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Designing the Blueprint Delivery Tutorial

Welcome to the Blueprint Design and Delivery Tutorial offered by Simplilearn. The tutorial is a part of the MSP® Foundation and Practitioner Course. 

In this lesson, let us discuss another governance theme, blueprint design, and delivery. The lesson focuses on the designing activities of blueprint delivery, the relationship between transformational flow and blueprint design and delivery. It also covers the various roles and areas of focus in blueprint design and delivery.

Let us begin with the objectives of this lesson in the next section.

Objectives

By the end of this blueprint design and delivery lesson, you will be able to:

  • Define blueprint.

  • Explain the POTI model.

  • Describe the designing of a blueprint delivery and its sub-activities

  • Explain optimizing the approach Identify the various options if the emerging business case is not viable.

  • Describe tranches.

  • Discuss the criteria for choosing an existing project.

  • Explain the relationship between transformational flow and blueprint design and delivery.

  • Describe the roles and their areas of focus in blueprint design and delivery.

Let us move on to the next section to discuss the MSP® framework.

MSP Framework

The image below shows the MSP® framework.

The MSP® Framework represents the MSP® principles, governance themes, and transformational flows. Blueprint design and delivery like other governance themes are represented in the middle circle.

The initial information about the desired outcomes of the program comes from the vision statement. This initial information needs to be expanded and developed into a blueprint. Blueprint provides a useful basis for modeling benefits and designing projects dossier.

In the next section, let us introduce the concept of the blueprint.

Blueprint Introduction

Blueprint is expanded and developed from vision and represents the desired future state.

Blueprint is not concerned about “how” to achieve the future state.

This is dealt with while designing projects dossier by examining different solutions and choosing the optimum one.

  • Blueprint is a model of future organization, its working practices and processes, the information it requires and technology it needs.

  • It also presents a gap analysis” from the current state to the future state. This helps teams to effectively explore the alternative approaches to deliver the new capability. The purpose of a blueprint statement is to specify and ensure the coherence of the entire future state and the solution set that will lead to that future.

  • Blueprint provides a useful basis for modeling benefits and designing the projects dossier, as it contains details about the planned future state, which in turn gives insights about planned benefits.

  • Projects dossier examines different routes. Blueprint projects dossier, program plan, benefits realization plan and business case are developed iteratively and in close integration. This is necessary to ensure that the benefits planned to be realized are driving the desired transformation.

  • Blueprints will suggest more than one future design with distinct benefits, time, risks and costs. It is the responsibility of the Senior Responsible Owner or SRO (read as S-R-O) and program team to select one that leads to the optimum business case. Blueprint is used throughout the program to maintain the focus on delivery of the new capability.

  • The Program Manager is responsible for ensuring the blueprint related activities with the contribution from the Business Change Managers or BCMs (read as B-C-Ms). The overall accountability lies with the SRO.

In the next section, let us discuss how POTI Model.

POTI Model

POTI stands for the process, organizational structure, technology, and information.

It sets the high-level scope of what must be included and integrated into an effective blueprint. Now, let us understand in detail.

‘P’ stands for Process

It includes the business models of operations and functions, including operational costs and performance levels.

‘O’ stands for Organizational Structure

It includes the details like staffing levels, skills requirements, organizational culture, supply chain, and style.

‘T’ stands for Technology

It includes the details of buildings, IT systems, and tools, equipment, machinery and accommodation needed for teams.

‘I’ stands for Information

It includes the information or data required for the future business operations and performance measurement.

In the next section, let us look into designing the blueprint delivery.

Designing the Blueprint Delivery

The image below describes the process of designing the blueprint.

Vision is expanded and developed into a blueprint which is further delivered by the program plan. Blueprint design and delivery have two-way communications with many themes.

It informs the business case of what needs to be achieved and business case will justify the blueprint by providing details about the value of benefits, risks, costs, and timescales.

Both these documents should remain aligned throughout the life of the program. Blueprint defines the quality expected from the deliverables and outcomes. It also provides control to the governance by helping it define the tranches and controlling the delivery.

Blueprint needs to engage the stakeholders and receive input from them to refine the blueprint further. The blueprint will also identify the risks that might come up during the program.

Blueprint tries to optimize the benefits, which then qualifies the blueprint. It means that planned benefits will drive the transformation designed by the blueprint.

Let us continue to discuss more designing the blueprint delivery in the following section.

Designing the Blueprint Delivery (contd.)

After the blueprint’s interaction with other themes, the output from blueprint design and delivery informs other work done in defining the program and refinements that take place during managing the tranches, to ensure effective management of the program.

Blueprint provides the basis of initial requirements that will be set for each project. Following are the three sub-activities involved in designing the blueprint delivery:

Options Analysis

Options analysis involves analyzing the different approaches to reach an optimum blueprint.

