What issues have you encountered relating to scale, pace, or other aspects of structural complexity in strategic projects?



Discuss the challenges of scale and pace

Discuss the following questions with your peers in the class-wide forum:

  • What issues have you encountered relating to scale, pace, or other aspects of structural complexity in strategic projects?
  • What were the causes of these complexities and what responses have you observed that work or don’t work?
  • How did these issues impact on the project’s performance, outputs, outcomes, or legacy?

Here is the other student's response ( use this as a sample ) 

1 : In the strategic project that I managing, the pace has been the biggest challenge and this is a result of poor planning prior to my involvement. As of today, we are now 12 months into a project that was expected to last 12 months. I become involved six months ago, and was shocked to discover the business case hadn't been approved, so the project had not been officially authorised. The project team were also not clear on the future state that we were trying to achieve, other than to satisfy new legislative requirements, so there was a real lack of direction.

Due to pressure from key stakeholders to close the project within the agreed timeframe, we have been forced to plan and execute at the same time. Costs and time have blown out, and it's doubtful whether we can still achieve the outcomes. We are now at a point where I think some realism has started to kick in and we may be able to revise our timeframes - a lot of rework is required to get this project back on track.

Does anyone else have examples of projects where the basics haven't been performed well?

2: Prior to launching our larger project, we as a bunch of clinical leaders through our society ran a pilot project; supposed to last 2 years. Aim was really to test the feasibility of implementing a new tele trial model that needed new and revision of regulatory processes by 3 state Governments, cancer centres to adopt the model and drug companies and trial groups to include the model into their protocols. 

We knew of a Government grant 2 days before the closing date and none of us had any training in project management. We completely underestimated the scale, pace and the fact that project success relied on other's making changes to their way of operation and we didn't have time to do large scale stakeholder forums because of grant timelines. So, it took us 12 months just to engage the Governments, drug companies and cancer centres. Then another 6-9 months to help them develop new processes and we had to work with old processes atlas do one or two trials using the tele trial model. At 2 year mark, we only had two trials,  6 new rural sites, 12 new staff trained, had nearly 15 patients from rural areas that would not have been offered trials without the new model,, half developed processes.  and shown that if we do things properly, this model can be scaled up. Because of the direct benefit to patients of rural areas, though in our mind, we didn't deliver on the outcomes, many stakeholders believed it was a success and we were able to receive 100M to scale up the model. This time, learning from the pilot, we spent time with stakeholder involvement, setting objectives and communication plan. We hope that this time we'll have more fun over 5 years. 

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