Organisations must begin assessing the implications of Brexit – and it is important to create a structure or framework that will manage initiatives and give confidence to stakeholders. This will ensure organisations do not falter on the hurdles. Below we examine the key elements of such programme frameworks.
Planning and Dependency Management: Organisations should implement standards for planning, scheduling and tracking programmes, and must maintain a consolidated high-level plan to ensure programmes are viable and are on schedule. By doing this, organisations can dispel some of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and give confidence to internal and external stakeholders. Furthermore, it will help firms understand and react to threats to their supply chain and operations.
Scope Management and Change Control: As strategies and requirements for Brexit are developed, it will be important for organisations to understand and document scope. This should include creating clear requirements for minimum viable programme products, and establishing a process for identifying, assessing and approving changes to the scope. This will be important as the erratic nature of Brexit will alter assumptions, forcing organisation to change the scope of their programmes.
Risk and Issue Management: Companies should maintain a robust and rapid mechanism for resolving issues and mitigating risks. This will help plans to remain on track and give transparency to senior stakeholders when deciding the company’s risk appetite and exposure. This is particularly important when dealing with regulatory changes and compliance issues.
Reporting and Governance: A clear and visible reporting structure is critical to allow decision-makers to be proactive when dealing with changing conditions, rather than reactive. Having good reporting and governance processes will be essential to all Brexit programmes and will ensure that the right information is used by decision-makers as they prepare for the coming hurdles.
Communication and Stakeholder Management: Effective communication across organisations will help provide internal and external stakeholders with the right information at the right time. The APM highlights that communication breakdown is a leading cause of stakeholder dissatisfaction. Furthermore, having a robust communication approach will allow programme leaders to effectively manage vested parties. This will be especially important when considering relocating operations or alleviating fear caused by uncertainty. These are typically two things that cause significant disruption to organisations.
UK / EU negotiations are an ongoing process and it may be months before firms have a clear view of all the hurdles. However, by improving internal capabilities and establishing programme assurance processes, firms can approach early Brexit hurdles with confidence and create a foundation upon which they can build on.
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