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Planning and Control Activities Tutorial

1 Planning and Control Activities

This lesson focuses on the planning and control activities. 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 scheduling ? Describe monitoring and control strategy ? Discuss the main areas that the integration of programme and project information covers Let us move on to the next screen to discuss options analysis.

3 Scheduling

Slide 3: Scheduling Scheduling a project delivery demonstrates the realisation of benefits aligned with strategic objectives that set the context of the programme. The following can be done to achieve the alignment of the realisation of benefits with the strategic objectives: The programme needs to integrate project plans in the programme plan to inform and assess progress. In addition, the programme needs to respond to project exception situations created by external influences or internal variances that cause a reassessment of the programme plan. The programme has to recognise business peak load periods when operational resources might not be available or when transition would increase the risk to business performance. The programme needs to continually monitor and review progress against the programme plan. This includes looking forward so as to anticipate emerging risks to the programme plan. Treating each project as a black box, with focus being only on inputs and outputs, enables the programme manager to prioritise the projects according to their dependencies and assess the impact of delays. In the next screen, let us understand programme control.

4 Programme Control

Programme controls are arrangements made to ensure that programme is moving in right direction. They should be established as soon as possible with assurance arrangements being defined in programme mandate and further developed in programme preparation plan. Following are some important facts about programme control: End of tranche reviews are critical control points where viability of the programme is assessed. At this point, it is needed to make decisions as to whether the programme should be continued. This decision should be based on on-going desirability and viability of blueprint, benefits, availability of finance and ability to meet corporate objectives. Programmes should avoid micro-managing the projects within it. Projects should be empowered; however, they need clear tolerance limits so that they do not exceed the delegated authority. Allowing project managers to manage their projects within defined tolerances set by the programme is good programme management. Communicating the right information between project and programme is a major consideration while establishing programme controls. It is essential to maintain communication flow between programme, projects and operations. The aim of this communication flow should be to re-use information included in standards that are introduced as part of programme governance. In next screen, we will focus on monitoring and control strategy.

5 Monitoring and Control Strategy

Monitoring and control strategy explains how the programme will be controlled internally. The following are some important features of monitoring and control strategy: The primary focus is on how the programme will maintain governance and control over its project and change activities. Monitoring and control strategy ensures that projects are started and executed in a controlled way and that they have appropriate stages defined. These stages should enable the programme to approve, stop or re-direct projects effectively to ensure that they remain aligned with the evolving programme. The monitoring and control strategy also focuses on how project interdependencies are managed. In addition, it focuses on how programmes ensure that it is running efficiently and meeting its objectives. The content, structure and format of the programme plan are also defined in monitoring and control strategy. In the next screen, we will discuss dependency management.

6 Dependency Management

Programme control is all about dependency management. Following are the three types of dependencies. They are internal dependencies, intra dependencies and external dependencies. Internal dependencies are those that are found within the programme. These dependencies can be managed within the boundary of the programme and reflects how projects depend on each other to deliver the blueprint. Intra-dependencies on other programmes and projects are external to the programme. However, they are found within the perimeters of the organisation’s programme and project management. Intra-dependencies on other programmes or project can be managed by highlighting it and making plans to accommodate such dependencies. Any delay in such projects/programmes should be highlighted to the dependent programme. External dependencies can be found outside the programme environment. These dependencies extend beyond the boundaries of all programmes into other parts of the organisation. These dependencies are beyond the control of the programme management environment and are potentially in external dynamics such as legislations and strategic decisions. An effective dependency network can be created by looking at projects in the terms of their inputs and outputs. This network provides a crucial control tool for the programme manager and helps to identify where a particular project has a dependency on inputs but no responsibilities are defined for it. Similarly, dependencies on outputs of projects can be identified. This helps to communicate priorities and impact of delays across the programme to project teams. In the next screen, we will look into project briefs.

7 Project Briefs

A programme should have good knowledge on overall requirements for each project, even before the project begins. Project brief is the thorough brief given to projects to give them a running start. The project brief should contain the project’s scope, objective, output, constraint and interface. It should provide direction and clarity on how the project will contribute towards delivering new capability. The project brief provides specific references on how the requirements relate to blueprint and explains how the new capability is related to benefits and outcomes. It defines the authority and responsibilities in a project. It should also state in which format the project should report progress to the programme. The project brief also provides guidance on standards to which the project should conform through its management activities. In the next screen, let us discuss the integration of information.

8 Integration of Information

In situations where pre-existing projects need to be adopted to programme, the relevant project information should be integrated into the design of blueprint and programme plan. Following are the main areas that the integration of programme and project information cover: the strategic-level changes that alter the programme’s blueprint, vision or business case and impact live projects or those that are about to start. The responsibilities and accountabilities from programme management governance strategies that might impact at project level should also be accounted for. Tolerance levels for project-level cost, timescale and quality should be defined, and project milestones and review points should be clearly identified for each project. In the next screen, we will learn about information management strategy and plan.

