PMI PgMP – The Program Management Supporting Processes
- Program Management Supporting Processes Introduction
This section is to cover the program management supporting processes. The program management supporting processes are very similar to the processes at the project, but they address considerations at a higher level. The program management supporting activities aggregate the information from component level to reflect a program perspective. The program management supporting processes require deep coordination with the organization group function. For instance, the financial processes in the organization should be considered and respected in designing the program financial management processes.
Sometimes the organization provides some flexibility and exceptions to the important programs, but the compliance to the organization processes continues to be the dominant role. Don’t forget that all the component activities, including planning and closure, are executed during the program benefits delivery phase of the program lifecycle as elaborated earlier. Remember that the old naming of the supporting activities in the Standard for Program Management second edition guide was Knowledge Area.
The program management supporting processes cover the following topics the program integration management, the program scope management, the program communication management, the program results management, the program schedule management, the program quality management, the program risk management, the program financial management, and the program procurement management. Let us elaborate each of these topics in details according to the same sequence.
- Program Integration Management
Starting with the integration management supporting processes. The integration management is concentrating on the coordination between the multiple components within the program in order to realize the program benefits as blend. The integration management is the heart of the program management. It is unique in the program management with respect to project management. The major outputs of this process group are program charter, program roadmap and program management plan. The program roadmap was discussed earlier in the Program Strategy Alignment domain section, but the program charter and the program management plan will be discussed in the next few minutes. Let us review the activities and the sub activities of the program integration management supporting processes during the different phases of the program lifecycle.
Starting with the program definition phase, we have three major activities program initiation, program management plan development, and program infrastructure development. The program initiation activity has the following sub activities program sponsor selection and financing, program manager assignment, estimates of scope, resources and cost, initial risk assessment, business case update if there is a need, and development of the program road map and the program charter. The program management plan development activity has sub activities mainly to develop the subsidiary plans.
The program infrastructure development activity has the following sub activities program organization and core team assignments program resource plan development definition of program management activities that are required to implement and manage the program infrastructure program management office structure and assignment and the program management information systems required to manage and control the program. Then, in the program benefits delivery phase, we have three major activities which are program delivery management, program performance monitoring and control and program transition and benefits sustainment.
The program delivery management, which mainly has all the component activities initiate change, transition and close, has the following sub activities component initiation change requests that fall within the program manager scope of authority are approved or rejected as part of the program manager responsibility and component transition to operation. Coming to the program performance, monitoring and control activity, we have the following sub activities the program performance reports, which are collected from the program components reports and forecasts to estimate the likelihood of achieving planned outcomes.
Finally, the program transition and benefits sustainment activity to transition the program to operation and ensure business sustainment. At last, in the program closure phase, we have program closure activity, which has the following sub activities final program reports knowledge transition to the operation team resource disposition and the program close out, which needs official approvals as bears the program governance. Please note the Program delivery management sub activity is mentioned in the Standards for Program Management Third edition guide with the same name in page 86 but mentioned in page 83 as Program Execution management. So consider the two terms interchangeable for the exam purpose.
Let us review the major artifacts created during the integration management supporting processes starting with the program management plan. The program management plan includes candidate program components and management plans needed to achieve the desired organizational benefits. Program Management Plan development is an iterative activity to balance between the competing priorities, assumptions and constraints from one side and the business goals deliverables benefits, time and cost from the other side. Updates and revisions to the program management plan, its subsidiary plans and the program road maps are approved or rejected through the program governance.
The program management plan includes the following subsidiary plans the benefits realization plan, the stakeholder engagement plan, the governance plan, the communication management plan, the financial management plan, the procurement management plan, the quality management plan, the resource management plan, the risk management plan, the schedule management plan and the scope management plan. Remember that in your practical life you will have some or all of these subsidiary plans depends on the organizational culture, the complexity of the program and the program management experience.
Then, the second artifact in the integration management supporting processes is the program charter. The program charter is the primary document reviewed by the governance board to decide if the program will be authorized or not. The program charter has the following contents program justification and vision, the program relationship with organizational strategic objectives, expected program outcomes, the high level program scope benefits to be realized program high level assumptions and constraints, major program risks and issues, program component structure, key milestones, estimated program costs and resource needs key identified stakeholders and program governance.
