Having the right people in the right jobs with the right skills, knowledge and experience is critical to business success. The reality is that all too often the people the business want are not available, or the skills and experience don’t exist within the organisation. And therefore, businesses must find the solution that works for them whilst maintaining project momentum.

The natural behaviour with a business critical project is to use a “safe pair of hands” as it is deemed too risky to use less proven project managers. But this approach runs the risk of de-motivating high performing individuals and/or missing out on an opportunity for “different thinking”, which may be the differentiator for success. If you apply youth only, then things typically go wrong. The days when there were business-safe “play projects” are long behind us. And, if you apply experience then it costs lots of money and you get the same recurring approach.

What is needed is new thinking with experienced support delivered in a way which is cost effective. Ideally, this should be the role for the “senior” resource, but most experienced project and programme managers are often not good at coaching. Their style is often too much of a “tell” style – and there is a danger that the “different thinking” will not break through. Project management coaching offers an approach which provides direct support in whatever form is needed, from hands-on to mentor style, tailored to that specific individual in that particular critical project improving the high performance individual to improve the chances of success.

Combining a challenging project management role with active project management coaching builds real experience quickly, effectively and in relevant areas for the current project resulting in better business performance.


Challenging project managers through coaching helps them think about issues, available options and actions to improve project performance effectively resulting in project management knowledge becoming real delivery experience while maintaining continuity on the project. Coaching often provides an alternative and complementary approach to training alone.

Through regular coaching, we provide a framework that allows the coachee to explore the options available, identify improvement actions, challenge decisions and address personal and project performance.

Coaching is the process of improving individual performance, generally for a short period and focuses on specific skills and goals. We have a wide variety of experience in project, portfolio and programme management with project values ranging from £4M to £3Bn in clients ranging from the Biotech to the Defence sector.

Project Management Coaching is tailored to individual needs set in the context of organisational needs and also uses a variety of coaching tools and techniques from a wide range of backgrounds focussed on delivering a step change in the coachee’s ability and confidence, enabling the organisational goals to be achieved. For each coaching engagement, we typically:

  • Meet with the sponsor and the individual to establish criteria for success
  • Spend a short time understanding the project management, business and delivery methods used in the business – to ensure we drive in a way which fits your organisational methods
  • Agree some development goals with the individual and the best method to achieve these, types of interaction and review points
  • Use the coach as a review mechanism within an open but testing engagement to facilitate learning and work through problems
  • Tailor a solution – which may include for example, observation, interviews, expert guidance and/or direct training in management methods.
  • Hold reviews/feedback with sponsor as necessary, and as agreed between the individual and coach – respecting confidentiality
  • Effective project management comes from a robust interaction with the business (eg finance) and delivery (eg engineering) functions. Our project coaching method can focus on any element – or combinations of this framework – and always includes those aspects immediately surrounding the focus.
  • Our approach takes a holistic view of problems rather than concentrating on niche aspects. This means we spend time establishing the business objectives and then work with each individual to develop an approach providing practical “on the job” support that combines elements of coaching, observation, mentoring, business advice and training to fit their individual needs.

Keeping project management on track

When time is short and resource is constrained, JA Consulting’s three project management solutions help projects stay on track. Whether it’s a shortage of skills, a shortage of manpower, or the need for a robust and focussed review, whichever situation faces your business, it’s important that your projects don’t suffer delays or risk incurring costly penalties. Over the years, JA Consulting has built up the expertise to help many businesses overcome the problems they experience. In addition to Project Management Coaching are Project Support and Programme & Project Review – each solution offers a flexible approach that helps individual project managers, teams, and businesses meet milestones and enhance their internal skills capability, not just for the short term, but for the next project too.

Project Support

Programme & Project Reviews

·     Working alongside your project managers to meet project needs

·     Troubleshooting problem areas that need fixing quickly

·     Uses qualified and experienced project managers able to get up to speed quickly and deliver results

·     Increases overall competency of the organisation

·       Objective assessment of programme or project performance

·       Identifies risks that could affect the project schedule

·       Process review and suggested improvements

·       Assesses and addresses stakeholder concerns and can act as mediator between supplier and customer

Use our resources to help you meet your deadlines. If you’ve a time-critical, resource-short project that needs additional support to meet key milestones, our project support service could help. Reviews are a risk reduction exercise, especially those conducted in the early part of a project lifecycle; they should be designed to expose problems before they emerge. To avoid your review becoming just a “tick in the box” exercise which could miss or mask serious underlying problems why not talk to us about how we’ve conducted independent review for projects involving 20 to 250 people?