Housing Organisations Discuss Project Planning

Leaders from Housing Organisations across the UK met today, to discuss the value that can be gained through Project Portfolio Management. Overwhelmingly, 97% of organisations believe that project management is critical to business performance and organisational success, according to a PwC study. Yet delivering a portfolio of projects successfully is never straight forward and around 70% of projects fail, according to PMI.

Nine Feet Tall hosted a virtual panel event for the housing sector, to discuss the different approaches to project portfolio delivery and how to prioritise. On the panel were Karen Stephens, Director of Strategy and Transformation at Stonewater Housing, Abi Williams Director of IT at LiveWest and Nick Paul, Housing Sector Lead at Nine Feet Tall.

Discussions were candid as the panellists explored their tips for identifying the high impact projects and reviewing priorities. Sarah Cole shared how Taff Housing ensure that projects at Taff Housing are all aligned to the strategy despite being a smaller organisation. Sarah said “the size of the organisation doesn’t mean the size of the portfolio is any smaller. It just means our capacity to manage it is smaller. We have a lot of work going on at Taff which doesn’t always get recognised as a project. My role is to identify what is an actual project and make sure they have a clear plan.”

Planning is definitely a key component to project success, but often unpredictable external factors mean organisations must pivot to deliver essential and unexpected projects. Stonewater Housing and other providers have been helping customers to find homes for Ukrainian refugees & Taff Housing helped house Afghan refugees following the Taliban invasion last year. Karen Stephens shared how Stonewater were able to quickly adapt and resource this initiative: “One of the benefits of working virtually means that collaboration has got better among stakeholders. Being able to quickly outline a business case around project definition in line with strategic objectives helps us to prioritise.” Having the agility to flexibly accommodate new initiatives into the portfolio helps housing organisations to thrive.

Using agile ways of working can play an important role in project delivery. Nick Paul gave insight around agile methodologies and how some of these principles can help organisations to move forward: “Using sprint delivery means you can divide up a project into bitesize chunks for quick delivery, allowing for rapid exploration and the faster delivery of benefits.”

Nine Feet Tall’s next virtual panel event in the housing sector focuses on Customer Experience and using technology and data to improve CX. You can sign up here.

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