Guest Blog ~ Team Working Assessment with Sigma

Much has been made about the debacle surrounding the bidding for the West Coast Main line franchise. High-level technical expertise and the right commercial model are critical in evaluating the potential success of projects. This applies equally to those in regulatory bodies and members of the bidding project team.

But technical excellence alone does not guarantee success.  At a personal level, members of the project team have got to be able to work together through thick and thin.  Consequently, we believe that it is essential that a carefully considered evaluation process becomes an integral part in assembling a team for a major project.

The key question has to be “When the going gets tough, will this group of individuals be able to remain focused on the overall direction of the project whilst supporting each other in its delivery?”  This is essentially a question about personalities, how the individual fits and the coalescence of the team.

We are increasingly using Talent Q, a reputable provider of psychometric assessment tools, to help clients gauge the make-up of their bid and project teams.  Using Team Type profiles from Talent Q’s Dimensions series of reports enables us to pinpoint individual and team strengths, and where any flashpoints might occur.

In summary, we see clients that are adopting this approach getting their teams off to a strong start, mitigating subsequent risks to project delivery and capable of withstanding major set backs

John Jackson, Inspired Partners

Please contact us if you would like to hear more from John, or would like more information on using Talent Q.

Paul Davis addresses the MOD Commercial Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply Special Interest Group

‘Engaging, informative and enthusiastic’

CIPS SIG hear industry perspective on bidding process

On 19th September 2012 Paul Davis, the Managing Director of Partnering and Relationship Management Services company, Sigma, delivered an extremely interesting and interactive presentation, entitled ‘Getting Industry to understand your requirements’.

The presentation, which was delivered from an Industry perspective, reviewed the process that contractors go through to producing a bid; detailing what happens before and after the bid arrives, the mistakes that are made and how good practice can improve industry’s receipt of documentation.  He presented a number of suggestions to improve relations between the MOD and industry such as defining value for money, the 80:20 rule for polishing requirements to eliminate requirement creep, reducing the time to contract and the importance of undertaking a detailed stakeholder analysis.  The presentation initiated a thought provoking and challenging discussion amongst the 80 audience members, who were from a range of various Commercial, Project Management and Finance backgrounds.

The event was hosted by the MOD’s Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Special Interest Group (MOD CIPS SIG).  The event was described as an “engaging presentation of subject matter”, which was both “informative and enthusiastic”, with the audience benefitting from “first hand knowledge transfer”.

The above article is courtesy of Commercial Break, the MOD’s DE&S Commercial Magazine, Issue 53, October 2012.

Foster presents SC21 Awards to Bombardier suppliers coached by Sigma

Northern Ireland Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster addressed 140 delegates and presented the prestigious SC21 awards to seven NI companies, on behalf of ADS, the trade body representing Aerospace, Defence and Security companies.

Arlene Foster (pictured with Stephen Cowan and Leslie Orr) said: “The SC21 initiative provides an opportunity for Northern Ireland companies to demonstrate their capabilities and competence on a national scale. To date, Northern Ireland companies participating in the SC21 programme have seen a 50 per cent increase in sales. More importantly what SC21 has delivered is a structured approach to improvement, and a focus on an open and honest relationship between customer and supplier which is creating the necessary conditions for further growth in the sector.”

The event, held on the 20th and 21st November at the Titanic Belfast, was the culmination of two years of sponsorship and funding by Invest Northern Ireland, mentoring by Bombardier Aerospace together with benchmarking and coaching by Sigma in quality, business & project performance and relationship improvements. Stephen Cowan, General Manager, Supply Chain, Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast said: “These awards today demonstrate the commitment of local suppliers to improving their competitiveness through the SC21 programme, and we want to build on this success. There is no doubt that suppliers who are active on SC21 are gaining more ‘air time’ within our organisation.  These are the suppliers with whom we want to work and who are positioning themselves to develop their capabilities alongside us”

The seven award winners were JW Kane Precision Engineering Ltd, who received silver: the bronze awards went to: All Metal Services Ltd; Denroy Plastics; DHL Global Forwarding Ltd; New Breed Logistics Ltd; Vulcanium Metals International Ltd; Dontaur Engineering Ltd. All the winners thanked Sigma and Mike Harrison, Sigma Senior Consultant, in particular, who Damian McArdle GM of JW Kane jokingly called Socrates for his persistent and enquiring questioning style.

Leslie Orr, ADS NI Manager, said: “I am delighted for the silver and bronze award winners who are setting the benchmark on business excellence in our local Aerospace sector. The engineering expertise in Northern Ireland is outstanding and we look forward to more companies attaining these awards.” Sigma hopes to support a gold winner next year.