Research Report: Secrets of High Performing Projects

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Page 4 of 51

Secrets of High Performing Projects 5 Recovery from COVID-19 will be difficult, but it's not impossible Every industry in every region has seen at least some impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. Just 13.8% of our survey participants said 10% or fewer of their projects had been impacted and that likely mirrors the situation worldwide. For the majority of industries, that impact has resulted in significantly less money available for investment and has made it all the more important to ensure projects deliver effective business outcomes. That won't be easy to achieve. Just 24.2% of our respondents believed that they would be able to achieve business outcomes for more than 80% of their ongoing projects during COVID-19 recovery. That number can be improved by applying some of the best practices we are identifying in this report, but there will be projects that are simply no longer viable. Organizations must be prepared to identify those initiatives and make the difficult decisions to end them or redirect them elsewhere if that is appropriate. That may not be possible in all cases due to contractual commitments, but the sooner funds can be freed up to direct to areas capable of delivering a higher return on investment, the better. To achieve that, it is clear that organizations must continue to monitor their environments – 44.2% of respondents indicated that external environmental factors posed the biggest challenge to their recovery and that element of things beyond your control is going to be of at least some concern for all organizations for some time to come. However, that doesn't give you a free pass on what is happening within your organization. Almost a quarter of respondents (22.8%) said that the biggest challenge in their recovery would be either ineffective planning or inefficient resource allocation. You already know if you are struggling with one or both of those elements and can take steps to address it now. That will improve your overall performance and may be the difference between success and failure on a project. It is also something that you can do at minimal cost simply by addressing internal issues. At a time when the stakes couldn't be higher, it's also critically important to ensure you are using the right tools for the job. 42.4% of survey respondents reported relying on spreadsheets for risk and change management. This is not only inefficient and ineffective; it increases the risks that are trying to be controlled. Spreadsheets have no place in enterprise level management today and you need to focus on replacing them with integrated, enterprise level solutions. When such critical factors are controlled through spreadsheets the implication is also that these are not treated as core elements of how an organization succeeds. As a result, these organizations are not as operationally agile as they could be, or need to be, and that is going to make it much harder to recover from the impacts of the pandemic – especially when organizations consider they are in a sprint against their competitors to deliver that recovery. While the pandemic may be unlike anything the world has faced in modern times, the impact for most organizations is simply that of an economic downturn. A significant one for sure, but something that organizations have had to deal with in the past. By focusing on internal excellence organizations can not only aid their recovery, they can prepare a springboard for future growth. Our high performing organizations in this survey provided a lot of indicators for how that internal excellence can be achieved, and that's a nice segue to our next area of focus. " Spreadsheets are not enterprise management tools and are inappropriate for effective control of risks and change. " Planning and resource allocation challenges must be addressed if the recovery from COVID-19 is to be successful.

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