Optimizing the Approach

Optimizing the approach is about finding the best mix of future state solutions to deliver the new capability and timing of delivery via tranches.

Step Changes through Tranches

Step changes through tranches deal with arranging the solutions into projects. It involves creating logical groupings of projects to enable effective management.

In the next section, we will focus on an example based on the concepts discussed.

POTI Model Problem Statement

Chao Yin, the Program Manager at Nutri Worldwide Inc., has been given the responsibility of preparing a blueprint for the program, Nutri Snack. Nutri Snack is a new program to create a new recipe for a healthy evening snack.

He has made a list as part of his task. He wants to represent the items in the list in the POTI model.

Following is the list made by Chao Yin:

  1. The business model of operation

  2. Preservation technology

  3. Staffing levels

  4. Information required for future business operations

  5. Refrigerator

  6. Lab

  7. Supply chain

Let us find out how Chao will segregate the list under the correct category based on the POTI model.

POTI Model Solution

Following is the segregation of items into their correct categories based on the list made by Chao:

  • POTI Model sets a high-level scope of what should be included and integrated into an effective blueprint.

  • ‘P’ stands for process and it includes the business models of operations and functions, including operational costs and performance levels.

  • From the list, we can identify that the business model of operation fits the P or the process category.

  • ‘O’ stands for organizational structure. It includes the details like staffing levels, skills requirements, organizational culture, supply chain, and style.

  • The items staffing level and supply chain from the list represents the structure of an organization and can be added to the O or the organizational structure category.

  • ‘T’ stands for technology. It includes the details of buildings, IT systems, and tools, equipment, machinery and accommodation needed for teams.

  • So the items such as preservation technology, refrigerator, and lab can be segregated under the T or the technology category.

  • ‘I’ stands for information. It includes the information or data required for the future business operations and performance measurement.

  • Therefore, we can add the item ‘information’ required for future business operations as the I or the information category.

In the next section, we will focus on options analysis in designing the blueprint delivery.

Options Analysis

Options analysis is about reviewing the best path to deliver the planned benefits.

  • The project outputs provide the means to deliver the future organization.

  • There can be multiple approaches to achieve a vision.

  • Each approach will have different degrees of improvement, costs, timescales, and risks. Before the projects dossier design is finalized, a range of different solutions should be considered.

  • These need to be modeled to link outputs as enablers to outcomes, which then lead to benefits.

  • Each of these models should be assessed to choose the model that presents the most viable business case.

  • The ideal model should have low cost, low risk, quick delivery and high benefits. As this is highly unlikely to occur in real life, the program needs to optimize its approach by balancing these dimensions.

In the next section, let us look into optimizing the approach.

Optimizing the Approach

Optimizing the approach is about finding the best mix of the future state solution to deliver the capability and timing of the capability via tranches.

  • This is done by cross working and iterating between the benefits management activities and activities in designing the blueprint.

  • It is important to test the solution from a number of key perspectives in order to ensure that the solution is viable. For example, the main thing to check is, whether adequate funding is available. Another question that should be asked is whether the required skills are available.

  • It is important to assess the risks that are identified and analyzed. It is also important to identify benefits timelines, as benefits will drive the program.

  • Most importantly, it is essential to check the availability of sufficient capacity to manage work when needed by the program.

In the next section, let us look into options that are available, in case a viable business case is not emerging.

Options if The Emerging Business Case is Not Viable

Following are the three available options to adjust the blueprint or approach or both, if the business case is not emerging.

  • The first option is to consider all alternative options that best maintain a balance between cost, timescale, and benefits. If it is unable to find an optimum business case, compromises have to be made on the desired output.

  • This will be the first option. Here, a blueprint is designed in which the gap between the current state (as-is (read as “as is”)) and future state (to-be (read as “to be”)) is small.

  • The second option is to find a different approach and solution that can deliver the blueprint, addressing the constraints of cost, time, risks, etc.

  • The last option is to close the program if it is unable to find a viable business case.

In the subsequent sections, let us study about tranches.

Understanding the Tranches

Let us now understand the characteristics of tranches. Following are the characteristics of tranches:

  • A tranche is made up of one or more projects or activities.

  • A program is divided into tranches and each tranche delivers a step change in capability for the organization, as described in the intermediate blueprint.

  • Tranche will also include transition activities to achieve the outcomes defined for the tranche.

  • End of tranches will provide a control point at which the program can be re-directed or stopped.

  • In MSP, program plan is designed to deliver the new capability in tranches.

  • These step changes in capability should be carefully planned to support the realization of appropriate desired benefits.

  • A program plan is designed to deliver the new capability in tranches.

  • The inclusion of transition activities to achieve the outcomes defined for the tranche.

In the next section, let us discuss how to select existing projects for a tranche.

