Best Practice in Study Management

Undoubtedly the most important part of a successful BFS is the clear definition of the scope , which itself is a reflection of the purpose of the work (external funding , internal approval )….   In many instances an item that is  omitted and which requires an external third party to undertake may take weeks or even months to rectify and has scope to delay the entire exercise .. Hence understanding and deciding what work can best  be done in  house and what needs to be done by an external consultant  is vital .  Noting that external consultants may be called in for a number of reasons :

To review and endorse the work of the internal team , thereby reducing risk and increasing confidence

To provide an independent external view on a specialised matter that the Owners Team does not have covered

In any case it is wise to have an internal resource working closet with the external  consultant as much can be learned and to ensure they remain a cog engaged in the greater process.

It is also important to keep an eye on the ‘numbers’ i.e. the project financials , as these are ultimately what the study is all about .  Good management ensures that funds and resources are dedicated to those parts of the business whose performance will have a material effect on the financial outcome , including items where risk is important to manage. Technical uncertainty or risk is really a reflection of the amount of work done  and judgement is required to allocate resources sensibly .  Typically BFS members will have an insatiable hunger for more and more information which in turn should reduce risk .  The project manager needs to understand the materially of the work and what the potential outcomes are if it is not done as requested .  BFS’s and technical studies in general  are frequently done in an environment of limited funds so spending them wisely is a vital skill.

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