In more than 20 years of operation CA has worked with hundreds of software and systems projects operating under fixed price, fixed time constraints in a variety of industry sectors. We've always had a special interest in why some projects and project managers are more successful than others, primarily because it's our job to develop perspectives on this subject and pass them on to our clients. The best answer we can give is that ...
consistent success in project management comes down to your depth of understanding of the product to be built, the processes you will use to build it and the discipline, skills and productivity of the people who will do the building - backed up by a pragmatic view of what could go wrong and what you can do about it
These fundamental success factors are simple in concept but invariably difficult in execution. In an environment of increasing product complexity and size where customers are constantly expecting more functionality for less money in shorter timeframes a project manager can never reasonably expect to know, at project commencement, the exact scope of works, the productivity of everyone on the team and the utility of any standard development process as applied to a specific project. In our experience project managers who are consistently successful maximise their knowledge of project scope in the beginning, configure their project for maximum visibility of progress, only make commitments they know they can keep and act decisively when things do go wrong. Project managers typically evolve these skills over time often learning from expensive mistakes. Some say that:
experience is something you get just after you need it
As project managers, project management consultants and team members, CA people work to accelerate this learning curve by applying our experience in the processes and pragmatics of effective project management.
CA provides professional project management services to complex systems projects. Our project managers have depth of experience in, telecommunications, rail systems engineering, intelligent transportation systems, military projects and chemical processing process control.
CA's project consulting and support services can best be described in terms of the important questions that need to be answered for all projects:
- What is the plan?
CA either leads or provides advice in the initial stages of project planning. This often occurs in highly regulated safety critical systems environments where projects are required to comply with functional safety standards such as IEC 61508 or EN 50128 or must implement specific project planning and tracking disciplines such as earned value management.
- What is the development strategy?
CA either creates system development methodologies or assists organisations in tailoring their existing processes. Working from our extensive library of best practices we never start with a blank page.
- Do our people have the skills?
CA provides formal project management training and on-the-job mentoring of project managers.
- What is the scope of works?
CA assists our clients in precisely defining their project's scope of works with work breakdown structures. We have developed WBSs for projects in a variety of industry sectors.
- How much will it cost?
Using the framework of the WBS we assist organisations in developing project cost estimates.
- What are the risks and how do we deal with them?
Working from a common project risk list developed in over 30 years of systems engineering and applying our standard risk management process we work with clients to identify what could go wrong on their projects. We help clients either eliminate risks or reduce their probability and severity of outcome. If risks cannot be eliminated we develop contingency plans should risk scenarios to be realised.
- Will this project deliver?
CA conducts project assessments focusing on a project's ability to deliver the agreed scope of works at the estimated cost in the planned timeframe. We also provide assessments of systems assurance activities such as quality management, functional safety management, verification and validation and configuration management.
- How well did we perform? Could we have done better?
CA facilitates process improvement oriented post project reviews. In the context of these reviews we evaluate the degree to which a project achieved its stated goals, celebrate successes and look for the process improvement opportunities that might prevent a repetition of any failures.
(Taiwan High-Speed Rail Project)
||CA provided project management services and created the project plan for the development of an environmental control and smoke extraction system for an underground railway station.
||CA worked with project managers on several telecommunications projects documenting each project's scope of works with a work breakdown structure and facilitating project cost estimation.
|Pacific Link Alliance(Intelligent Transportation System Project)
||CA evaluated the status and likelihood of on-time delivery of a subcontractor project tasked with developing the smoke extraction and intelligent transportation systems for the Tugun Bypass Project.