Program Management Supporting Processes: Program Benefits Delivery Phase Tutorial

Program Management Supporting Processes

Welcome to the tenth chapter of the PMI-PgMP tutorial (part of the PMI-PgMP® Certification Training.)

In this lesson, we will review the 19 program management processes related to the program benefits delivery stage.

In the next section, we will look at the objectives of this lesson.

Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Describe the activities in program delivery management and program performance monitoring and control

  • Describe the scope control and schedule control processes

  • Explain component cost estimation and program cost budgeting

  • List the tasks in program quality assurance

  • Explain resource prioritization

  • Discuss risk identification, analysis, monitoring, and control

  • List the common information distribution methods

Let us begin this lesson with a discussion on integration management processes.

Integration Management Processes

During the benefits delivery phase, the program manager integrates the work of all the components of a program and translates them into program level benefits. The program manager provides oversight and guidance as the components perform their work.

There are two processes under integration management as part of the program benefits delivery phase. They are

  • Program Delivery Management

  • Program Performance Monitoring and Control

Through these two processes, the program manager essentially guides the delivery management function in the program.

Let us next look into program delivery management in the following section.

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Program Delivery Management

Program Delivery Management deals with the program managers, program team members, and project managers and their teams performing the activities to accomplish the goals of the program and reap the benefits.

This process consists of the following activities:

Component Initiation: A request to initiate a component is presented. Based on this request, the component is evaluated against the organization’s selection criteria. Whether the component needs to be initiated is then decided using the governance function.

Change requests: Change requests that fall within the program manager’s scope of authority are approved or rejected.

Component transition: As program components reach the end of their respective lifecycles and planned program level milestones are reached, the program manager prepares to undertake the component transition activities.

We will now focus on program performance monitoring and control in the next section.

Program Performance Monitoring and Control

Monitoring and controlling activities are performed throughout the course of a program. Here, performance information is collected, measured, and disseminated, and overall program trends are assessed.

As a result, we obtain the data required to know the program's state. We also understand if any area needs adjustment or realignment so that corrective or preventive action might be taken.

Let us continue to discuss program performance monitoring and control in the next section.

Program Performance Monitoring and Control (contd.)

The following are the outputs of program performance monitoring and control:

Program Performance Reports – These reports show the progress of the program components, program status relative to benefits, and identify resource usage to determine if the program’s goals and benefits will be met.

Forecasts – Will we achieve the planned outcomes? Forecasts enable the program manager and stakeholders to assess this likelihood.

In the next section, we will discuss program scope control, the scope management activity that belongs to the program benefits delivery phase.

Program Scope Control

Program scope control involves the execution of a series of steps to ensure that the scope of the program is not affected when changes are proposed.

The steps are as follows:

  • Examine and evaluate the proposed change request

  • Document the change in the scope document

  • Communicate the change request to the program stakeholders

  • Perform the program’s activities to accomplish the change request

The proposed changes that have not been approved are also recorded in the scope document for any future reference of the stakeholders in the event of closure of the program.

In the next section, we will discuss program schedule control, the schedule management activity that belongs to the program benefits delivery phase.

Program Schedule Control

Program Schedule Control deals with equating the time consumed for performing the series of tasks to attain the program’s objectives with the estimated time for starting and ending the program.

The difference between the two-time factors depicts the timely behavior of the program or a delay in delivery. In the next section, we will discuss component cost estimation, which is one of the financial management processes in program benefits delivery phase.

Component Cost Estimation

It is good practice to develop a cost estimate before performing the tasks for delivering products. This helps the program manager to examine the cost of delivering products and compare it with the original cost estimation plan.

When the output cost is lower than the estimated cost, he can raise funds from the sponsor that can be used at a later stage in the program.

On the other hand, if the output cost is higher than the estimated cost, a plan for a change request is generated.

Cost estimates for the individual components within the program are developed. The component costs are baselined and become the budget for that particular component.

