Advisory & Project Management Consultancy
At Aspira we have the combined experience of hundreds of years of experience in Project Management, Programme Management, and Business Analysis. Our expertise spans multiple disciplines (such as Agile / SCRUM and Prince 2) and industries (Technology, Finance, Pharmaceutical, Utilities & Insurance) where we aid our clients in delivering their project objectives.
Our Advisory and Project Management Consulting offerings are specifically designed to aid our clients overcome difficulties they may be experiencing in:
In each of these areas we have defined a clear set of methodologies and processes that deliver consistent and beneficial outcomes to enable our clients deliver projects successfully.
What we do
We aid and mentor organisations to develop and put in place the necessary structures and supporting tools to allow for the coordinated and well-managed governance and operation of projects across the organisation.
Gas Networks Ireland needed to improve their portfolio selection capabilities, including supporting its requirements for identifying and optimising the selection of projects in line with available funding and resources. Having worked on Business Resourcing, Advisory, and Software Development projects for over 10 years, Gas Networks Ireland turned to Aspira for advice.
The OPW now have a comprehensive set of detailed requirements for the business processes with Estate Portfolio Management and was subsequently successful in tendering for procurement of an Integrated Workplace Management System.
We Listen, Advise And Support
Each project is different, and the reasons for its failure are equally so. But there are common reasons that often lay at the heart of project failure. Many of the failure points can be avoided through the use of effective project management. These include:
- Ambiguous and/or unrealistic objectives
- Poor planning
- Lack of effective resource planning
- Poor communication
- Changes to the scope of the project
- Good project managers understand where these failure points lie and plan accordingly.
A Project Management Office is a department or group that oversees all project management within an organisation. The PMO can be an internal or external group that assumes the responsibility of setting and maintaining organisations’ project management standards.
These standards are used to ensure that all projects within an organisation are run in a standardised and repeatable way, this facilitates the smooth running of projects. Amongst the methods used to achieve “standardisation” are:
- Support – A PMO can provide training, mentoring and quality assurance to support ongoing projects.
- Accountability and Governance – The PMO will ensure that a project’s decision-makers are the right people for the job. It also runs regular audits and reviews to ensure accountability.
- Consistency – A PMO acts as a central hub that ensures a consistent project management approach is used throughout an organisation.
A simple definition of risk in project management could be – Any unexpected event that can affect the outcome of a project.
A risk differs from known problems within a project, as problems are predictable. Problems can be identified in the planning stage and could include issues like resource bottlenecks, staff shortages at vacation times, and times of peak demand.
Risks are events that could happen but can’t be planned for. Risks can include events such as sudden unavailability of critical materials or staff illness.
The role of a project manager in risk management is to consider what risks may affect a project and to understand how these would influence it. Using this information, contingencies can be put in place to mitigate the effects should the worse happen.
The Project Management Risk Process is a critical element in all good project management procedures. Put simply; a project management team will identify and evaluate potential risks that may arise during the project. This will be carried out on an ongoing basis throughout the project.
The types of risk that may arise during a project can be split into 3 broad categories, these are Cost, Schedule, and Performance.
The process of risk management can also be broken down into distinct steps. Generally, these will include:
- Identify – Consider all the potential risks that may arise
- Analyse – Understand the potential impact of any given risk
- Assign – Ownership of risks should be assigned to appropriate team members
- Prioritise – This should be done based on the severity of the impact of each risk
- Respond – This includes taking steps to minimise the chances of the risk occurring and the actions to be taken should it happen
- Monitor – Continual risk assessment should be carried out throughout the project.
Agile Methodology is a Project Management method that works by breaking a project up into distinct phases. The philosophy that drives Agile Methodology encapsulates continuous improvement through constant collaboration with stakeholders and continuous cycling through planning, executing, and evaluation stages.
In other words, the Agile Methodology embraces stakeholder feedback and uses short development cycles that combine to continuously improve the performance of a project as it proceeds.
Waterfall Methodology takes a linear approach to Project Management. With the waterfall methodology, projects are broken down into distinct phases that are completed sequentially. New phases of the project only begin when the previous one is completed.
This Methodology relies on each participant having clear and set goals that are unlikely to change throughout the project. This is the most traditional form of project management and is best suited to projects that have a single timeline.
The lifecycle of Project Management can be broken down into distinct phases.
- Initiation – this phase includes setting the goals and scope of the project depending on the requirements of the stakeholders. It also involves identifying all the said stakeholders and considering the overall feasibility of the project.
- Planning – For project managers, the planning phase is at the heart of project management. During this phase, the project plans are documented, the goals of the project determined, and a project schedule is devised.
- Implementation – The third stage is the execution of the project plan. This is usually the longest stage of the project lifecycle and involves utilising the documentation, schedule, and plans established at the planning stage to see the project through to a successful conclusion.
- Monitoring – This is carried out on an ongoing basis throughout the implementation phase. The object is to ensure that the project remains on schedule within budget and that corrective action is used to counteract unforeseen risks and circumstances that hinder the successful outcome.
- Closing – The closing stage is the final phase of a Project Management Lifecycle. Responsibilities during this phase include:
- Passing the project deliverable to the client/sponsor
- Cancelling supplier contracts
- Releasing staff and equipment
- Handing over documentation to the project owners
- Releasing equipment and personnel
Projects are “fluid” with changes almost inevitable. The process of Change Management can be considered a complementary process that runs alongside Project Management.
The responsibilities of change managers are to ensure that when changes arise, they are dealt with as efficiently as possible with a minimum of disruption to the project and the allocated resources.
To achieve this change, managers will typically follow the steps listed below:
- Communication – This involves keeping people informed about the reasons behind any changes and how it affects them and the project as a whole.
- Planning – This involves developing a plan to account for the changes. This should include goals and performance measures to tell if the change plan is working or whether further action is required
- Implementation – Change managers are responsible for implementing the plans and offering support to the involved personnel
- Evaluation – Finally, evaluating the outcome of the change management and whether the desired results have been met
Cost-benefit analysis in Project Management is the process of estimating the costs and benefits of particular sets of actions in a given project.
Each task or process in any project will have a set of relevant costs and projected benefits. In its simplest form, a CBA considers all the potential options for a particular task to establish the option that gives the most benefit for the least cost.
Typical steps that are followed while performing a CBA include:
- Identify the available options
- Determine the benefits of each option
- Determine the costs of each option
- Calculate the Return on Investment for each option
In simple terms, Schedule Variance in Project Management is the measurement of the actual progress of a project against the expected progress.
Understanding and monitoring the progress of any project is one of the core responsibilities of a project manager.
The first step in calculating the Schedule Variance in a project is to establish a set of baselines. These baselines are set for each task within a project and include the projected start and finish dates as well as the budget for each task. These are referred to as the “Schedule Baseline.”
From these figures, ongoing comparisons can be used to establish how each task is performing in both time and budgetary aspects.
Program Management and Project Management are often confused with each other. However, they perform distinctly different functions within an organisation.
Putting it simply, Project Management is the management of a single piece of work with an expected outcome. Whereas Program Management is a more strategic and long-running initiative that can encompass many projects.
The difference is often defined as – A Project is more focused on outputs, whereas program management focuses on outcomes.
A project maturity assessment is a measurement that is used to illustrate how an organisation’s project management procedures evolve. This process enables companies to learn from past projects to take a more “mature” approach to future projects.
This is the basic premise behind Project Maturity Assessment. Like anything in life, we learn lessons as we go and apply these to our future actions. Managing projects is no different, and the goal of Project Maturity Assessments is to formalise and understand these lessons and apply them to future projects.