define what you plan to do, your target customers, and where you are going. It takes into account the opportunities, threats, bumps, and risks that may be encountered in your journey to turn your vision into value. The result is a set of clearly defined strategic goals, an action plan to achieve them, and a risk mitigation plan. For start-ups, a highly-adaptive plan may cover one to two years, while for mature companies it may span three to five years is more appropriate. This five- to ten-page document, however, must be clear, concise, and easy to understand by your stakeholders and shareholders.

Whether an investor, a member of your senior staff, or an employee, everyone should be able to identify how the strategy relates to him or her. Aligning and prioritizing your initiatives, projects, finances, people, and other assets to the strategic goals is a critical next step in ensuring that your vision can be realized in the quickest and most profitable manner. Only through rigorous planning, alignment, and adoption will you achieve your goals.

eCameron the breadth and depth of experience with companies of all sizes, from start-ups to billion dollar corporations, and a wide range of industries to assist with building your strategy and maintaining alignment.

Tuesday, 04 November 2014 00:00

Project Governance & Definition Services

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A project's destiny is set very early, often at the inception phase long before the project even starts. The definition and setup of project governance to ensure your projects are properly defined and monitored throughout the project lifecycle is critical. WIthout it the incidence of project fialure skyrockets.

Having the appropriate level of governance and oversight based on the size and complexity of the projects you run is always a challenge. Unfortunately previous project performance, especially troubled projects, has a huge influence on level and degree of governance. The more failures the more governance; the more governance the more bureaucracy and the lower the agility. eCameron has extensive experience with projects complexit, company size, project scope, and company culture. We can help you balance the governance with your company's culture and its people.

Tuesday, 04 November 2014 00:00

Project Rescue and Recovery Services

Everyone has been there. Unfortunately projects, programs, and sometimes entire initiatives fail. As opposed to the normal first reaction of finding someone to blame, what is needed is immediate action. Here are some common symptoms that cause projects to fail:

  • Scope is increasing rapidly causing both the cost to increase and the project to slide.
  • The users are unhappy with the systems performance or there are too many bugs.
  • Risks that were never imagined are slowing the progress.
  • The project sponsor or other executives are not engaged.
  • The customer is not helping define the solution or they are not using it.

However, failing projects are only symptoms of larger problems in the organization that need to be fixed and these are rarely the real issues. Root causes are more likely:

  • The concept of the product being built does not match the company goals.
  • There are unrealistic deadlines or budgetary constraints placed on the project.
  • The company is over their head and trying to do projects that too complex for their skillsets.
  • Leadership does not understand how they need to support the project.
  • The project is trying to address non-project issues, such as maintenance and executives do not understand the issue.

What Can Be Done

Saturday, 18 October 2014 00:00

What We Do

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Nothing starts your day worse than waking up to a CNN News crew on your front porch. That is what happened with Cover Oregon (Oregon’s failed HIX implementation). Now, with multiple lawsuits filed, only time will tell who the real losers are. One thing is for sure—there will be no winners. With all the contracts, audit reports, and court documents in the public domain there is no better time to learn.

The subpoena shows up at the front desk and the call comes to you to pick it up. That nauseating feeling in your gut is the prelude to a long day… no… a long year. The lawyers want every contract and statement of work, each change order, log, email, document, physical mail, specification, test document, picture, drawing, scratch note, etc. that ever existed on your project. You reflect back on the project and wonder how many times you cut corners in order to get the project done. Well as "done" as it is. After all, the customer never did really accept the final product. Maybe you should have had the project health check performed.

Leaders define the vision. A business turns vision into value. It still takes a team of executives, managers, project managers, and individual contributors to drive the projects that build the capabilities to transform businesses. Ergo, projects are the enablers for turning vision into value.

The Vision to Value keynote is geared toward helping executives, finance leaders, technology leaders, and project managers understand what is required to enable the organization to share and stay focused on the company's goals, hence, reducing waste, increasing productivity, and decreasing waste.

"The government is incapable of running projects. Simply put, their miserably high failure rate proves that government should be out of the project management business." There are plenty of examples of this. We have heard this line, or ones similar to it, time and again and rarely hear how the projects failure reasons support the hypothesis. The reason? The prognosticators purporting this are part of the problem. Coming to that conclusion does not take any superior intellect—just listen to the nightly news. However, to try to get closer to the truth, I candidly and confidentially interviewed a number of government project managers and executives to gather their views. Following is a summary of those conversations.

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Filling Execution Gaps

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