Commercial Construct for Projects

Introduction

Commercial Construct for Projects (CCP) is more than a Quality Assurance methodology. CCP brings best practice project management into the commercial world by taking the client’s existing project management methodology, and setting commercial, operational and legal conditions on all aspects of issue management.

Benefits of Adopting the Commercial Construct for Projects

By adopting CCP, the project “condition” is monitored and reported against an agreed set of parameters. This provides the Executive Sponsor with the most accurate feedback on project health, and the earliest warnings of possible issues or slippage. CCP deters “let’s try to fix it first” approaches, and CCP saves valuable time when issue arise. Actions are pre-agreed, and therefore there is no debate about what happens next.

CCP also avoids incriminations. Often the technology partner delivering the transformation will remain a partner into service delivery. An independent arbitrator preserves the client-supplier relations through delivery stresses and strains.

CCP helps the partner too. When issues inevitably arise, the methodology ensures that there is a fair and balanced message to the Executive Sponsor.

Approach

The methodology starts with agreeing a robust set of commercial terms for the project as part of the contractual discussions. The commitment to follow the methodology is therefore embedded within the contractual terms.

The project is kept on track by careful monitoring to an agreed set of parameters and simple reporting to the Executive Sponsor.

Whilst everything should then remain on track, the methodology also includes pre-agreed actions and consequences for when issues arise, so that minimal discussions are needed at critical times.

The methodology sits alongside any standard project management methodology and will minimize the risks of programme overshoot, scope creep, and failure to deliver. CCP is particularly relevant when delivery is by a technology partner, but is also relevant to delivery by an internal department.

What is the Methodology?

The methodology focuses on 10 key areas:

Progress Monitoring – Progress of all deliverables is reported in a special way that encourages sub-teams and deliverable owners to signal any concerns at the earliest stage possible and not wait for a possible problem to be resolved first.

Partner Monitoring – To assist with dependency management, the CCP provider monitors the progress of deliverables within the partner organisation (or internal departments) that may otherwise be “out of sight” to the programme team and Executive Sponsor.

Contingency Management – As part of the programme plan review, contingency of each phase or deliverable is managed by the CCP provider. This means that as a best case, a project should be delivered without needing contingency. Contingency is only release as necessary by the CCP provider.

Planning Review – At the outset, plans are reviewed for sense of deliverability.

Scope Creep Management/Change Management – Scope creep is managed in a defined way by the CCP provider. The basis of the approach is that changes to scope or requirements have different levels of impact at different stages of the project. Change is therefore managed differently at different stages.

Project Conditioning – This is a key element of the methodology. Starting from a defined and pre agreed set of conditions, the project health is reported on an ongoing basis to the Executive Sponsor. “ProjCon 0” means that all is going according to plan. “ProjCon 4” means that the project is in trouble and defined measures are being employed. This is the best way to manage minor infringements of process as well as major issues.

Escalation Measures – As a response to project conditioning, the methodology has a pre-agreed response to recover the project and get it back on track. This is also combined with a pre-agreed set of consequences (financial, operational, executive actions). Pre-agreeing these measures means there is little debate at the time of crisis.

Deep Dive Re-planning – At an agreed level of programme condition eg ProjCon 3, the CCP provider will perform a deep dive review of new plans with a higher level of scrutiny and signoff.

Arbitrator of Dispute Resolution – The CCP provider will be the first line of dispute resolution in a pre-agreed approach.

Sponsor Reporting – CCP provides a second line of reporting to Executive Sponsor. This is essential to the CCP methodology as the monitoring applies to the whole project and not just the partner delivered part.