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Defining a Programme-Steps 5 to 12 Tutorial

1 Defining a Programme Steps 5 to 12

This lesson focuses on steps 5 to 12 involved in the process, ‘defining a programme’. Let us begin with the objectives of this lesson in the next screen.

2 Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you will be able to: ? Explain steps 5 to 12 in the process, ‘defining a programme’ In the next screen, we will focus on step five, which is, ‘develop the blueprint’.

3 Step 5 Develop the Blueprint

Developing the blueprint involves many concepts of organisational design. It may encompass all dimensions of the organisation or business, such as, cultural aspects, structure, processes and activities. The way these aspects are to be changed must be defined. To start preparing the blueprint, the gaps in ‘as-is’ and ‘to-be’ scenarios need to be analysed. The gap analysis also provides a critical input for designing the projects dossier and programme plan. The blueprint is designed to realise the required benefits that must be balanced against the costs of realising those benefits. The blueprint does not need to be expressed in detail. Detailing is done by projects while developing more detailed designs and specifications, to meet the requirements of the ‘to-be’ model, are defined in the blueprint. There are many options for achieving the required changes with associated costs and impacts. The business case is developed in parallel with the blueprint to ensure consistency across the proposed changes to the organisation; the costs of incorporating the changes and realisation of benefits being achievable. The blueprint, benefits maps, projects dossier and programme plan are designed together, with the emerging business case acting as the moderator. This ensures that all the documents are consistent and updated with latest changes. The first benefits map can be developed from the first version of the blueprint. It would be enhanced when estimates of time and cost are available from the programme plan. The inclusion of this information in the business case provides the control to judge whether developing the programme designs is ideal in terms of acceptable balance among time, cost, risks and benefits. In the following screen, we will discuss step 6, that is, ‘develop benefits profiles’.

4 Step 6 Develop Benefit Profiles

Benefits are identified from the vision statement and programme brief. Each benefit and dis-benefit must be defined in the benefits profiles. The total set of benefits profiles provides a planning and controlling tool to track the progress of delivery and realisation of the benefits. The benefits profiles will be refined as the programme is developed. In the next screen, we will continue our discussion on ‘develop benefits profiles’.

5 Step 6 Develop Benefit Profiles (contd.)

Each benefit needs to have a baseline measurement. As the business prepares to go through a change cycle, it is important to understand its starting point. To do this, Key Performance Indicators or KPIs for each benefit are established using the ‘as-is’ and ‘to-be’ information in the blueprint. ‘As-is’ information provides the baseline, and the ‘to-be’ information includes the performance measures, which will indicate that benefits have been achieved. These indicators will be tracked to assess the business stability during the delivery of benefits. Each KPI must be carefully visited and adjusted, if needed. Some facts related to KPIs are as follows: Some KPIs may not be suitable for measuring benefits, while others may need to be adjusted as a result of the operational change. Some measurements may also be subjected to deviations as a result of normal process variation. One example is that more people fall sick during winter. So, if hours spent in the office are taken as the KPI, an incorrect conclusion might be reached and the programme might be blamed. Performance criteria from contracts, services, arrangements and others may also have to be taken into account and re-negotiated, particularly to understand any penalties that could occur, due to performance deterioration. In the next screen we will focus on step 7, which is, ‘model the benefits and refine the profiles’.

6 Step 7 Model the Benefits and Refine the Profiles

Information on vision statement and programme brief provide the input for initial design of benefits profiles. The benefits that are extended or detailed and profiled from these documents are normally the end benefits of the programme. As the blueprint is designed, these benefits can be refined. Benefits maps are initially modelled by using information from the projects dossier and the programme plan. The mix of benefits, dependencies on project outputs and other benefits become clearer, and as a result benefits profiles are further refined. Having too many benefits defined will increase the cost and complexity of the programme. Group the benefits by priorities or other coherent ways to rationalise the benefits. In the next screen, we will focus on step 8, that is, ‘validate the benefits’.