Step Changes through Tranches Choose Existing Projects

At first, the boundaries of the emerging program are analyzed to identify which projects are to be a part of the program. As the work may already be in progress, there might be practical constraints in selecting or rejecting projects.

The following criteria can be used to select projects:

Proximity to delivery:

Under this, those projects which are close to completion can be allowed to continue. A high degree of confidence exists regarding the successful completion of the program.

Strategic fit:

Projects that do not align with organizational strategy can be closed prematurely if they are not close to completion.

Re-use and adaption:

Under re-use and adaptation, mid-cycle projects that can be aligned with a new strategy with minimal effort and cost can be allowed to continue.

For other projects, research results, designs, and prototypes can be used for further analysis in the program.

In the following section, let us understand step changes through tranches with overlapping tranches.

Step Changes through Tranches Overlapping Tranches

In practice, an organization may run a program with overlapping or parallel tranches. Overlapping tranches are more likely in large or complex programs. However, concurrent tranches increase the risk. Following are the features of parallel tranches:

Step 1

Careful analysis of the situations is needed in which the tranches can be parallel. In some cases, if delivery confidence is high, the next tranche can be brought forward.

This will mean that subsequent tranche will overlap the end of the current tranche.

But, this can be done only when the commitment from the sponsoring group is assured. The other scenario in which the tranches can overlap is where there aren’t any dependencies on projects’ outputs between tranches.

Step 2

The risk increases in the case of overlapped tranches.  Before committing to this approach, it is important to ensure that the organization is willing to accept the increased risk associated with the overlapping tranches.

Step 3

End of tranches are the key ‘Go’ or ‘No Go’ decision points, but this is not possible with overlapping tranches.  This structure of the program should contain planned reviews at key decision points (or end of tranche); these may be time-driven (for example, every 3 or 6 months) or event-driven.

Step 4

Program with multiple concurrent tranches will be difficult to stop or redirect, as there are multiple go or no go points. Also, it might be possible in some scenarios, where a program may change direction after a tranche.

Step 5

If that has to happen in case of overlapping tranches, it might lead to wastage of money, as the work done in other tranches might not be required.

Step 6

In case of overlapping tranches, it is not possible to use what has been learned to inform the direction of the remaining program, to increase the likelihood of success, which is the main purpose of a tranche.

In the next section, we will learn the blueprint design and delivery within the transformational flow.

Blueprint Design and Delivery within the Transformational Flow

The table below depicts the relationship between transformational flow and blueprint design and delivery:

Transformational Flow

Blueprint design and delivery

Identifying a program

  • Blueprint starts to emerge in program mandate when the as-is state is documented.

  • Outline vision is developed, which acts as an input.

Defining a program

  • The major design is done in this stage.

  • Vision is refined and work on the to-be state is undertaken.

  • Without the blueprint, developing benefits will be impossible as there is no start or end to analyze.

  • Simultaneously with the blueprint, the work is also done on defining the benefits and projects.

Managing the tranches

  • Blueprint is a critical document for maintaining direction and control.

  • Any change to the program should be analyzed in terms of the impact on the future state, and the same should be reflected in the blueprint.

  • The specific focus needs to be on ensuring that intermediate blueprint for this tranche can be achieved.

As part of the end of tranche review, the blueprint has to be reviewed to ensure that future intermediate blueprint and final future state are still valid.

In the next section, we will continue our discussion on blueprint design and delivery within the transformational flow.

Blueprint Design and Delivery within the Transformational Flow (contd.)

The following table depicts the relationship between transformational flow and blueprint design and delivery:

Transformational Flow

Blueprint design and delivery

Delivering the capability

  • Blueprint provides the basis for developing the requirements for projects.

  • The mandate for the projects are defined in projects dossier but the content of the blueprint provides key input to the development of the more detailed design of project briefs.

  • Acceptance of project outputs should be measured against their ability to satisfy the capabilities defined in the blueprint.

Realising the benefits

  • Blueprint as-is state defines the baseline performance of the organization prior to the change.

  • Changes to these baselines inform both the benefits and progress towards change.

  • Benefit reviews investigate whether the benefits have been achieved and assess whether the capability defined in the blueprint was delivered.

Closing the program

  • Success is measured if the delivered capability is as defined in the blueprint.

  • The final review will focus not only on final delivery but also on how the changes to blueprint were managed.

  • The final state may look different from the initial blueprint but the final version of the blueprint should reflect the existing one.

In the next section, let us analyze the different roles and their focus area in blueprint design and delivery.

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Roles and Area of Focus in Blueprint Design and Delivery

The roles and their areas of focus in blueprint design and delivery are as follows:

Senior Responsible Owner (SRO)

Let us begin by discussing the roles and areas of focus of the Senior Responsible Owner or SRO.

