Watkins Consulting professionals have led or assisted hundreds of finance industry and government sector initiatives. For each engagement, a team is organized with the requisite skill set and experience necessary to meet the unique challenges of the specific situation. With our strategic alliance of seasoned professionals, Watkins is able to appropriately scale the size of our teams to effectively meet the needs, deliverables and budget of each project.
Our approach to Project Management embodies a logical protocol which allows our staff to follow a consistent, reliable and repeatable process. This process ensures that all projects are executed, managed, and staffed appropriately. Our professionals use a consistent methodology as a significant component of their toolkit to execute their responsibilities. This methodology is comprised of four phases:
The first step of any project is to develop a solid understanding of the project objectives and scope. Our experienced managers will break down a project into manageable and executable tasks, enabling them to delegate assignments and responsibility accordingly. The outcome of the Planning Phase is a well-documented set of processes and procedures. Typical deliverables or dependencies in this phase include:
Project Plan: Identifies 1) key deliverables, tasks and subtasks with projected inception and completion dates, 2) development of an estimated budget for the project, and 3) assignment of personnel resources that bring the best combination of required knowledge and skills as well as supervisory/managerial expertise to execute the plan.
Staffing Plan: Highlights the staffing needs of a specific project and includes an organizational chart identifying key roles and responsibilities.
Risk Plan: Identifies all the possible project risks and appropriate mitigation strategies. A key component of the Risk Plan is the Staffing Contingency plan to deal with the potential loss of a key member from the team.
Communications Plan: Establishes appropriate forums for team members to communicate with each other and team management on issues or findings impacting the successful completion of the project. A critical component of the process is effective and timely communication. A Communications Plan will be implemented that is designed to ensure the project team is well-informed and is consistently followed throughout the entire project.
Quality Plan: Identifies best practices and ensures quality is a key component of all our projects. This phase includes the review by senior staff of all schedules and deliverables to insure that it complies with requirements, is reliable, repeatable, and verifiable.
Watkins Project Managers ensure that the project is directed and managed in accordance with the project structure as established in the Planning Phase to achieve the key milestones of the project, including identifying and resolving all issues as they arise in a timely and efficient manner.
During this phase, the team will implement procedures prepared during the Planning Phase, track deliverables, monitor project budget-to-actuals, and prepare weekly status reports; ensuring the client is kept informed and up-to-date on the project.
Using criteria established in the Planning Phase (updated as appropriate throughout the project), Project Managers ensure that key deliverables are completed according to plan and within established timelines.
Project Managers will work hand-in-hand with the client throughout the entire project to ensure all client expectations, outcomes, and deadlines are met.
All projects need to be closed effectively. This includes closing all open issues, reconciling all deliverables, and gathering all necessary signatures/documents.
During this phase, products are to be delivered in final format as specified by the client. The client will perform a final review and comment on a deliverable before final delivery or if the deliverable requires further action, a comment log will be prepared and follow-on meetings may be held to resolve any critical or substantive issues.
Being a Project Manager with Watkins Consulting means that each professional maintains core competencies is their field of practice as well as:
- Project Risk Assessment
- Management of Deliverables
- Integrated high-level program monitoring
- Development and on-going management of department-wide programs
- Ensuring compliance with contractual requirements
- Providing guidance on contract administration