In the next section, we will discuss program cost budgeting.

Program Cost Budgeting

In program cost budgeting, all income and expenditures relating to the program are listed and recorded to track the cost incurred in the development of the program.

The program cost dominantly pertains to the development of the individual components associated with the program.

When designing the budget plan for recording the program cost, the contractors involved with the individual component development will have to be considered, and the details for the plan are obtained from the contract documents.

The two main sections of the budget include:

Program payment schedule: It records the receipt of funds from the funding organization and determines a schedule for providing timely outputs.

Component payment schedule: According to the provisions laid in the contract agreement, a schedule is drafted to make payments to the contractors.

In the next section, we will look at program financial monitoring and control.

Program Financial Monitoring and Control

The program budget should include the costs allocated to the program and the actual cost incurred in developing the components of the program and checks for cost variance if any.

Various control measures are implemented to minimize the cost issues arising during the development phase. It is the responsibility of the program management team to be vigilant about the emerging risk factors and provide suitable remedies to resolve the issues and reduce the cost of operations.

In the next section, let us discuss financial management activities.

Financial Management Activities

Typical financial management activities include:

  • Identifying factors that create changes to the budget baseline

  • Monitoring the environmental factors for potential impacts

  • Managing changes when they occur

  • Monitoring costs reallocation impact and results between components

  • Monitoring contract expenditures to ensure funds are disbursed in accordance with the contracts

  • Implementing earned value management

  • Identifying impacts to the program components from overruns or underruns

  • Communicating changes to the financial baseline to the governance groups and auditors

  • Managing the expenditure on the program infrastructure to ensure costs are within expected parameters

Let us next discuss quality management processes, starting with program quality assurance.

Program Quality Assurance

Program quality assurance is the activity of evaluating overall program quality on a regular basis to provide confidence that the program will comply with the relevant quality policies and standards.

Quality assurance is executed to ensure that quality standards and policies are strictly followed throughout the lifecycle of the program. When the quality norms are not followed properly, the performance of the program is hampered and will need correction.

Hence a defect repair mechanism should be adopted to implement corrective actions.

Quality assurance plans should be designed in the program planning phase and must be strictly followed at every stage of development. Regular quality audits should be conducted to check for any deviations from the original plan, and if so, they should be corrected.

The program management team should be aware of any new quality norms or standards introduced by the Government and should incorporate the same in the quality management plan.

Additionally, the components of the program should be exposed to quality tests to ensure the overall quality of the program is delivered.

Let us look into program quality control in the next section.

Program Quality Control

This is the final process involved in quality management, wherein the deliverables are tested for defects and checked to ensure they meet the expected quality levels. Some of the checklist components in the quality control mechanism are displayed on the screen.

  • Testing documents

  • Output driven inspection documents

  • Metrics Evaluation documents

  • Quality documents of the program archives

  • Non-conforming work effects

These documents enable the program management team to assess whether the deliverables of the program meet the standards mentioned in the quality plan or if there are discrepancies. Corrective actions should be implemented immediately to correct faulty works.

In the next section, we will look into resource prioritization, a resource management activity.

Resource Prioritization

Resource prioritization allows the program manager to prioritize critical resources that are not available in abundance and optimize their use across all components of the program.

The program manager deals with all the operations at the program level. He appoints the project managers to manage the activities of individual projects associated with the program.

As stated earlier, it is the discretion of the program manager to use resources internal to the organization or appoint them from external sources.

When the members are appointed from within the organization, their skillsets are analyzed, and their functional managers should relieve them from their current responsibilities.  

The external resources are appointed on a contract basis or as regular employees based on their skillset, their immediate availability, and the cost of operations.

We will now focus on resource interdependency management in the next section.

Resource Interdependency Management

When resources are shared by other components of the program, the program manager should draft a plan to confirm that there are no interdependence conflicts which delay the deliverables. It is the duty of the program manager to relieve the resources from the project when they are no longer required and utilize their services in required operations.

