Well, I'm back from a heavy week's training, but very stimulating it was too.
It had one of those moments of insight for me, when I was leading a PRINCE2 for Practitioners course in Bath. It came from one of the delegates in a delightfully bright class.
Pre-sales and 'Starting Up a Project'
We discussed one of the bugbears for supplier-side project managers: the kind of brief they are handed (or should I say, 'stitched up with') by their sales people ('weasels' as another delegate called them). These briefs are often technically infeasible in the time and budgets already committed to with clients. This is what happens when the pre-sales process is divorced from any sanity check by the project managers.
It is depressingly typical in many project-based supplier organisations, and sows the seeds of costly over-runs later on.
It's simple really. My delegate made this point: the weasels are incentivised on the wrong measure. They are rewarded on revenue not on profitability. Profitability in PRINCE2 for a supplier organisation translates to their business case (margin) being realised.
What would such a reward mechanism mean? It might mean leaner, shorter interventions with more careful assessment. Shorter, because our reformed weasel would not wait forever for their commission. But everyone would win.