7 Step 8 Validate the Benefits

To validate benefits, the focus needs to be only on realistic benefits. For that, the benefits must be validated based on the following criteria: Benefits must represent some aspects of the programme’s desired outcome. Benefits need to be linked to the strategic objectives of the organisation as otherwise they are not helpful and can be discarded. Definition of benefit must pass four validation tests namely description, observable outcome, attribution validation test and measurement. First is description. This test validates the answer to the question, ‘what precisely is benefit?’ Benefit must be defined in such a way that it is easily understood. Second is observable outcome. This test validates the answers to the question, ‘what are the verifiable differences that will be noticeable between pre and post programme implementation, that is, how will it change the ‘as-is’ scenario?’ Benefits will always change the scenario in a positive way. The third is the attribution validation test. This test verifies the answers to the following questions, ‘where will benefits arise and can the programme claim its realisation? Are responsibilities assigned for it?’ Teams need to understand when and how benefits can be realised and who will own the responsibilities. The fourth test is measurement. This test validates the answers to the questions, ‘how and when will the achievement of benefit be measured?’ Here, necessary KPIs must be identified and communicated. During benefits realisation, benefits will be measured with those KPIs. If the identified benefits do not pass these four basic tests, they are not considered as benefits. In the next screen we will discuss step 9, that is, ‘design the projects dossier’.

8 Step 9 Design the Project Dossier

The projects dossier represents the programme’s approach and describes how it will deliver the desired outcomes and benefits. It is used as a basis for developing the programme plan. The vision statement, blueprint, benefits profiles and benefits maps provide the basis for designing the projects, and any other activities that are necessary for delivering the new capabilities. The projects dossier may also include some ongoing projects, which have been included as a part of the programme along with new identified projects. In the next screen, we will discuss step 10, that is, ‘identify tranches’.

9 Step 10 Identify Tranches

The outcomes described in the vision statement and blueprint cannot be delivered in a single pass. They will typically need progressive refinements or step-changes in ‘delivering the capability’. These step-changes can be used to define tranches. The other activities performed in this step are as follows: The projects and activities in projects dossier are scheduled together for displaying their relative timescales and dependencies. The delivery is built into tranches, reflecting the step changes in capability. It is difficult to predict how to achieve the vision in the early stages of the programme. Early tranches may be designed to explore and prove or disprove different approaches to achieve the vision. In the next screen, we will focus on step 11, which is ‘design the programme organisation’.

10 Step 11 Design the Programme Organisation

The organisation for directing, managing, controlling and supporting the programme has to be designed. Successful programme delivery requires sufficient resourcing of the programme and change management activities. The structure must enable effective decision-making and efficient communication flows among various members of the programme team. The activities involved in the step, ‘Design the programme organisation’, are as follows: Each role needs to be carefully defined with its specific accountabilities, responsibilities and tasks together with skills and required competencies. Individuals with required skills must be identified to take on these roles. Sometimes, it is difficult to find people who can fit into the roles appropriately. In such a scenario, training must be planned, to ensure that people have acquired expertise. This can also be addressed by using resources with greater skills and experience to coach and mentor others. There might be times when many individuals assigned to programme roles will have operational responsibilities as well. In such cases, the workload needs to be prioritised. It needs to be ensured that the conflict resolution roles are in place, to resolve issues related to resource allocation and sharing. There needs to be an understanding between the programme and line managers on how to allocate time of the shared resources, who will manage the resource and how conflict can be resolved. If it is necessary to procure external resources for the programme, it must be planned in such a manner that sufficient time and resources are available for the procurement. In the next screen, we will focus on step 12, that is, ‘develop governance arrangements’.

11 Step 12 Develop the Governance Arrangements

Programme management governance strategies must cover how the programme is going to handle the inevitable complexities and interdependencies. These strategies are designed to integrate with the corporate governance of the organisation. Some strategies are benefits management strategy, information management strategy, risk management strategy, stakeholder management strategy and so on.

12 Summary

Let us summarise what we have learnt in this lesson: ? To start preparing the blueprint, the gaps in ‘as-is’ and ‘to-be’ scenarios need to be analysed. ? Benefits are identified from the vision statement and programme brief. ? Each benefit and dis-benefit must be defined in the benefits profiles. ? The vision statement, blueprint, benefits profiles and benefits maps provide the basis for designing the projects, and any other activities that are necessary for delivering the new capabilities. ? The outcomes described in the vision statement and blueprint cannot be delivered in a single pass. They will typically need progressive refinements. Next, we will focus on steps 13 to 17 of ‘defining a programme’.

  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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