Project Start-up - Acknowledging the Outside World

Date:
Wednesday 11 March 2015

Time:
6.00pm - 8.30pm (refreshments available 30 minutes before)

Cost:
BCS Members - £72.00 (£60.00 + VAT)
Non Members - £96.00 (£80.00 + VAT)
Unwaged/Students - £19.20 (£16.00 + VAT)

Venue:
BCS London, Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA | Maps

Speakers:
Alison Hood, Grace Beardsley and Steve Williams

The next in our popular and unique series of Spring Schools is on the challenging area of Project Start-up. For many project managers this is an extremely critical phase of any programme because if the objectives, funding and commitment of all stakeholders are not fully in place and understood, the whole programme may be doomed from the start. We want to minimise the exposure of the project manager in this situation and have lined up a highly respected team of presenters to share their experience during the four weeks of the school over four Wednesday evenings in March 2015. Each evening, light refreshments will be provided and also a networking opportunity after the presentations with wine and soft drinks.

The National Audit Office (NAO) specialises in assessing government competence in delivering major projects and will explore the external factors affecting project start-up. The session will draw on NAO experience over the last ten years of examining major projects and introduce the Delivery Environment Complexity Analytic (the DECA). The DECA is a tool developed by the National Audit Office to provide a high level overview of the challenges, complexity and risks to delivery of a project, programme, policy or area of work. The presentation will take you through the 12 factors which are key influencers of success or failure, drawing on case studies to illustrate the impact of these factors on project delivery. In particular, the NAO will draw out relevant practical examples to support better project start-up. The session will give project managers hands on experience of using this tool to test their own approaches for setting up projects well. The session will be facilitated by Alison Hood ( Head of Project Delivery Discipline), Grace Beardsley (Audit Manager Value for Money specialist in Project Delivery) and Steve Williams (Director of ICT and Head of the Digital Discipline).

About the speakers:

Alison joined the NAO in 2007, and she is currently establishing a specialist Project Delivery community of practice. She has reviewed, in depth, many major projects across government, and led on the development of and championed the use of the DECA in gaining a better strategic understanding of the challenges facing project delivery. Her other work includes the Initiating Successful Projects guide and a paper on Over-optimism in Government Projects. Alison previously worked in local government where she obtained significant project management experience in the housing sector. Alison has an MBA and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing.

Since joining the NAO in 2002, Grace Beardsley has evaluated a wide range of major government projects for the NAO, including infrastructure investments, public services and the delivery of innovative policies. She is currently managing Value for Money studies of the Department for Transport. In 2014 she led the NAO study of Crossrail and co-managed the NAO review of the procurement of new trains for the Great Western, East Coast and Thameslink services. Grace previously worked in business journalism and management consultancy. She has an MBA from Manchester Business School and an MA from Cambridge University.