Let us now look into a case study.

Program Risk Identification

Let us now discuss program risk identification. The program risk identification activity determines which risks might affect a program, documents their characteristics, and prepares for their successful management.

Risk identification is an iterative activity. As a program progresses, new risks may evolve or become known.

The format of risk statements should be consistent so that we can compare risk events in a program. It is important to include contextual information on how and why the risk may affect the program’s success. This will allow the risk to be properly analyzed and prioritized.

Program files from previous programs may be used to gather information for this activity.

Let us discuss program risk analysis in the next section.

Program Risk Analysis

This process deals with the identification of risk events in the various components associated with the program.

The program can reap significant benefits by managing the interdependencies between the component risks and the program.

The qualitative and quantitative analysis should be enforced, and the management and contingency reserves should be allocated to resolve risks.

Negative risks, which are also known as threats, and positive risks, also known as opportunities, should be evaluated at the program level.

The risk events arising at the program level are identified and resolved by the program manager and the program management team. Similarly, the risk events arising in the projects are addressed by the Component/Project managers.

Risks at the project level are escalated :

  • When the project team members cannot resolve the risk events

  • When the effect of the risk might spread to one or more associated projects in the program

Let us next discuss program risk response planning.

Program Risk Response Planning

The risk factors that are likely to threaten the development of the program should be identified and a mitigation plan should be implemented to resolve the same.

The importance of risk management lies in creating responses for the risk factors. Some of these responses are listed below:

Accepting the risk - Used for both positive and negative risk events, when the risk will hamper the development of the program.

Avoiding the risk - Used in the case of negative risk, when it should be avoided. Mitigating risk factors - Used in the case of negative risk to reduce the probable occurrence of the risk event.

Sharing the risk - Used in the case of positive risk when the event is shared with a third party.

Transference - Used in the case of negative risk, when a third party accepts the transfer of the risk event based on a fee for the contract.

Exploiting risk - Used in the case of a positive risk event, when it can be exploited for benefits by the organization.

Enhanced risk factors - Conditions prevailing around the positive risk event are enhanced to make the event occur.

Let us continue to discuss program risk response planning in the next section.

Program Risk Response Planning (Contd.)

The program risk register will consist of all identified risks. These risks will then be analyzed, and responses will be planned for them.

The program risk register consists of the details mentioned below:

  • Indications of risk occurrences and required warnings

  • Risk owners and their duties

  • Evaluation of secondary risks that might occur as an outcome for a risk response

  • Formulation of response strategies

  • Implementation of the activities involved in executing the response strategies

  • The contingency reserve of time and cost agreed upon to provide for risk tolerances of the stakeholders

  • Implementation of the steps involved in the contingency plan in required circumstances

  • Budget allocation for executing selective responses

  • Design of the secondary response plan and execution of the same in the event of failure of the primary plan.

In the next section, we will discuss program risk monitoring and control.

Program Risk Monitoring and Control

The risk response document is the main source for adopting a control mechanism for risk factors that prevail in the program development.

The document defines the manner in which risk factors should be handled by the program.

Additionally, the document can also be handy in monitoring and control process. Any proposed changes are reflected in this document and any risk factors arising from the proposed changes can be analyzed, and steps for resolving the same can be implemented.

In the next section, we will learn the purpose of risk supervision:

Risk Supervision

Adopting a risk control mechanism enables the process of discovering, examining, and projecting new risk factors, tracking the risk factors, and reanalyzing existing risk factors.

Risk supervision is conducted at regular time intervals to:

  • Ensure that proper risk management policies are followed

  • Examine the risk events and confirm that the risk has moved from its prior state to a state of resolution

  • Check the validity of the program assumptions

  • Ensure contingency reserve plans are modified in line with the risk events in the program.

In the next section, we will discuss information distribution.

