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I spent the first eight years of my working life in a line technology role with a third-party supply chain and logistics service provider, joining in 1990 on completing an IT degree. When I left, I w...
Dave Machin, Partner
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Home > Services > Delivering Major Technology Programmes
By their very nature, large, complex IT projects are not everyday affairs for the vast majority of businesses. And they are rarely just about IT. Typically, there will be significant business implications and considerations to manage alongside technology aspects, and these might not always be obvious. At Berkeley we have deep expertise in working alongside our clients to set up and deliver such these projects.
At the extreme, a large scale IT project may be a once in a decade event and it is not uncommon for organisations to find that they do not have the experience or skills to support such an initiative. These are different from normal projects – the stakeholder dynamics may be more challenging, the vendor landscape is likely to have greater complexity and commercial dimensions, and overall the stakes are higher. As such they require a different set of skills.
At Berkeley we bring direct experience of supporting clients through such changes. We’ll work as part of your team to help manage these peaks in scale and complexity.
A big project doesn’t need an army of outsiders. A few highly experienced team players with the necessary skills and, critically, the right attitude can make all the difference. That’s our way of doing it and it’s proven to be highly effective.
We often get approached when a big project is starting to wobble. The complexities and what’s involved in delivering these kinds of projects successfully is easily underestimated. We have a successful track record of helping to refocus projects and find a smoother course.
Clients that know us well often engage us right upfront, shaping and mobilising, laying firm foundations for the project’s success. All projects have hiccups along the way but when solid foundations have been laid, these can be ridden out.
So what goes into delivering these kinds of IT projects?
It starts with strong business and IT sponsorship. The IT is there to support a business need. We tend to straddle the two and keep this link closer than it would otherwise be.
We focus on helping our clients to understand and set clear priorities, then to break down the complexity and deliver the project in bite-sized chunks. We can help you find a balance between ambition and deliverability by helping you understand what it will take in realistic terms.
These projects typically involve contracting with one or more third parties, such as a systems integrator or software vendor. This is not a typical procurement challenge. Such arrangements can be a commercial minefield and apparent short term commercial wins can create significant unintended consequences further down the line. We are very experienced at establishing and managing these relationships for our clients in a manner that drives the right behaviours and reinforces the achievement of shared goals.
Your team needs to be at the heart of the project. We typically augment your own team with a small number of experienced, expert practitioners, bringing capability and helping everyone to play to their strengths. We aim to create a one-team feel, where everyone is focused on the same goal.
There’s no such thing as a purely IT project – they are all there to serve the business in some way. So with complex IT projects in particular, you need to find the common ground and develop an approach that allows both the business and IT to work effectively and operate as one team all the way.
How we worked with Unilever to redefine its approach to management reporting.
How we helped our client to develop and implement a new global web platform.
We reviewed a major IT programme and then lead the implementation of the turnaround activities.
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