How to Ensure Programme Success

Coronavirus has changed the way we manage public sector change and transformation programmes.  Innovative approaches as a result of COVID-19 have identified a better way to manage change. This new way puts humans at the heart of change, meaning that change programmes are likely to have shifted, as organisational cultures have evolved. 

We can count the endless positive changes in service delivery, the improved clarity in purpose, the introduction of hybrid working and digital transformation, innovative cross-departmental and partnership collaboration, and working with reduced and only necessary bureaucracy to get us into action faster. We are working differently.  And enjoying it! 

These changes are proving crucial to successful transformation but still, can we afford to rest on our laurels? 

What impact does this have on current programmes running during or because of the pandemic?


Including new behaviours in planning

It’s easy to think that objectives set 18-months ago, six months ago or even one month ago are still on target because services and organisational behaviours have improved, however this is not always the case. Change that is implemented due to emergency response is likely to impact on the health of a programme, due to the speed at which actions have had to be put into place. If organisational culture has changed then people’s perspectives and behaviours will change too, right? Therefore, we need to ask ourselves if behavioural change has been reflected into the programme strategy and delivery, and its set objectives.   

With so many variables at play, one miniscule change in organisational behaviour creates a wave impacting the entire work streams. It is imperative that when programmes are impacted by impromptu requirements and further unexpected change, forcing organisational cultures to change overnight, that we thoroughly check the ramifications on work streams to ensure they stay aligned and are still meeting current objectives.  


Keeping track of new behaviours

This is often easier said than done, especially with so much change at one time, causing housekeeping to be overlooked as urgent priorities demand attention.  We know that due diligence should be practiced continuously with extra special attention because of adversity, to avoid any oversight. But errors happen in tumultuous times. We are human after all.

With so much change over the past twenty months impacting the way we work, it makes sense to stop and check over the health of a programme. By carrying out a Programme Health Check there is more chance of ensuring programme success, sustainability, and programme sponsor support. Impartial expertise can highlight the review of the risk register with scrutiny to determine how your programme is doing in terms of its objectives and overarching mission. Assessing the programme’s potential success at that point in time validates the health and/or identifies the areas requiring accelerated support. It considers timelines, budgets, risks, quality, and value and everything needed to validate business case justification.  


So, what are the benefits?

  • impartial advice from programme experts 
  • credibility and transparency 
  • assurance to stakeholders
  • simple and quick to deliver 
  • value for money 
  • ensures that the programme adheres to the principles of delivery to succeed


What outcomes can we expect?

  • Validation of the business case
  • Financial tracking validation
  • Data for reporting to Cabinet/Council and Programme Board
  • Assurances, informing the scrutiny process
  • The Programme Health Check highlights the stability of a programme

Be extra vigilant in a changing world. If you're interested in a Programme Health Check delivered by an experienced independent consultant then contact us today for a chat. 

By Rachael Walker | 22nd December 2021

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