- Program Scope Management
The program scope management supporting processes include all activities involved in planning and managing the program scope. The primary target of the scope management is to align the program scope with the program goals and objectives. Program scope defines the work required to deliver a benefit at the program level. This benefit may be a major product, service or result with specified features and functions. A change management activity should be established to administer scope change. Remember that the scope management is described in details in the PM book, but it is briefed in the Standards for Program Management Third Edition.
Post books are of course from BMI. Let us review the activities and their outputs regarding the program scope management supporting processes during the different phases of the program life cycle. Starting with the program definition phase, we have one activity which is Program Scope planning that produces the following outputs the program scope statement, the Program Scope Management Plan and the Program Work breakdown structure. Then, in the program Benefits delivery phase, we have one activity which is Program Scope Control.
It produces the following outputs the updated program scope statement, dispositions of change requests with documentation of the rationale for the decision and the updated Program Work breakdown structure. The major artifacts to review here is the scope management plan. The scope management plan includes the processes to define, develop, review, approve and verify the scope from the collected requirements. It contains usually the in scope and the out of scope requirements and the scope change management and control processes. The scope management plan contains processes to cover all the following create scope statement, create, maintain and approve the ORC breakdown structure change control and how to obtain the formal acceptance on the program deliverables control Quality Validated scope and control scope processes creates usually confusion to some professionals. Let us review each one of them.
The control quality process is primarily concerned with the correctness of the deliverables and meeting the quality requirements specified for the deliverables. The control quality process is usually performed before the validity scope process. The validity scope is to validate the scope of each deliverable with respect to the approved baseline. It brings objectivity to the acceptance process and increases the chance of final product, service or result in acceptance by validating each deliverable. The verified deliverables obtained from the control quality process are reviewed with the customer or sponsor in this process. This process is concerned with the acceptance of the deliverables control scope.
This process is used to ensure that all requested changes and recommended corrective or preventive actions are processed through the change of control process. So briefly, we can say the control quality is to ensure that the deliverable is meeting quality requirements. The validated scope comes after ensuring the deliverable quality in the control quality process and aims to confirm the deliverable with respect to the scope baseline in order to get the customer acceptance on this deliverable. And the control scope is to manage the change requests. This process will work in parallel with the previous two processes.
- Program Communication Management
Coming to the program communication management supporting processes the communication management supporting activities group spends over the program definition phase and the program benefits delivery phase. It includes activities for facilitating, generating, collecting, distributing, storing and retrieving the program information.
The communication skills of the Program Manager is a critical success factor. To succeed in his job, he is required to communicate at all levels and with different mentalities to transfer the right message to the right person using the proper channel. Remember that the Program Manager is a key communicator for the program. Please note that the Communication Management is described in details in the PM book, but it is briefed in the Standards for Program Management Third Edition.
Post books are of course from PMI. Let us review the activities and their outputs regarding the Program Communication Management Supporting Processes during the different phases of the program lifecycle. Starting with the Program Definition phase, we have one major activity which is the Communication planning that has the following outputs communication Plan, stakeholder register and corresponding communication requirements.
Then in the program benefits delivery phase, we have two activities the information distribution and the program performance reporting. The information distribution activity has the following sub activities program communication considerations, information gathering and retrieval systems and lessons learned. Database. The Information distribution activity with the Lessons Learned database sub activity has the following outputs program Management Information System Lessons Learned and Data archiving and retrieval instructions.
Then, the Program Performance Reporting activity has the following outputs contractually and or sponsor required data reports and accompanying formats customer feedback requests, periodic reports, presentations and key performance indicators. The Program Manager is responsible for providing a clear picture of the program status and progress by creating the Performance Reporting Program. Communication is two-way communication the Program Manager sends information to and receive from the stakeholders.
- Program Resource Management
The program resource management ensures that all required resources are made available to the component managers as necessary to enable their components to deliver the benefits for the program bio resources. We mean people. Which is the human resources equipment like the lab analyzers in the pharmaceutical or health programs. Material like the cement and distilled river in the civil programs. The Resource Management Supporting activities group spends over the program definition phase and the program benefits delivery phase. This chart records the measure activities and the outputs of the measure activities. Let us review it in more details.
