Project, Programme and Portfolio management

Critical Friend Service for Government Department

A Critical Friend is an individual or organisation that is trusted to speak difficult truths and see solutions that might otherwise be overlooked.

Client stories

The Challenge

A confidential Central Government department workforce found themselves navigating unfamiliar territories, operating outside their areas of expertise to understand both policy intricacies and delivery mechanisms. The complexity and scale of the projects required a level of Project and Programme Management (PPM) skills, knowledge, capacity, and capability that was beyond the Central Government departments immediate resources.

The UK’s exit from the EU presented the Central Gov department with an unprecedented challenge; over 90 complex projects needed to be delivered simultaneously, stretching across various sectors managed by the C.G department. This situation demanded employees to extend beyond their usual roles, blending policy understanding with effective project delivery.

The Solution

Recognising the unique challenges faced by the Central Gov department, Reed Professional Services (RPS) was engaged to provide strategic support. RPS adopted the role of a Critical Friend, offering not just technical expertise but also the ability to speak difficult truths and find innovative solutions in a politically sensitive environment.

The Process

Strategic Engagement: RPS worked closely with senior stakeholders to develop a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and devised a tailored Work Package to address them.

Diverse Expertise: We deployed a team of Delivery Advisors (DAs) and Project Management Business Partners (BPs) with a range of skills and experience, including governance, assurance, reporting, risk, issue and dependency management, and planning. Our team members brought expertise from various sectors such as Health, MOD, Finance, Public and Private Sector, and were proficient in multiple project management methodologies including Prince2, Waterfall, and Agile.

Knowledge Transfer: A key focus was on upskilling employees. We conducted drop-in sessions, formal lessons, wrote manuals, and recommended courses and webinars to transfer critical PPM skills. This approach enabled the Central Government departments staff to understand the decision-making processes and streamline their workflows for improved project delivery.

The Outcome

Effective Navigation: RPS successfully guided the Central Government department through the complexities of the EU exit projects, ensuring timely and effective delivery.

Capability Enhancement: We significantly enhanced the departments internal project management capabilities, leaving a lasting impact on their proficiency.

Trusted Partnership: RPS solidified its reputation as a trusted advisor, capable of delivering clarity and innovative solutions in high-stakes, politically sensitive environments.

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