Rob Thomsett Overview /  Background

Rob Thomsett has recently joined the senior leadership team of Seven Consulting.

Rob is generally acknowledged as the father of modern project management in Australia with over 40 years’ experience working with industry and commercial leaders to maximize the efficiency of project delivery capability. Rob is one of the co-designers of the current Master of Project Management course at Sydney University with 4 published project management books and has headlined many conferences in Australia and overseas.

Rob’s pragmatic and transparent approach to project governance benefits realization, and agile project management has been adopted by NAB across all its project portfolios. Rob is particularly focused on effective partnering and transfer of his models and tools to clients in order to create sustainable outcomes for the client. Elements of his approach have been adopted by most Australian Banks and other leading Australian and International organizations such as the Tasmanian Government, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, EON (the second largest power company in Europe) and many more.

Rob will take on responsibility for advising and coaching executives on transformation projects for ASX Top 100 companies that have engaged Seven Consulting. He will operate out of both our Sydney and Melbourne offices and will also be available to support projects and programs across Australia and Asia.

If you would like more information regarding Rob Thomsetts's services please call Seven Consulting on +61 (0) 2 8267 5000.

Our  Offering

Leading organizations are using the on-going global crisis as a catalyst for implementing fundamental changes to the prevailing and,often, failed business models. The need for executives to have their strategic objectives delivered faster and more effectively is even more important in the current global economic environment. An organization’s ability to execute the right change right is becoming a critical differentiators. As strategy becomes more open to the changes in environment and, as a result, becomes more flexible, the need for executives to be sure that all projects are aligned and remain aligned to their strategic intent is critical for survival. In a time of rapid change, more projects are required not less.

Projects are the vehicle of strategic change. Agile Project Governance and Project Management are based on collaboration, openness, transparency, simplicity and speed as the levers of change. Rob Thomsett has been at the forefront of designing, deploying and refining these methods for 30 years and together with the proven project management capability of Seven Consulting, Seven Consulting can provide a proven transformative approach, not only to how projects are managed, but how projects are governed and planned. More importantly, the Seven Consulting Agile Business Methods approach integrates a simple, yet powerful approach to benefits planning and realization. Speed to value can be achieved.This integrated approach is applicable to all classes of projects and change.

Value  Proposition

There are a number of hard, financial as well as competitive benefits in adopting Agile Business Methods models. Organizations already using various elements of the Agile Business Methods have reported significant financial benefits. Some of these include:

  • The use of Agile Sponsorship enables faster decision-making, improved risk management and agile adjustment to change
    • Case Study – a major Australian bank used Agile models to integrate with another bank resulting in a time saving for successful  integration of a minimum 1 year – estimated saving $10,000,000);
  • The simplification of Governance and Sponsor models enables clear and more accountable executive roles
    • Case study – one major Australian Bank saved over 50,000 hours of executive time/year with faster delivery and enhanced accountability for sponsorship)
  • The faster delivery of projects enables earlier realization of benefits
    • Case Study – a UK Energy company delivered an organizational restructure using Agile methods 6 months earlier than a previously estimated time-frame using traditional models. This resulted in an additional $7,000,000 of benefits);
  • Quicker planning and approval of projects
    • Case Study – a Australian and NZ bank using Agile Project Management reduced the time for the development and approval of Business Cases from 3 months to 3 weeks – estimated saving per project of $500,000).

Cultural  Proposition

Agile methods are based on a value system of openness, honesty, courage and trust. For many organizations, these values are in complete contrast to the previous project management and sponsor values of closed, dishonest, lack of courage and distrust. These prevailing values are evidenced in the belief in many executives that the projects they are sponsoring will not meet expectations, are poorly estimated and costed and that, as a sponsor, the lack of transparency and openness around their projects results in “being ambushed” into reactive decision-making. Agile Business Methods are collaborative and insist on complete stakeholder engagement and shared ownership of projects and their outputs and outcomes

Agile  Methods

Agile Business Methods are a set of integrated tools and techniques focused on simpler, faster delivery and improved ongoing support of the delivered change. Further, Agile Business Methods are concentrated not just on faster delivery but improved benefits analysis and full benefits realization.

Agile  Sponsorship

The role of sponsors is critical to the success of projects. Traditional project sponsorship placed executives in a reactive, static and “hands-off” position. Agile Sponsorship (AS) requires executives to get closer to their projects, their project managers and their project teams. The increasing rate of change in the world economy requires executives to become focused on anticipating and managing rather than avoiding or ignoring change. The impact of change means that Business Cases and other management information becomes dynamic, fluid and a series of “best guesses” rather than a fixed and linear projection. Sponsors must be flexible in making time available for face-to-face meetings and use simplified reporting lines. The speed of adjusting to change becomes a key determinant of project success.

Agile  Project Management

Agile Project Management (APM) is based on an open and stakeholder-driven approach to project planning (success, scope/objectives, benefits, quality, risk and estimation). Using techniques such as RApid Planning (RAP) sessions, critical stakeholders, including the Agile Sponsor, are fully involved in the planning and execution of the project. Coupled with Agile Development Methodologies (ADM), the delivery of projects is more transparent, easier to track and more open to the constant change that projects are now subjected to. APM uses face-to-face reporting wherever possible and minimizes static reporting models. The risk of the project is a key determinant of the level and degree of governance. Benefits planning and realization is fully integrated in planning, monitoring and tracking of projects.

RApid Planning (RAP)  sessions

It might appear that getting a group of stakeholders together in a room is a high-risk scenario and that the meeting could degenerate into a talkfest, at best and a rabble at worst.


Over many years of experience , we have developed a structure process that guides the RAP session and enables the participants to focus on specific project planning issues one at a time. As we have developed and refined a series of tools that are used during the RAP sessions.These tools and the aligned conversations that occur within the RAP build better Business Cases, faster.


Figure 1.0 outlines the basic RAP structure.

RAP Steps.0012

Agile  Program Office

The Agile Program Office has two related but different roles. Strategic – this role involves broad governance (selection of projects, review of projects and alignment to organization’s Strategic imperative), involvement in the management and review of the total project spend (in partnership with Finance & Strategy groups) and the oversight of the status of and relationship between projects within major programs. This role requires strong partnership with the organization’s Finance group, Human Resources and other key internal groups. Agile Support – this role is more tactical and essential to Agile Business Methods. It involves pro-active mentoring, coaching and support for Sponsors, PM’s and other project experts on the Agile methods and the continuing modification of the various tools and techniques or reflect the organization’s environment.