What we Do
We are the solvent for your IT projects. We deliver your project on schedule!
- Digital, API / Integration, Agile, Application, Development, Microsoft, Cloud, Infrastructure and Remediation / Recovery Projects
- Certified in Agile, Scrum Master, PRINCE 2 Practitioner, PMI PMP (PM-BOK),SAFeand Project 2010/3
- Experience running high profile, high risk and overall solution delivery projects – internal, outsourced, offshore or vendor based
- Project remediation / recovery / uplift experts
- PMO experience – both consulting and corporate
- 15+ years PM experience, 20+ years consulting experience
1. Your specific requirements – Delivered!
Solvent Green Project Management believes there are 3 components to make an outstanding Project Manager :
- Knowledge, and
Given our certifications and experience outlined on our consultant’s profiles which include the top three Project Management certifications in the world – we assure you that we meet all of the ‘core’ project management requirements from a knowledge and qualification point-of-view.
This frees to focus on the specific requirements for YOUR project and not be ‘learning on the job’ like most other project managers and consultants.
2. Common Project Management Issues (and How we Solve Them)
50% of IT Projects fail, another 25% are partially successful. How can your project be in the successful 25% ?
The statistics are quite disturbing around IT project failure. They reflect a myriad of problems but they especially identify bad project management and ‘cowboy’ project managers and project stakeholders as a leading cause of project failure.
Why do projects fail? Our Top 5 reasons are:
- Poor project start-up and initiation
- Poor scoping, planning and change management
- Poor sponsorship and/or project board/Steering Committee not established
- Project manager only knowledgeable in one area – not all the areas required for delivery.
- Project Manager not experienced and not certified
We can ensure that your projects are in the 25% of truly successful projects.
We have been responsible for many successful projects. Our success rate is far above that average – and we remediated quite a few projects ‘back from the brink’ as well. For example we successfully remediated projects at ASIC and ServiceNSW that had all five of these issues.
We will ensure your project is in the 25% by addressing all of the Top 5 above.
Poor quality project managers: Project Managers who don’t have at least one of the top 4 Project Management and/or Agile / Scrummaster certifications
There are many ‘average’ project managers out there – as evidenced by the project failure statistics.
The Top 2 ‘waterfall’ Project Management Methodologies and Certifications in use in Australia today are:
|Organization||Methodology||Top Level Certification|
|PMI||PM-BOK||Project Management Professional (PMP)|
|APMG (formerly OGC)||PRINCE 2||PRINCE 2 Practitioner|
The Top 2 ‘Agile’ Methodologies and Certifications in use in Australia today are:
|Organization||Methodology||Top Level Certification|
|Scrum Alliance||Scrum||Certified ScrumMaster®|
|APMG (formerly OGC)||Agile PM||Agile Project Management Practitioner|
By hiring a PM who is certified you can be confident that the PM has all the ‘standard’ skills expected of a project manager. Our PMs have most of the top certifications listed above – Our Practice Directors have all of them Therefore you can be confident I will deliver your project successfully and achieve a quality result.
As you may know the PMP is the project management equivalent of a CPA – and is by far the hardest PM certification from the list above to achieve. It is regarded as the top Project Management qualification.
Note: It is quite common for PMs to say that they are PRINCE 2 or PM-BOK but they DON’T have the top level certification (or any at all). This can be easily checked from the online candidate registers. You might be surprised at the results when you start checking your other project managers or consultants !.
Project Managers who are only an expert in one area and can’t deliver the whole solution/project
A common problem with many projects are Project Managers who are an expert in one area but not able to deliver the whole solution e.g. an application development PM who knew nothing about infrastructure, web services or the business and caused the project to run off the rails.
Our experience covers the different areas to deliver your full solution i.e.
- Business and Finance
- Application development
- Integration / APIs / Middleware
We believe that ouir wide experience is we have been able to deliver projects successfully where other project managers have failed – and remediate projects that were failing.
More importantly we have the depth of experience in these areas necessary so that we can focus on the areas that pose the most risk to the successful delivery of your projects.
