is at the sharpest end of the process - he
is a 'Mission Critical' review team leader who focuses on the most challenging projects - he
knows from experience that it pays to adopt a softly-softly approach when broaching the thorny issue of change.
"The most important quality of a review team leader is the ability to convince others that we're not there to test or to hand out marks," he
"We set the tone of the whole review by telling everyone (at every opportunity) that we're genuinely here to help and they can tell us what they think should be done, and if we've got evidence and we support it - then our report and recommendations might just be the thing that initiates the change."
adds: "Gateway reviews are not a magic wand, but they should be seen as a real enabler to achieving success."
clearly relishes his
role as an independent advisor with the remit to recommend far-reaching change.
A former senior civil servant for the Ministry of Justice, he
first carried out Gateway Reviews in that role and continued consulting after he
left the Service.
"Sometimes the right quality civil servants to conduct a review are not available at the right time and that's when they call on external consultants like me."
Clearly independent consultants are best placed to deliver highly sensitive reports whose information in no way threatens their position, but their objectivity also enables them to dispel fears that others may have about change - and get to the core of the project.
It's a process that involves a lot of listening, as well as talking, Dougie
According to Dougie
, one of commonest mistakes uncovered by the process is that projects have not identified the stakeholders correctly, putting the success of the project at risk.
"Half the challenge is trying to identify who are the stakeholders: who are the clients, who are the customers and who are the users," he
One significant benefit of the Gateway system is that it encourages organisations to get a project off to the right start well before the review has begun.
"A project doesn't go wrong," he
says, "it starts wrong".
Dougie Barr, Mission Critical Review Team Leader
Campion Willcocks Associate