Starting with the program definition phase, we have one activity which is the Resource planning that produces the following outputs the Program Resource Requirements and the Program Resource Plan. Then in the program benefits delivery phase, we have two activities the resource prioritization and the resource interdependency management. The resource prioritization has the following outputs program Resource Priorities and Program Resource Blend and the resource Interdependency Management has Program Resource plan we can see that the Program Resource plan appears in the outputs of the three activities in the Resource Management Supporting Activities, as it is the main purpose of executing this activity group.
Although the component resources are managed by the component manager, at the component level, the program manager should work with the component manager to balance the needs of the program with the availability of resources as part of his responsibility to manage the resources at the program level. The scarce resources are usually hard to manage within the program because of the severe need to have them within the program and maybe I would outside the program and within the organization.
The program manager should carefully control the schedule for the scarce resources and release them outside the program when they are not needed to give the opportunity to other requirements within the organization to be fulfilled. The program manager should look more to the organization’s strategy and objectives than the component manager.
- Program Schedule Management
The Program Schedule Management includes determining the order in which the individual components are to be implemented, the roadmap of the program, and the milestones to be measured to keep the overall program on track and within the defined constraints. The high level Program Master Schedule is usually developed at the early stage of the program to address the major milestone, stones, benefits, and outputs of the program and its components. Please note that the Schedule Management is described in details in the PM book, but it is proved in the Standards for Program Management Third Edition. The Schedule Management Supporting Activities group spends over the Program definition phase and the Program benefits delivery phase.
This chart records the measure activities and the outputs of the measure activities. Let us review it in more details. Starting with the program definition phase, we have one activity which is Program Schedule Planning that produces the following outputs the Program Schedule Management Plan, which is one of the subsidiary plans of the Program Management Plan the Program Schedule standards that will be applied across all program components and may be part of the schedule management plan or standalone document. The program master schedule, which is the schedule on the program level.
Inputs to the program risk register that may arise from the components dependencies and updates to the program roadmap might be required. If there is changes in the master schedule that affects the major milestones, then in the program benefits delivery phase, we have one activity the program schedule control, which has the following output update to the program master schedule based.
On the actual progress of the tasks and the status of the assumptions and constraints and updates to the program. Risk register to record new risks or change identified risks based on the actual progress of the tasks within the master schedule. The Program Master Schedule is created and owned at the program level to manage the program and to measure its progress. After the schedule baseline is created, the elaborated project level schedule should be created and owned by the Project Manager and should be in line with the program level schedule.
This chart briefs the Program Master time schedule contents. These contents are major deliverables and milestones from the program components, which are sub projects and the subprograms within the program structure the major integration activities between the program components program transition and closure activities, other program activities like the steering meeting, the risk identification and analysis sessions, the program review or audit, and so on. Schedule baseline is created by the Program Management Team and then approved by the authorized body as beer.
The Program Governance it is the version of the Program Schedule that was approved by the Management and cannot be changed without the management authorization as bears the Program Governance. It is the artistic that will be used in the future to compare the program status and check its progress. In order to assure the synchronization between the program schedule and the component schedule, the external dependency is a good option to utilize. External dependency can be defined between the program schedule from one side and the component schedule on the other side. Ms project and Primavera are both allowing the definition of the external dependencies.
Remember that the program roadmap should be aligned all the time with the program master schedule, so any approved change in the program schedule will be reflected in the program roadmap. The schedule management plan identifies how the program schedule and component schedules will be created, including the scheduling method, the scheduling tool, and the criteria for developing and controlling the schedule. The scheduling method may be the critical bus method, CBM or the critical chain method.
The scheduling tool may be the Microsoft Projects or the Brimavera. The schedule management plan includes the following the level of accuracy, which is acceptable range used in determining realistic activity duration estimates the units of measure like days, weeks, hours and so on processes to develop, maintain and report the schedule processes to monitor and control the schedule progress. Processes to create baseline, approve it or change it rules of performance measurement like earnings value management, maximum minimum duration accepted, past completion percentage, and so on.