The journey starts with a Market analysis that defines the consumer demand over time, within the context of the products the organisation can deliver:
This step is undertaken by a business or marketing analyst, though work needs to be time boxed, as often these experts can have an innate ability to explore. (More on approach and deliverables)
Many missions are frequently lost within daily targets, absent altogether, or confusing to external and even internal audiences.
In the context of project delivery, the mission sits at the top of the pyramid, guiding the strategy and ultimately focusing the project. It must drip down on the culture, behaviours and management style. Without this focus, a splintered vision will develop, political influence drives discussions and strong characters get their way. Everyone has their own view and the vision can easily be lost.
The rationale for the organisations existence, which drives your vision, is accomplished through clear formation and communication of the mission statement. It will need to be reinforced periodically.
To manage all projects (planned and in flight), you need a list of existing and future products. They are positioned on a roadmap, depicting the journey to the vision.
We need to define both the products that make money (eg an App for ecommerce) and the products that get them there (eg the infrastructure that holds the App). The products sit within the business case, balancing investment and benefits. Once approved, a traceability matrix will track and monitor to the quality required, before being transitioned into service to generate profit. Attention to quality and control of risk is key.
You must understand your forecast P&L for the next 3 to 5 years, so that strategy, resource capacity and capability can be planned.
Business Need defines the demand and is used to create the vision which is linked to all the project deliverables and products. The vision can easily be defined as a “postcard from the future”, that explains your path to deliver your targets, as if you are there already. This provides a memorable communication which provides a focus across all parties (Board, Stakeholders, Project team) and tracked with earned value in the future.
Organisations need a clear vision that the sponsor, stakeholders and project team have created together and agreed upon.
The Strategy is the pivot in the process, aligning to the market, with clear product specifications; while also segmenting into deliverable targets.
The mechanism to control this is the portfolio selection process that selects segments for scoped projects.
The Board will want to:
Sometimes business cases are ignored, grow out of date, or simply missed from the portfolio, as you rush from strategy to delivery.
Portfolio Management selects the most appropriate ideas & products from the strategy, and then undertakes a selection process to pick the best to deliver into service. It is at the tipping point of demand and supply and it’s customer is the vision.
Project scope and targets are delivered from a Portfolio Selection process, that filters opportunities, as it passes along a criteria filled conveyor belt. It picks the right items, in all shapes and sizes, feeding the engagement stage of the project delivery.
PROGRAMME / PROJECT DELIVERY
This stage has three diagrams at a high, medium and detailed level that define the process at different levels.
Did you find project management easy to get to grips with? It’s a bit of theory, business, process, people management, cultural behaviour, and more. The key is to take a proven practical approach, agree expectations and track through to delivery, hand in hand with the sponsor. While all of us can easily discuss 80% of our approach, here we focus on the most painful 20% that is difficult to solve. We make the 20% easier.
PROJECT APPROACH – HIGH LEVEL – ACROSS THE 4 STAGES
Defines exactly what needs to be read, understood, actioned and agreed by the sponsor, stakeholders, before the project starts. Creates and refines to baseline.
Balancing your benefits, quality, scope, pace, cost, and risk level within the chosen methodology, set tolerance, team roles and dynamics, metrics, reporting and environment to communicate the right viable baseline. Communication to all at kick off.
Maintain positive relationships between the team and with the stakeholders and sponsor, and remove barriers, as they arise. Put products and service deliverables on to a shelf ready for transition into service, as they are approved.
Making sure that your project follows and lands the service delivery requirements, with acceptance by all. The deliverables are ready for transition from a project that used Waterfall or Agile. The Portfolio Board reviews project progress and service transition against strategy and investment management to balance the books. Additional work may be added to the Portfolio Selection process to fill gaps or improve services that do not meet KPIs.
The purpose of establishing the framework described here is to make the various human behaviours work together well to a common clear goal, and manage deviations to plan.