Executives in Major Project Based Businesses Should be Concerned that too Many Risk Signals are Hidden in the Noise

Executives in Major Project Based Businesses Should be Concerned that too Many Risk Signals are Hidden in the Noise

Donnie MacNicol 03/09/2020 2
Executives in Major Project Based Businesses Should be Concerned that too Many Risk Signals are Hidden in the Noise

Hypothesis: “The Executives and Leadership in major project based businesses, exemplified in Infrastructure and Construction, are struggling to obtain value from their organisation’s burgeoning financial, project and other operational data. This should be of concern given the increasing incidences of serious corporate performance problems.”

To survive and prosper in this fiercely competitive industry organisations must have a real-time, single version of the truth for decision-making, planning, forecasting, value engineering, project portfolio control/reporting and more.

Frustratingly the data, current and legacy, that would support this is stubbornly spread out across far too many uncontrolled spreadsheets, other 'home grown' databases or files, as well as multiple enterprise application data silos.

To date, there has been no practical remedy for this - a system that works for tech averse business people who need to clearly see the signal from the noise.

On demand without delay. A system that meets their unique needs without a costly, disruptive and lengthy solution deployment.

The risks can manifest themselves in multiple ways leading to various financial & operational challenges depending upon the companies' specific historical and current situational factors.

Resolution requires a new and custom 'remedy'.

What are your thoughts on what this remedy might be?

Share this article

Leave your comments

Post comment as a guest

terms and condition.
  • Ed Reynolds

    Thoughtful post

  • james

    As a company with a remedy our experience is that there are two barriers to solving this problem: Decision making & Belief. Decision making splits into 2 parts:

    Firstly, those running the projects are tasked with delivering the project and improving organisational wide performance is a nice to have. This is an elephant in the room caused by operational reality. With reductions in resources one project manager described their role thus:
    “I am expected to fight the alligators and maybe drain the swamp. However due to lack of resources there are more and more alligators and the water level in the swamp is rising.”
    At its most brutal, there is almost a hopelessness and inbuilt expectation that projects will fail so for many success is to survive the project and minimise the level of failure.
    Secondly, persons further up the hierarchy are likewise overwhelmed, not only with volume of work, but with volume of information. Much of this information promotes the approach that has caused the problem, as the way out of the problem: big silo applications. The answer being to eradicate excel and buy yet another application to create another, better silo: or replace the silos and buy one single system. This approach is 'promoted' by many of the top management consultancies to whom organisations turn for their solutions. This is the status quo.
    Therefore, to seek out a solution, a decision maker would need to go against the received 'wisdom' in the market believing there was a solution no-one was talking about and search for a needle in the haystack of communication to hear about our solution. Then they would have to believe it.
    So what about Belief? Our solution (Connected Intelligence) is to join up excel spreadsheets to the cloud. We treat excel as a platform and create connected workbooks (think of them as bespoke 'apps') that talk to and feed a database in the cloud, and via that synchronise with it and each other. This means everyone keeps using excel but all the issues with it vanish.
    As regards creating an SSOT (single source of truth) every application exports to excel, extracts from them can be fed into the cloud database to create a single source of truth, from which reporting can be generated either directly or via whatever reporting tool you fancy.
    As a side benefit this also delivers huge gains in productivity and speeds up reporting to near real-time making it possible to focus on making better faster decisions.
    And it is rapid: In one construction industry implementation of 250 projects across 35 countries was completed in 14 weeks with productivity savings of 96%.

Share this article

Donnie MacNicol

Leadership Expert

Donnie is a project, programme and organisational consultant who has married his 30 years of delivery experience with a passion for personal development, change and strategy to offer consultancy and training services to clients through his own consultancy. Clients are in both the public and private sector and include multinationals and SMEs. His main focus is on supporting the development of leadership at an individual, programme and organisational level - creating an environment where teams can perform to their maximum potential. He is the author of The Delivery Manifesto™ & co-author of Project Leadership 3rd Edition by Routledge as well as contributor to multiple others. Donnie holds a BSc (Hons) in Civil Engineering from the University of Strathclyde.


Latest Articles

View all
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Companies
  • Environment
  • Global Economy
  • Finance
  • Politics
  • Society