What about BAU?

March 18th, 2017

BAU – that Business As Usual that has to keep running, no matter how big or small the project, who is running it, which business areas need something and so on. A challenge when running any project is keeping BAU running; those involved in delivering the project as well as the wider business.

For instance, if you are putting in a new system in HR, the HR manager will be heavily involved in sourcing and implementing a new system and ensuring the processes and systems are all in place across their team, line management within the business and all the staff. The HR system and processes are core to any professional services firm, although not something that busy people will pay much attention to, while they are busy with their day job, until there is a problem.

The HR manager will have their day job and their staff to manage and implementing a new set of processes or a new IT system will have a big impact and take a lot of their own time and that of their staff. Most HR managers are unlikely to do this kind of project very often and may not have all the skills to manage the project. However well organised they are, project management is more than “time management ++”.

What do you need to do?

When running a project like this, and many internal projects will cut across the whole business, there needs to be a clear plan of what needs to happen and when and who is doing what. Unless you are able to release people from a large part of their day job, this needs careful management, to ensure that the delivery of the project doesn’t happen at the loss of something, elsewhere in that department or across the wider business. The business may need:

  • extra resources within the department, HR in this example, to do some of the BAU/day job
  • subject matter expert/s who have experience of some new aspects, such as if the business is introducing a new flexible benefits system
  • facilitators to work with the business and management to gather information and business needs; this is often done by those not directly involved in running the department or business
  • project management help to bring all the different elements of HR, IT, the business, the supplier together

In many projects, these resources are required at different points in time, in smaller or larger proportions and are unlikely to be needed long-term. Part of the project manager’s role is to plan for this, resource it, budget for it, manage it appropriately, working with the project sponsor and senior leadership, to ensure the overall project meets the business needs and maintains BAU now, improving it going forwards.

How we can help

We can provide you with a tailored package, whether that is running a project on a short-term, full-time basis, or tailored coaching session for the relevant department manager through the process of setting up the project, the different workstreams and the processes they will use to manage the project until the systems and processes are implemented and up and running. Contact Sue – phone or email as you prefer, to discuss the options.

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