Governance and program management overhaul for the Broadband Services Division of a US Telecom company

This large US telecom company had initiated an ambitious program to establish their position in the rapidly emerging interactive television market, requiring simultaneous development streams carried out by diverse subcontractors. 
Previous problems were re-emerging so PA was chosen to investigate the program management practices.

A review of the processes impeding delivery based on our diagnostic results (see the diagram below) showed performance to be in the 3rd/4th quartile and required improvement in the areas of governance, project and portfolio management.


In an earlier article:” The “G” word – demystifying delivery governance”, we described how governance is really about creating the conditions for effective delivery through improved decision-making, oversight and accountabilities.  This was our point of departure at this client.

What we found?

  • Despite a major review, there was growing concern that some previous problems were re-emerging, and might worsen as the scale of the program grew
  • The program was visible at the highest level in the company and within the prime sub-contractors.
  • PA was already involved with some of the detailed technical aspects of the program, established and respected by the program team.  Therefore, PA was the natural choice to investigate the program management difficulties.

What we did

PA helped this telecom company develop a fully functional and comprehensive program management capability, including:

  • Improved governance by introducing a project office operating at both the project and program level (including the provision of bespoke project office procedures)
  • The identification of major risks & issues, including recommendation of mitigation actions required to resolve difficulties
  • Role definitions for all Program Management staff
  • Client coaching skills and techniques
  • A detailed audit of sub-contractor/supplier performance
  • A new contractor interface function

What was achieved?

  • Comprehensive improvements in program management capability, which provided team members with the skills to manage the overall program effectively
  • Revised governance processes providing vastly improved oversight at all levels of the program
  • Revised plans (including timescales and financial projections) for the current program
  • Tools that could be applied to future programs

As is our usual approach, addressing those areas contributing to unreliable delivery enabled changes to be made which quickly improved performance visibly and sustainably at all levels.

John Hall

PA Consulting Group

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