The intentions of the Eurostar Board were translated into reality by organising and focusing the portfolio and funding structures to better reflect the strategic and the operational needs of Eurostar. Eurostar delivered to its strategic objective.
Eurostar won the APM's Programme of the Year Award 2008.
As recorded by Richard Brown, CEO, Eurostar - "CITI demystified many of the aspects of project management and governance for us, allowing the whole organisation to understand much more clearly what is required for successful delivery - a state much closer to 'conscious competence' than we were in before. I have no hesitation in strongly recommending CITI to others."
To implement its challenging strategy of being first choice for travellers, Eurostar needed to focus on the governance and execution of its strategic programme and projects - it needed an effective project portfolio prioritisation approach. It had to become more responsive to changing markets and opportunities and to translate strategic imperatives more quickly and more predictably into operational reality.
Approach to solution
CITI's starting point was to ensure that Richard Brown and his direct reports had a shared vision of what was to be achieved and could articulate this consistently throughout the organisation. A route map that focused on the delivery of benefits (value) and the vision. The map identified the changes that needed to be made and the outputs needed from projects to cause the changes. By starting with the end in mind rather than from projects or solutions it was much easier to structure projects and to link them to stakeholders' agendas.
With the value understood, with the different stakeholder's interests mapped we were now in a position to see which combinations of projects, costs and resources delivered the best return, with the concept of 'best' recognised by all parties as having the same meaning.
In parallel with this, we profiled Eurostar's programme and project managers to determine their capability, so that the portfolio of projects could be matched to appropriate individuals. An important step - as project portfolio prioritisation must deal with not just the desirable, but the do-able aspects as well.
Portfolio prioritisation requires the groundwork of determining what is regarded as valuable by the key stakeholders; organising and ranking benefits against this value set, and then having ways of assessing the degree of risk associated with achieving the benefits, before setting out a prioritisation scheme. Without an agreed and public basis for establishing value, every prioritisation scheme fails - usually within the year its introduced.
"The classic training model, taking individuals out of the business to sit in a classroom for a week at a time, was not going to work for us. But at the same time, we knew we needed to raise our game in managing change. I have to say, your people are brilliant!"