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Planning for Modern Projects: Online Example

Online workshops

This online event invites you to bring your own experiences and management challenges into play using a set of structured learning events, zoom-mediated interactions, and personal reflections.

The three workshops

Each workshop is 90 minutes in duration and will be conducted on Zoom.  You may also be requested to interact via Mentimeter – further information will be provided on how you can sign on to both of these applications.

Workshop 1: Plans and planning

Exercise 1: Creating a project plan (Using your own or another’s project)

Workshop 2: Planning for success

Exercise 2: Determining the hierarchy of constraints for a project

Workshop 3: When planning is hard

Exercise 3: Developing effective project logs (using your own or another’s project)

Preparing for the workshop

All you need for this workshop is you and your experiences!  Before the day, you might like to get hold of a project plan that you consider to be a good example of a project plan or one you would like to analyse or improve.

Portfolio and Programme Management: Workshop Example

This workshop is drawn from a series of ‘conversations’ about portfolio and programme management.  The first conversation is about how to structure a program.

The audience then decides between them the prioritisation of which conversations they would like to cover.

The ‘big’ principles

Project portfolio management – and programmes as a special case of portfolios – is briefly reviewed.  Key disciplines and the differences between portfolio and programme management are set out and discussed.  They will be crucial in the dealing with the chosen challenges.

Conversation A: Structuring a programme

Focuses on the governance of a portfolio within a programme.  Based, as all the challenges are, on a real problem faced by an organisation similar to yours, the task is to construct a combination of projects that delivers the business outcomes agreed.  Each group sets out their ideas and the results are shared and examined.  The session concludes with a review of tools and techniques that can be used to support this common challenge.

The conversation pool

Each conversation is set in the organisational context that gave rise to the problem.  Each group sets out their ideas and their results are shared and examined.  The sessions conclude with a review of tools, techniques and models that can be used to address similar issues that arise.

Translating a vision into operations

How to implement a strategy.  Programmes take a strand of a strategy and manage the organisation’s transition from one state to another.  It is a complex process, and requires the use of a number of techniques drawn from 9 different management approaches.

 Tranche planning

How best to cluster and sequence projects and other activities in a programme.  The principles are similar to those used when constructing an independent project portfolio, but the process is subtly influenced by the degree of interdependencies between the projects and the need to create ‘transition states’ or ‘islands of benefit’.

 Gaining commitment

Examines the fundamental need to create and maintain commitment by the key stakeholders when establishing a programme or portfolio.  Simple to say, but extraordinarily complex to achieve, the discussion is around actions rather than planning, and the use of stratagems to achieve alignment.

Design authority & change dynamics

Focuses on the balance necessary to achieve between managing the risks to the infrastructure always present when project-driven change is planned and the delivery of benefits through that change.  The roles and influence of the design and change communities are examined, and how the conflicting needs can be resolved successfully.

 On-boarding the team

Focuses on the teams involved in making change a reality in the business.  It is a commonplace to observe that successful change depends on people, yet it is often the case the change agencies – the people responsible and involved in the managing of the change are overlooked.  How do you get commitment from the deliverers, rather than the receivers of change?  This case explores the theme.

 Establishing the optimum portfolio

The governance of a portfolio.  This looks at the three strategies that need to dovetail to achieve an optimum combination and how prioritisation schemes both contribute and hinder the process.  It looks in particular at how to handle the portfolio under conditions of changing priorities and conflict.

 Resourcing a portfolio

What issues arise when a portfolio moves from selection to implementation?  Resourcing and planning a portfolio is not the same as planning and scheduling a project – it is more onerous and how well it is done ultimately determines how successful the organisation is in achieving its strategic goals.

 Culling projects

The processes and necessary pre-conditions for a portfolio committee to be able to manage and control a portfolio.  Killing projects is a simple management decision, culling requires much greater discipline and sophistication in the portfolio management processes.  The approach to well-conducted culling – a growing necessity in many organisations today – is examined.

 

Portfolio and Programme Management: Online Example

Online workshops

This online event invites you to bring your own experiences and management challenges into play using a set of structured learning events, zoom-mediated interactions, and personal reflections.

The four workshops

Each workshop is 90 minutes in duration and will be conducted on Zoom.  You may also be requested to interact via Mentimeter – further information will be provided on how you can sign on to both of these applications.

Workshop 1: Getting the structure of a programme right

Exercise 1: Analysing a programme brief (Using your own or another’s programme brief)

Workshop 2: Selecting the ‘best’ portfolio

Exercise 2: Establishing project portfolio inclusion criteria

Workshop 3: Managing a programme

Exercise 3: Reporting options for a programme

Workshop 4: Culling projects

Exercise 4: Sharing approaches to culling used by organisations

 Preparing for the workshop

All you need for this workshop is you and your experiences!  Before the day you might like to familiarise yourself with the approaches used to manage programmes and portfolios in your organisation.

Benefits and the Business Case: Workshop example

This two-day workshop examines how to create and critique a compelling business case for a project and how to engage stakeholders in the decision-making and adoption activities required for real changes in operational performance.