Information Distribution

Information distribution deals with supplying precise and timely information to the component managers, stakeholders, sponsors, and the public. The key components of the distributed data are:

  • The position of the program

  • Program’s project status

  • Risk Analysis data

  • Budget allocation information for execution of internal activities pertaining to the program

  • Budget allocation information for execution of external activities that involve public notification

  • Timed delivery status

  • Dealing with the change request

  • Filing regulatory documents as demanded by laws and regulations

  • Benefits update presentation to the media and press.

Let us next focus on information gathering and retrieval systems in the next section.

Information Gathering and Retrieval Systems

The program manager is the fundamental point of contact for delivering any information with regard to a program. The program manager gathers and retrieves the program’s information through sources such as:

  • Project Management Software

  • Electronic databases

  • Manual filling processes

  • Technical documentation systems that include test plans, design patterns, and graphic representations.

The information must be shared on a regular basis to the primary people involved in the development of the program.

Those people include:

  • Clients

  • Sponsors

  • Project Managers.

Any approved change request should also be communicated to these members, to avoid wasting time, cost and other resources.

In the next section, we will focus on the different ways of distributing information.

Information Distribution Methods

The information pertaining to the program is distributed through the following means:

  • The commonly used electronic communication tools such as emails, telephone, video and web conference, and fax.

  • Paperwork format that involves producing hard copy or documentation of the data, or meeting the people in person and delivering the required information.

  • Data delivery through social media via the internet which includes web publications and conference presentations.

  • Technology and toolsets pertaining to the program that includes work management tools, software used in the project components, portals, and virtual office support software.

We will now proceed to look at program performance reporting in the next section.

Program Performance Reporting

Program performance reports are generated based on the consolidated data of executing the activities of the program in terms of achieving the deliverables.

The program managers send these reports to the stakeholders, and the associated project team members for them to assess the performance of the program.

Let us now discuss another case study.

Program Procurement

Once the procurement plan is officially approved, the program manager and his team engage in appointing vendors or sellers to distribute resources for the execution of the program’s activities.

The procurement approaches followed by organizations are listed below:

  • Create a contract for a statement of work (SOW) to record the supply of goods and services by vendors.

  • Create a request for quote (RFQ), and an invitation for bid (IFB) documents

  • Deliver these documents to the vendors and arrange for a bidders’ conference

  • Based on the response from the vendors during the bidder's conference regarding the bidding rates, and quotations for procurement, choose the best vendor and sign a contract with him for procurement of goods and services.

On delivering the materials according to the contract agreement, the vendors produce the invoice and claim the amount due from the organization.

With the approval of the program management team, the organization releases the amount due to the vendors for the supply of goods and services.

Let us focus on program procurement administration in the next section.

Program Procurement Administration

After the design of the plan, the procurement contractors are appointed, and the component managers are responsible for monitoring and controlling the activities involved in the procurement phase.

Details such as the demand for materials, cost, contract deliverables at timely intervals, and quality of the material are checked by the project managers, and they deal with the contractors for renewal or cancellation of the contract based on their workflow.

Let us now check your understanding of the topics covered in this lesson.

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Summary

Let us now summarize what we have learned in this lesson:

  • The two processes under integration management as part of the program benefits delivery phase are program delivery management and program performance monitoring and control.

  • Program scope control involves the execution of a series of steps to ensure that the scope of the program is not affected when changes are proposed.

  • Program schedule control deals with equating the time consumed for performing the series of tasks to attain the program’s objectives with the estimated time for starting and ending the program.

  • In program cost budgeting, all the income and expenditures relating to the program are listed and recorded to track the cost incurred in the development of the program.

  • Quality assurance plans should be designed in the program planning phase and must be strictly followed at every stage of development.

  • It is at the discretion of the program manager to use resources internal to the organization or appoint them from external sources.

  • Once the procurement plan is officially approved, the program manager and his team engage in appointing vendors or sellers to distribute resources for the execution of the program’s activities.

Conclusion

With this, we have come to the end of this lesson. In the next lesson, we will look into the processes of program closure phase.

  • 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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