Is there a hidden tool that will help you to add value to your program? In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Elizabeth Harrin discusses what she believes to be an essential element to programs: the blueprint.
A Program Compass
To begin with, what precisely is a blueprint? A blueprint helps to define the vision statement of the program, as well as the capabilities it will deliver. Basically, it defines what the program will do today and what it hopes to do tomorrow.
Blueprints provide an excellent introductory step for conducting a gap analysis. Because the blueprint links the present to the future, it can help to dictate which direction a project needs to go. Additionally, they can help determine which current projects are worth a further investment of time.
At the program level, blueprints help you to stay focused and structured by illustrating what everything should be aimed towards. They also help establish intermediate steps. This will help you to see where this specific program fits into the organization.
Because of the immense benefits blueprints hold, they are not a simple document that can be drafted by a single person. When composing this document, you want to employ a variety of people who are familiar with the business and the future of the organization. Subject matter experts will also prove useful. A blueprint is an invaluable tool, and setting it up properly should be priority. Some elements you may wish to include in the blueprint are the organizational structure, staffing models, IT systems, or physical equipment. Additionally, there should be a section dedicated to the future of the organization.
Harrin recommends that the blueprint is revisited often and kept up to date, especially because of the great amount of time dedicated to drafting it. Blueprints are the perfect way to start a program off on the right foot. You can read the original post here: http://www.esi-intl.co.uk/blogs/pmoperspectives/index.php/programme-management-using-programme-blueprint/