9 Information Management Strategy and Plan

Information is at the core of any programme. Decisions must be made at the outset on how to ensure that the information is reliable. All crucial decisions regarding the viability of programme will depend on rigorous management of information on progress of projects, stability and performance of business. The information management strategy and plan include standards and processes to cover data and records management to be used during programme plan. It also defines naming conventions and version controls. It details the systems that will store information, and the level of confidentiality and information integrity required for the programme at different levels. It sets out the audit requirements and configuration management procedures for the programme’s life cycle. In the next screen, we will focus on progress monitoring.

10 Progress Monitoring

Following are a few important facts about progress monitoring. The programme management team needs to establish monitoring while implementing the programme plan. This monitoring process should result in management intervention to address issues, thus preventing the programme from drifting off target. The end of tranche is the key review point at which formal assessment of progress and benefits realisation is made. If a tranche is lengthy, plan assurance within the tranche itself without waiting for its end. For this purpose use anything tangible, available or a milestone achieved, which can be reviewed and assessed. The programme is subjected to gated reviews at key points to assess its continuing viability against the business case. All these assurance reviews may involve internal audit, peer-level assessment or external scrutiny, depending on the type of programme and its governance requirements. However, ensure that the information to be used for all these reviews should be valid, current, complete and accurate. Other than internal members, reviews should also be done by external members for unbiased results. In the next screen, we will discuss planning and controlling transition.

11 Planning and Controlling Transition

Planning and controlling transition helps an organisation in moving to a new operating model as a result of the programme. Detailed transition planning is not practical until sufficient progress has been made in each individual tranche. This is because it requires both knowledge of specific project outputs and state of readiness of the operations which are due to change. Successful benefits realisation depends on the identification and effective management of all business changes stemming from the delivery of project outputs. Following are the three phases of transition: The first phase is the pre-transition phase. It acts as a preface to transition. In effect, it starts as soon as the programme comes into public knowledge. The blueprint ‘as-is’ will define the baseline performance levels that will be measured for progress towards the anticipated future state of performance. Vision needs to be accepted by all stakeholders. Stakeholder engagement and leadership play a critical role in the build-up to change and ensuring stakeholder buy-in. Before initiating the transition, the stop/go decision needs to be made to ensure that operations are ready to accept new capability and go through the transition. The next phase is the transition phase where we need to plan the transition carefully if more than one deliverable is planned simultaneously. During the transition, the outputs are embedded to the business operations. The more the outputs, the more complex is the transition. The transition should be reviewed and assessed to verify benefits realisation. The final phase is the post-transition where the aim is to achieve change that stays. Remove the legacy systems to ensure that the users do not go back to old ways of working. This phase may actually go beyond the programme’s life. In that case, the programme manager and business change managers or BCMs will take up the responsibility associated with benefits realisation. In the next screen, we will focus on an example based on the concepts discussed.

12 Dependency Management Problem Statement

Chao Yin, the Programme Manager in Nutri Worldwide Inc. is creating a programme plan for the new programme, Nutri Snack. The plan includes creating a new recipe for a healthy evening snack. He wants to identify all the possible dependencies of the programme. Following is the list of dependencies identified by Chao. R&D resources will be available only after completing the project for a different programme. As per instructions from the Senior Responsible Owner or SRO, the potential markets need to be identified before the advertisement plan is prepared. If any other organisation launches the product before Nutri Worldwide Inc., the programme, Nutri Snack, should be stopped. The FDA regulations of the targeted country should be considered. Chao wants to categorise these dependencies based on the different types of dependencies. In the next screen, let us find out how Chao will divide these dependencies into internal dependencies, intra-dependencies and external dependencies.

13 Dependency Management Solution

Following is the segregation of dependencies based on the list of dependencies identified by Chao: R&D resources will be available only after completing the project for a different programme. This is an intra-dependency on the other programme. Planning should be done to make adjustments as the resources are only available later. As per instructions from the SRO, the potential markets need to be identified before the advertisement plan is prepared. This is an internal dependency of the programme. It has to be managed within the programme environment. If any organisation launches the product before Nutri Worldwide Inc., the programme, Nutri Snack, should be stopped. This is an external dependency of the programme. It cannot be controlled by the programme environment. The FDA regulations of the targeted country should be considered. This is an external dependency of the programme. The changes to FDA regulations cannot be controlled by the programme environment.

14 Summary

Let us summarise what we have learnt in this lesson: Scheduling a project delivery demonstrates the realisation of benefits aligned with strategic objectives that set the context of the programme. Monitoring and control strategy explains how the programme will be controlled internally. The main areas that the integration of programme and project information covers are strategic-level changes, responsibilities and accountabilities from programme management governance strategies and tolerance levels for project-level cost, timescale and quality. Next, we will focus on planning and control within the transformational flow.

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  • 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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