Is my project in good health?

Running Ultra-marathons and taking on the occasional epic challenge has taught me that the body needs a regular health-check or ‘MOT’. This health-check often has two outputs, confirms you’re in good shape or tells you that you need to focus on a specific area to avoid injury. Interestingly, the few times I have had injuries or niggles have been because I haven’t focused on the areas that would have helped me avoid injury.

Over the years I have learnt that project health needs to be treated in a similar way. It is far easier to take a proactive approach to prevent issues or at least deal with them before a ‘niggle’ becomes a full-on injury that stops you in your tracks.

Running a health-check on a project or programme will give you a view of its health, where you have any niggles that need attention or whether you need to focus on specific areas to turn the project around.

The health-check can be based on a set of simple questions, for example:

  1. is the project or programme delivering against its objectives?
  2. is the project or programme is being delivered in line with the required / optimum governance framework?
  3. will the benefits specified be realised and, are they sustainable? 
  4. is the project or programme making the best use of its resources?
  5. have the key risks been clearly identified and are being managed? 
  6. have any material issues been identified, escalated and are being dealt with?
  7. are key stakeholders and stakeholder groups engaged with the project or programme?
  8. is the business is ready to accept and adopt the necessary change or changes?

If you overlay these questions on your project or programme and come up with a “no” to any of them it may be that your project or programme isn’t functioning correctly and may start to experience health issues.

So…are your projects in good health? 

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