Review & Healthcheck

The Problem

Every complex business undertaking runs into difficulties at some point during its life. Confusion over scope and objectives, schedule delays, missed milestones, budget overruns, coherence of capability, benefits realisation and dealing with their impact on customer expectations are some typical issues that need to be addressed by the management team, when they occur – it’s part and parcel of their job.

Quality metrics show that the cost of correcting a project issue is many times the cost of preventing it. In fact, for some types of issues, late correction may be impossible. For example, if a cost overrun is not corrected within the first 15% of a project's duration, it is generally impossible to correct it later.

Those accountable for project or programme success have a duty to ensure that small issues are detected early and corrected before they become major problems.

The Solution

Scheduling a series of healthchecks over the life of a project or programme can provide early indications if problems are looming. Additionally, the very scheduling of such healthchecks encourages the team to maintain good practices from start to finish and not just for the review at completion (how many of us put in a few extra gym sessions before a personal healthcheck?).

We have found that if delivery initiatives get into trouble, then early intervention can help to bring them back on track, whereas late action may be futile. We use methods we have developed over many years, as well as standard approaches such as the Gateway TM Review process. We believe that a review should not just be a tick-and-flick conformance check against a standard process, but that we can provide real value to our clients by offering substantial value-adding improvement recommendations.

At an enterprise level, conducting healthchecks on a sample of projects and programmes enables common issues and non-compliances to be captured and resolved in a cost-effective way.

Both PRINCE2 ® and MSP ® recommend that healthchecks and other types of assurance activities be undertaken on behalf of those in governance roles by people independent of the project team. Healthchecks undertaken by independent assessors are free from internal politics, and provide a balanced view. Using independent assessors means the healthchecks are more likely to be accepted because the assessors are not encumbered by the day-to-day issues and interruptions of most projects.

If you have a project or programme which is under pressure, either in terms of its own delivery objectives or the delivery of its business benefits, we can provide help in areas such as:

  • We can help you understand in depth all the areas that are crucial to the successful delivery of your project;
  • Our in-depth experience gives us the insight to help identify the areas where you need to focus most attention, prioritised by business impact;
  • By picking up potential problems early, we can help you develop a practical, detailed action plan to get things back on track;
  • You may see additional longer-term benefits such as increased collaboration across functional and business boundaries.

Healthcheck Approach

The healthcheck will be carried out by an experienced Project and Programme Management professional. The healthcheck may be based on a mixture of documentation review, structured interviews and focus group(s).

The healthcheck will:

  • Check compliance with corporate policies for managing projects;
  • Compare the project against good-practice project management (as embodied in PMI’s PMBoK ®);
  • Assess performance to-date against original baseline;
  • Assess the likelihood of meeting current forecasts.


Conducting healthchecks will help organisations ensure:

  • The organisation's management methods are being used correctly;
  • Good practice is captured and shared;
  • The effectiveness of a project can be measured;
  • Exposure to risk is being actively managed;
  • There is a process for feedback from stakeholders and the project team;
  • Corrective actions can be identified, assessed and implemented.

Typical Deliverables

The following products will be produced:

  • Healthcheck Checklist confirming compliance to corporate policy and good practice;
  • Interview Records;
  • Healthcheck Report, including findings, recommmendations and action plan.

To find out more about how we can help you assure your portfolios, programmes and projects, contact us today.

PRINCE2®, MSP®, MoP®, MoV® and MoP® are registered trade marks of AXELOS Limited
GatewayTM is a trade mark of the UK Cabinet Office
PMBOK® is a registered trademark of Project Management Institute, Inc

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