Transition projects – why don’t they deliver the benefits?
Recently, I’ve been seeing more and more requests to assist with transition projects, resulting in Quantum Plus advisors taking on the role of Quality Assurance (QA) Manager. “A QA Manager on a transition project?” I hear you question, but let me explain further. As with anything handed over to a third party and not checked for quality, without a QA Manager continuously monitoring the transition process, it leaves the project susceptible to overrun, for costs to increase and the possibility that the transition will not deliver the benefits that were initially expected.
Getting the transition right is important as it sets the scene for the duration of your contract with your supplier; if the ‘engagement’ goes badly, what hope is there for the ‘marriage’?
Let me show you an effective example from a recent project.
A Quantum Plus client had the foresight to realise the need for a QA Manager when he decided to transition IT infrastructure to a major supplier. He made this decision as previous transitions had led to all the above mentioned issues. Although most feel the main responsibilities of transition lie with the supplier, this particular client believed the additional cost would be a worthwhile investment – a belief that has most definitely paid off.
Using Quantum Plus’s QA methodology, my first step was to engage with the client’s supplier to show how the additional QA step would benefit them, as well as the client, by ensuring an independent view on the transition activities and deliverables.
My key actions as a QA Manager during transition were as follows:
· To provide increased visibility to the project executive.
· To deliver transition benefit management, tracking and prioritisation.
· To manage the Quality Log to ensure all issues, risks, etc. were recorded and managed.
· To implement Quality Gates to ensure that each phase of the project was completed and signed off by all parties, with evidence documented for audit trail purposes.
· To identify risks to time, cost and quality due to the inability of either party to meet transition demands.
· To ensure the utilisation of best methods and best practice by the supplier in delivering the transition.
· To confirm that the supplier was meeting contractual obligations during the transition period.
· To monitor financial budgets and business case to ensure savings were being realised.
The following diagram shows how the QA methodology integrated and ensured that all parties involved in the transition were managed and informed. It is important that all impacted parties are aware of their responsibilities within the process. The Quality Gate review process drives the continuous improvement approach, ensuring that any gaps or lessons learned are applied to subsequent gates and deliver a better transition project.
In this example, the client found that the benefits of delivering the transition project on time and within budget by far outweighed the additional cost of this extra role. The transition project delivered the expected outcomes and the services now being delivered are achieving the expected service levels and savings over the previous contract. This means that the business case of £x millions saving is being achieved in the ‘run’ phase of the contract. It also cemented the relationship between the supplier and the client so the ‘marriage’, at least for the next 3-5 years, is a happy one.
I have seen time and time again that where clients have this role in place, the project outcomes are always enhanced.
If you would like to discuss how you can implement QA in your projects, then please contact us at Quantum Plus.