A good project manager can deliver a successful project – a GREAT project manager can save a failing project
Any competent project manager should be able to run a project through the full lifecycle successfully to completion. And conversely, if a project has ‘run off the rails’ it should never be able to be ‘saved’ i.e. assuming good project management in the first place and ignoring external factors beyond the PM’s control.
Therefore bringing in a replacement project manager should ALWAYS result in failure as the new PM has additional obstacles such as learning curve, project review as well as addressing the issues that caused the project to become troubled in the first place.
So how is it that we have been able to successfully take over many failing projects and successfully remediate those projects? With a success rate of around 80% (the average is half that !))
The reasons include:
- There are a large number of poor or inexperienced project managers
- Many project managers do poor project scoping and planning and just ‘wade in’.
- We are certified in the Top 4 Project Management and Agile methodologies – and we actually follow them!
- Our wide business and technical background mean we can successfully manage projects other PMs cannot – especially those involving overall solution delivery. We can identify and focus on the most important risks.
- Project managers who have always said ‘Yes’ to the project sponsors/board, failed to set realistic expectations and then not delivered.
Why you should employ a contract PM instead of high priced consultant PMs who may not be worth the money and don’t produce the best project outcomes for you
Many managers and companies believe that by using the large consultancy firms to PM and resource their projects they are going to get higher quality resources and a more successful result than using contractors – albeit at a premium price.
Unfortunately, our experience is that is DEFINITELY not the case. And often we’ve come in to ‘clean up’ after those consulting companies and their PMs i.e. remediate or re-run the project.
So to assist you to make an informed decision about the use of consultants (and how to manage them) here are some of our ‘home truths’ about large consulting companies:
- 50-75% of what you pay in daily rates to consultants goes in overhead (account managers, practice managers, marketing, etc) – so you could get the same quality contractor on the open market for half the price
- Many of these consulting companies make a big deal about how they only supply the best quality consultants and that their consultants are permanent, long term employees and much better quality than contractors. Their “dirty little secret” is they often don’t have these resources available and then supply you with contractors anyway – and still take their 100%+ mark-up !. Unless you can be sure about the resources you are getting it’s better for you to go direct to use contractors.
- Many of the large consulting companies are not that interested in delivering projects on time and on budget – their account directors, managers and some PMs are renumerated based on selling more consultants and hours and staying there as long as possible.
- The large consulting companies will low- bid for a project to win it – and then make their money on massive number of change requests which they will blame on poor requirements specified by you the customer.
- They are NOT there to deliver to your budget and schedule.
- Another trick of the large consulting companies is to put in high quality resources at the start of the project and then swap them out for cheaper contractors during the project but still charge you the same rate – or even worse – out-source or off-shore….aka ‘Bait and Switch’.
- The big focus of management at these consulting companies is utilisation – so odds on they are not going to have the resources you need sitting around when you need them – so your project may be delayed or resourced with consultants who are actually contractors ‘off the street’. It’s often better to go direct to market for contractors.
- A contract Project Manager will ALWAYS act in your best interests as YOU are paying them. They do NOT have a conflict of interest with the consulting company that employs them.
So in our experience the best project approach is to engage the project manager yourself so you can be sure they are acting only in your best interests and then resource the project with contractors, consultants and permanent staff vetted and managed by your PM. This will ensure a better result for you and your project.
We have a proven track record of working with and for consulting companies and vendors. As your PM we can tightly manage the consultants and vendors to ensure quality resources are committed and budget and scope are controlled.
Tip: Whilst many of these consulting companies are not good at ‘whole solution delivery on time and budget ‘ they do have some very highly qualified individuals. So you should consider them for project team resources – especially when you have a critical or failing project …just remember to make sure you ‘get what you pay for’ by reviewing resumes and securing resource commitment and using a PM that you’ve engaged directly.
Why strictly following a methodology may cause your project to fail – the difference between a Project Manager and a Project Co-ordinator …..
The only thing worse than Project Management ‘cowboys’ are the methodology and process “Queens”. These Project Managers spend all their time producing wonderfully detailed project tracking, logs and reports all of which are in 100% compliance with the preferred methodology at all times. They also have lots of long meetings. Their projects often fail.