  • The Senior Responsible Owner or SRO (read as S-R-O) provides strategic direction for the work of design of the blueprint and analysis of the delivery options.

  • SRO also ensures that the sponsoring group authenticates and commits to the ‘to-be’ state, which is demonstrated through active cooperation, providing appropriate resources for the blueprint design.

  • The SRO has to ensure that the blueprint document remains aligned with the strategic direction of the organization and promotes a coherent capability.

  • The SRO has to act as providing the interface to the sponsoring group and other key stakeholders, maintaining their buy-in.

  • The SRO will advise and direct the program manager and the Business Change Managers or BCMs (read as B-C-Ms) as required during the process.

  • While interacting with the program board, the SRO ensures that program board assesses and understands the implications of the blueprint and its delivery.

Next, let us discuss the roles and focus area of the Program Manager.

Program Manager

Let us understand the roles and focus area of the program manager:

  • The Program Manager is responsible to ensure that the blueprint document is authored and assembled in collaboration with the BCMs.

  • The Program Manager works closely with the business change managers to ensure that blueprint, program plan, benefits realization plan and benefits profiles are consistent and able to deliver the business case.

  • The Program Manager ensures that the program has the access to competent resources to create the blueprint.

  • Ensures that the appropriate options appraisal to select the optimal “to-be” state takes place.

  • The Program manager also ensures the management of changes is undertaken with an impact assessment on the blueprint and communicate the details of the blueprint to the relevant projects and other programs.

  • The Program Manager has to ensure that the planned step changes in operational capability are clearly understood by the project teams.

  • Ensures the uncertainties and ambiguities relating to the content of the blueprint are captured as risks.

  • The Program manager also has to contribute in managing stakeholder expectations.

Next, let us discuss the roles and focus area of the business change manager(BCM).

Business Change Manager (BCM)

The roles of a business change manager are that he-

  • Leads the development of content and takes responsibility for the delivery of design into business operations

  • Consults with and gains support from senior business managers for the to-be state

  • Provides and coordinates essential input to the blueprint with the assistance of experienced operational staff and specialists and assisting in the authoring of blueprint

  • Ensures the as-is and to-be information from the blueprint is used to construct the benefit profiles

  • Aligns the creation of capability within the blueprint with benefits realization through approval of project outputs

  • Ensures that operational changes during the life of the program are being reflected in the evolving “as-is” state in the blueprint

Next, let us discuss the roles and focus area of the program office.

Program Office

The Program office is -

  • Responsible for providing or locating information and resources that can assist with the design of blueprint.

  • It facilitates impact assessments of changes on blueprint and

  • Maintains configuration control of the blueprint.

In the next section, let us discuss what information can be obtained from a blueprint.

Information - Blueprint

The main purpose of the blueprint is to maintain a focus on delivering the required transformation and business change.

The blueprint document includes the following:

  • It contains processes and business models of functions, including operational costs and performance levels.

  • It will also include organization structure, staffing levels, roles, skill requirements and changes to organization culture or style necessary to support future business operations.

  • It will list down the technology, IT systems, tools, equipment, and buildings required for future business operations including details of reuse of existing facilities.

  • It will include details about the information and data required to effectively manage future business operations.

  • Also, it will have a complete description of the current “as-is” state and intermediate future state for each tranche and future “to-be” state.

Summary

Let us summarize what we have learned in this blueprint design and delivery lesson:

  • Blueprint is a model of future organization, working practices and processes, the required information and the needed technology.

  • POTI stands for the process, organizational structure, technology, and information.

  • POTI model sets the high-level scope of what must be included and integrated into an effective blueprint.

  • The sub-activities involved in designing a blueprint delivery are options analysis, optimizing the approach and step changes through tranches.

  • Optimizing the approach is about finding the best mix of the future state solution to deliver the capability and timing of the capability via tranches.

  • The various options available to adjust the blueprint or approach or both are considering all alternative options which best balance between cost, timescales, and benefits, finding a different approach and solution and closing the program.

  • Tranches are made up of one or more projects or activities. It provides a control point to stop or redirect a program.

  • The criteria for choosing an existing project are proximity to delivery, strategic fit and re-use and adaptation.

  • The relationship between transformational flow and blueprint design and delivery can be defined on the basis of identifying a program, defining a program, managing tranches and closing the program.

  • The SRO provides strategic direction for designing the blueprint.

  • The Program Manager ensures the blueprint document is authored and assembled in collaboration with BCMs.

  • The BCM leads the development of content and takes responsibility for the delivery of design into business operations.

  • The Program Office is responsible for providing or locating information and resources that can assist with the design of blueprint.

Conclusion

With this, we come to an end with the tutorial on blueprint design and delivery. In the next chapter, we will focus on Planning and Control.

  • 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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