Large-scale IT-enabled projects are very challenging to deliver on time and on budget. Yet they are critical to a company's strategy, so any problems can be immensely damaging. On cost alone, substantial overruns occur in almost 90 percent of such projects. To avoid this, project teams must excel in four dimensions: project strategy, technical expertise, capability building, and project management.
We help clients ensure that large IT projects succeed and to turn around projects on the wrong track. We have developed a proprietary Value Assurance methodology that we have applied at both public- and private-sector clients across a range of industries. This distinctive approach combines a broad and coherent view of an IT project, a focus on business value, and an emphasis on transferring capabilities to client teams to ensure sustainability.
Strength in four dimensions
- Managing strategy and stakeholders includes ensuring continuous alignment of the project with the business strategy and value objectives, detailed analysis of stakeholder positions, vendor management, and proactive risk identification and mitigation.
- Mastering technology and content means addressing both the technical and nontechnical aspects of the project, including IT architecture and infrastructure design, functionality design, quality assurance, migration and rollout plans, and project scope management.
- Building teams and capabilities draws on McKinsey’s track record and expertise to ensure alignment with the project’s goals at each organizational level, and to support end-to-end change management. We also provide the client’s project team with specific training modules and coaching on hard and soft skills.
- Delivering best-practice project management includes setting up a Value Assurance Office, creating rigorous processes for managing change requests and resolving issues, managing the project’s master plan, and setting up a reporting system and quality gates.
To kick-start a Value Assurance project, we run a diagnostic that reveals critical challenges and areas of strength in each dimension. A follow-up client workshop discusses findings and develops next steps. For some clients this might be an "emergency" response, calling for a 6-week project; others may be more suited to a multiyear sustained project.