Why ? Because if it comes to a choice between beautifully documenting a project or managing an issue or risk that will actually affect the delivery of the project they think the documentation is more important. Its not !.
If you are not actively managing the project you are not a project manager – you are at best a project co-ordinator or at worst a ‘minute taker’ or ‘meeting co-ordinator’.
The art and the skill of a good project manager is to find a balance between methodology and compliance and the actual planning, delivery and management of the project. And that art comes from having BOTH a huge experience and all the relevant certifications and training.
And in the case of saving a failing project it is often necessary to temporarily ‘cut corners’ on documentation, methodology and process until you get the project back on track then remediating that as well.
However the critical thing here is that documentation, process and methodology can only be reprioritised temporarily and with the stakeholders in agreement – you still have to ensure the project is fully documented and compliant ASAP – at worst by the project close.
Another critical concept to understand is ‘tailoring’. A methodology should not be followed in its entirety for every project – rather a conscious set of decisions must be made at the start of project to tailor the methodology and its deliverables to the requirements of the project. For example in PRINCE 2 Tailoring is an explicit requirement. If you don’t tailor you can end up doing a whole lot of unnecessary work and wasting a lot of time and money.
It’s a common mistake by other less experienced project managers to follow the methodology blindly and not tailor.
I’ve been able to both run successful projects and remediate failing ones by successfully negotiating priorities and tailoring.
75% of IT Projects are unsuccessful….. yet how many Project Managers have you seen admit to a failed project ?
Projects fail for many reasons – often beyond the control of the Project Manager. And yet how many project managers will admit to a failed project on their resume ?
Reasons for projects failing or being less than a 100% success that I’ve seen personally:
- Program managers with no understanding of project management
- Stakeholders not communicated or involved
- Difficult or irrational or deceptive stakeholders or customers
- Active sabotage or deception by other groups within the same organisation
- Forced Resource re-allocation
- Politics and inter-department point-scoring
- False or incomplete information supplied to the project by other groups or customers or stakeholders
- Account managers putting their commission on new sales ahead of existing project success
- Vendors or other groups simply being unable to deliver to their commitments
We are happy to discuss my successes – and failures – and the reasons for each. Are other consultants willing to do the same ? We are happy to put our REAL 80% success rate against the REAL success rate of other PMs at any time – and that includes failing projects we’ve taken over to remediate.
3. What makes Solvent Green PMs a better project manager than other PMs and consultants – and why we will deliver a better result for you?
- We have a proven record of initiating, starting, planning and scoping projects better than our peers
- We are certified in the Top 4 Project Management methodologies – unlike most other PMs.
- We maintain rigorous scope and change control where other PMs do not. We’ve been called the “Scope king” by one sponsor and the “Executor” by another because our PM was the only PM delivering to schedule in a 20 project program.
- We have been able to remediate failing projects where other project managers have either failed or been terminated.
- As part of project remediation we also normally have to remediate the project’s documentation and compliance with an organisation’s project management methodology. We have consistently achieved this e.g. at engagement at ASIC we successfully remediated the project’s documentation and compliance with their APM and SDM methodologies. The Project was widely acknowledged within the Program as not only the only project to be green at completion but also the best documented and most compliant.
- Our wide experience and IT knowledge enables us to quickly identify the top scope issues and risks – enabling us to ensure the correct risks are focused on to ensure on-time delivery.
We trust that that the have has established why you should consider us to run your project.
If there is any item or concern that you require further information on please do not hesitate to contact us.
We look forward to hearing from you about how we can assist you with delivering your project successfully.
Send us a message below to discuss your project requirements.
If there is any item or concern that you require further information on please do not hesitate to discuss with us. Please use the form below to start the discussion.
Certifications & Clearances !
Leading SAFE (Through PM Partners)
- Federal Government Protected Level Security Clearance (2006) – baseline confirmed valid till 2021
- ASIC Clearance (2012)
ITIL Foundation Certificate
MCAD .NET – Web and Windows Development