Major UK charity: Refocusing project success through our Project Management Review serviceTurnaround Strategy

Delivering projects for major clients working in a field as meaningful as childrens’ and young peoples’ services isn’t something to be taken lightly. It’s crucial that each and every project is tailored for success, after all - so much depends on the results.

That’s why the Dartington Service Design Lab, one of the country’s leading Research labs for children and young people, enlisted our help to review their project management capability through our Project Management Review. The results? A driven team that is now successfully embedding Project Management in its day-to-day work.

Who is the Dartington Service Design Lab?

Dartington is a UK-wide research and design charity dedicated to improving outcomes for children and young people. The Lab works in close partnership with those commissioning, designing or delivering services for children, such as the NHS, local authorities, major nonprofits and many others.


Being an industry leader in its field, the team at Dartington Service Lab was already doing some outstanding work. However, as the Lab itself states, it is continually looking for ways, as all successful organisations are, to develop and improve: “we learn by doing, we learn from our partners, and we share what we learn.” Development was a particular focus for the Lab given the organisation had recently restructured, leading to a period of growth including multiple new projects for major national clients, some of a very complex nature and scale.

Keen in particular to refine its project management capability and ensure that the Lab’s resources were best being used to create really meaningful results and give the best value possible to its clients, it enlisted our consultancy’s help. Therefore, it became our challenge, using a range of methods such as interviews with key personnel, workshops and an in-depth review of project documents, to determine exactly how projects were being managed at the Lab – and what could be managed even better into the longer term.


Following interviews with key team members, an intensive review of reports and documentation and a week of really ‘getting inside’ the team dynamic and the mind of a project manager at the Lab, we were effectively able to identify key areas of development. The team was then given a dynamic, one-day training session specifically targeting these areas. Detailed recommendations on the right ‘way forward’ were also presented, including

1) Principles to sign up across all teams and roles
2) Themes to focus on and
3) Future options to continue development.


“ROI, through its project management review, allowed us to identify areas for improvement, develop easy to use project management templates and further focus on areas of strength. Christos alongside his co-trainers Amy and Mark were also great at making project management relevant and interesting to our work, and in doing so. helping us engage colleagues with improvement work across the organisation”Scotland Director, Social Research Unit, Dartington Service Design Lab.

Following the Project Management Review, the team at Dartington was left feeling refocused, re-inspired and ready to tackle some really complex and socially-significant projects, with renewed clarity about the task at hand and how to gear themselves toward delivering fantastic, tangible results.

Meet your service lead

Leading the Project Manageement Review service will be Christos Pishias. Christos has almost 20 years’ experience in operational and strategic management across both the public/third and private sectors, internationally.

Christos has worked with the London Borough of Southwark, the University of Warwick, NHS modernisation agency, Birmingham City Council, Customer Services for London Group (CSLG), NHS Wales, Corporativo Hospital Sociedad (Mexico), Surrey & Borders partnership NHS trust and the Department of Health and others. He lives by the motto: “we rise by lifting others.”

For more information on our Project Management Review service, click here