The many roles of a business case

The business case is the critical decision-support tool for making investment choices by the project portfolio committee.  To be useful, the business case must address the information needs of all the key stakeholders.

Establishing the desired outcomes

The motivation for a project should be based ona clear understanding of the desired business outcomes.  Many business cases are marred by a failure to distinguish between the value of the solution and the solution itself.  In this session, we introduce an approach to clarify the problem that needs to be addressed and the value the business will get if the problem is resolved.

Making it wanted

A benefit is regarded as a ‘good thing’.  Where does the value come from and what measures are there for gauging how good a thing it is?  In this session an analysis of value and benefits within your organisation is undertaken – setting up a mechanism for developing a benefit case.

Building a benefit case

Modelling benefits properly involves clearly distinguishing what is valuable from how that value is created.  This session explores through the use of a well-constructed benefits case techniques for identifying what products must be delivered and how they will result in beneficial change in the business environment.

Getting to the numbers

The business case indicates the motivation for the project both in terms of its stakeholder commitment and its likely return on investment.  Return on investment is traditionally measured in financial terms, but with the introduction of portfolio management, it has become clear that more sophisticated approaches, which allow comparison of projects in terms of financial and level of strategic alignment, are essential.

Cost & benefit risk assessment (CoBRA)

Business cases are not designed to cajole stakeholders into making the investment but to allow them to make informed decisions based upon an understanding of return and risk. No endeavour is without risk.  How much risk is acceptable is a management decision beyond the remit of the project manager.

Benefits realisation

The business case documentation is the framework within which management decision making is made throughout the project.  Using a benefits management approach as the basis of the change plan has many advantages- not least of which is the way it focuses attention on the changes in process and people behaviours necessary for the benefit to be realised.  This leads to what it is sensible to measure.

Make it compelling

Many organisations have worked to reduce their business cases to a single spreadsheet, often filled with numbers but often of little value.  Has the reduction gone too far?   This session looks at the purpose of the business case again and its influence on making sure managed change happens.

From workshop to workplace

A reflective session to examine what actions should you take to make this happen in your own organisation.

Benefits and the Business Case: Online workshop

Online workshops

This online event invites you to bring your own experiences and project challenges into play using a set of structured learning events, zoom-mediated interactions, and personal reflections.

 The four workshops

Each workshop is 90 minutes in duration and will be conducted on Zoom.  You may also be requested to interact via Mentimeter – further information will be provided on how you can sign on to both of these applications.

Workshop 1: Defining benefits – a measurement of value

Exercise 1: Analysing a business case (A workout on your own or another’s business case)

Workshop 2: Constructing a benefits case

Exercise 2: Developing a benefits case for your (or another’s) project

Workshop 3: Writing the business case

Exercise 3: Sharing organisational issues in the presentation of business cases

Workshop 4: The role of the business case in decision-making…

Exercise 4: Sharing approaches to portfolio prioritisation management

  Preparing for the workshop

All you need is you and your experiences for this workshop! Before the day you might like to familiarise yourself with a business case used recently or regarded as a good example in your organisation.

 

Stakeholder Engagement: Workshop

This one-day workshop explores the crucial contributions stakeholders can make to projects and suggests techniques for their precise identification and management.

The case for stakeholder management

The concept of stakeholder can easily become over-inclusive and provide no real guide for action. However, properly defined and managed the stakeholder can become an integral part of project management and a valuable resource for success.

Identifying your stakeholders

The first step in stakeholder engagement is to identify who are the key stakeholders and how they can contribute to your project.  We start to look at how this might work in your environment.

Analysing stakeholder positions

The next step is to understand their perspectives and values, and the languages, metrics, and criteria by which they recognise project success. These will often differ markedly from those of the project manager.

Power and politics

It is important to understand the nature of the power base of your stakeholders with respect to the project if you are to influence them effectively.  Politics in projects is inevitable and project managers must adopt an appropriate approach to work with and through organisational politics.

Stakeholder planning and execution

Stakeholder engagement plans offer a framework within which relationships and expectations can be managed through appropriate action and focused communication. Continuous monitoring and an explicit programme for influence are crucial.

Stakeholder management – the barriers

One of the big challenges in stakeholder management is putting what you know into action.  One of the biggest barriers can be your own personal style and ‘comfort zone’.  This final session explores the barriers and allows you to identify your own personal action plan for taking the lessons learned forward.

Stakeholder Engagement: Online workshop

Workshop outline

This online event invites you to bring your own experiences and real-life challenges into play with a set of structured learning events and personal reflections.

 The three workshops

Each workshop is 90 minutes in duration and will be conducted on Zoom.  You may also be requested to interact via Mentimeter – further information will be provided on how you can sign on to both of these applications.

Workshop 1: Diagnosing the stakeholder characteristics of your projects

Exercise 1: Diagnosing my project position (30-minute personal reflection)

Workshop 2: Understanding stakeholder positions

Exercise 2: Analysing my stakeholders (30-minute personal reflection)

Workshop 3: From communications to the engagement plan

Exercise 3: Sharing my learning (15-minute personal reflection)

Preparing for the workshop

All you need is you and your experiences for this workshop! Before the day you might like to reflect on the last three projects you have been involved with: