A government organisation has just been given responsibility to deliver on a new policy initiative. It is around $200 million in size and involves multiple organisations; with this organisation getting the lion’s share of the ICT development work. Timeframes are tight, the work is complex, and the scope is not entirely clear or agreed. Where to from here?
Programme management methodologies are designed to work with the ambiguity and uncertainty that large complex initiatives involve. A programme framework can cut through the complexity while providing room to deal with ambiguity and change.
The organisation had tried to manage the large, complex, multi-dimensional body of work as a very big project, but was struggling to make sense of the interrelationships between work packages, and their sequencing, scheduling and integration. It was not clear where quality management processes would be enabled, or even what products the projects would deliver. They decided to manage the work as a programme. They engaged ASPL to provide a Programme Director and establish a Programme Management Office (PMO).
Over a few workshops and in a short space of time, ASPL was able to disaggregate the large body of work into several distinct projects, each with responsibility to delivery particular outputs but together contributing to the outcomes of the programme. Project managers were assigned to each of the projects. They began the task of defining the products they would deliver through their projects and developed their project schedules.
Dependencies were identified, as was work on the critical path that was not being managed. Another project manager was assigned to manage the important detailed requirement elicitation work. The PMO developed a master programme schedule and worked with the organisation to define tranches of capability delivery that met the timeframe requirements of senior stakeholders and the organisation’s periodic ICT release cycles.
Within a short time a clear way forward was developed that resonated with senior stakeholders. Complexity was replaced with clarity.