Kathleen B. (Kitty) Hass
The Award Winning Author, Consultant, Facilitator, and Presenter
Expert and Experienced (E2) Consulting Services
Since 1995, Kitty and her associates have been working with organizations to execute strategy through valuable programs and projects. Clients include corporate giants such as Toyota Motor Sales, Toyota Financial Services, Wegmans Food Market, Inc., Mass Mutual Insurance Company, Colorado Springs Utility, Quest Communications and government and specialized organizations such as agencies within the Intelligence Community, USGS, NARA, USDA, University of Southern Mississippi, Fairfax County Public Schools, Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Olympic games, Sulzer Medica, The SABRE Group, among many others.
Our consulting style is collaborative and personal, intimately involving key members of the client leadership team. Although most of our work is establishing effective business analysis and project management practices and conducting formal and informal maturity and competency assessments, we are also instrumental in working with our clients to implement an effective project portfolio management program aimed at strategy execution. We commit to the transfer of knowledge and best practices to our clients as a key component of our work. Our engagements are usually completed within two to three months, and offer follow-on mentoring and support as needed. We always work against defined deliverables with clearly-established business objectives.
Our Consulting Services
Kitty is a recognized leader in the field of formal and informal maturity assessments. Kitty and her team have world class training and extensive experience in performing various types of assessments, analyzing the data and information, and building psychometrically sound assessment models and instruments. Training and experience includes the following:
Complex Project Management and Business Analysis Practice Assessments
Our organizational practice assessments are designed to provide validated, accurate information about the current state of BA and CPM practices and competencies, accompanied by recommendations for improvement and support along the journey. In addition, the assessment determines the readiness of the organization to accept and support the new practices and the formation of an Enterprise Center of Excellence to steer the course. Specifically, the assessments:
Our approach to conducting a practice maturity assessment can be formal or informal. In either case, it is multi-dimensional, and includes planning sessions culminating in a kick-off session, administration of an assessment instrument, review of project artifacts and deliverables, accompanied by a series of interviews and focus group sessions. Information is synthesized, organized, validated and documented in a data summary report and an assessment findings and recommendations report containing a two-year roadmap and action plan for immediate next steps. Depending on how far you have come in your journey to cultivate mature BA practices, we recommend the most appropriate evaluation of your BA Practice from among the options described below.
Individual and Workforce Competency Evaluations
The individual and workforce evaluations provide the information needed for BAs to baseline their competencies and prepare their own professional development plans, and for management to draft an overall professional development plan for the organization. The results provide a basis for training requirements, professional development activities, and specific mentoring and coaching needs.
Our workforce evaluations also collect basic demographic information about the project managers and business analysts, e.g., years of experience, time spent on BA activities versus project management or more technical tasks, amount of BA education. We then compare the state of your practice to the industry as a whole. The information on how much time is spent on BA activities provides a view as to your actual capacity to deliver new business solutions.
Our approach to conducting individual and workforce evaluations includes interviews with management, planning sessions culminating in a kick-off session, administration of the questionnaire to BAs and their supervisors, and follow-on consulting services to assist in optimal use of the information. Results are documented, analyzed against our competency model, and summarized in assessment findings and reports. Findings are: reported to the individual, and summarized for managers. We offer both individual and group workforce evaluations as described below.
Portfolio Management is the management process that is embedded between Strategic Planning and Project Execution. Portfolio Management provides the executive team with the tools required for Strategy Execution. Kitty and her team advise leadership teams in selecting and prioritizing projects for a competitive advantage - the hallmark of portfolio management. The practice of portfolio management is fast becoming the most effective management tool for managing the complexity and amount of change that occurs in today’s global marketplace. With no shortage of project investment paths to take, businesses are making every attempt to take the best route.
Managing Complex Projects
Bring our new CPM Workshop to your organization: Finally Getting It Right: Complex Project Management, a 21st Century Imperative
Kitty has written extensively about the challenges of managing complex projects. In her white paper on the topic, she states: “The twenty-first century, business processes have become more complex; i.e., more interconnected, interdependent, and interrelated than ever before. In addition, businesses today are rejecting traditional management structures to create complex organizational communities comprised of alliances with strategic suppliers, networks of customers, and partnerships with key political groups, regulatory entities, and even competitors. Through these alliances, organizations are addressing the pressures of unprecedented change, global competition, time-to-market compression, rapidly changing technologies, and yes, increasing complexity. As a result, business systems are significantly more complex than in the past; therefore, the projects that implement new business systems are more complex. Huge cost and schedule overruns have been commonplace in the past (New York Times, 11 July 2002). To reap the rewards of significant, large-scale change initiatives designed to not only keep organizations in the game but make them a major player, we must find new ways to manage project complexity.”
There are many different ways projects can become both complicated and complex. The business problem might be difficult to define. The solution may be elusive and difficult to determine, describe, or grasp. Business boundaries might be unclear. Business process relationships are likely to be non-linear and contain multiple feedback loops. Today’s complex business systems will change over time, and therefore need to be dynamic, adaptive, and flexible. Some business systems are nested; i.e., the components of the system may themselves be complex. There are a number of dimensions of project complexity, including: team size and composition, project duration, schedule, cost and scope flexibility, clarity of the problem and solution, stability of requirements, strategic importance, level of organizational change, inter-project dependencies, political sensitivity, and unproven technology.”
Kitty has created a new model for managing complex projects, the Project Complexity Model used to evaluate project size, complexity, and risk and determine the specific dimensions of complexity that are present on a project. Kitty and her team work closely with very senior business analysts, project managers, business visionaries, and lead technologists to diagnose the complexity dimensions present on a project and determine strategies to manage them.