Project Portfolio Management

Major Programs: Creating a Uniform Rhythm

When you feel like you have all the time in the world to be somewhere or get something done, you are setting yourself up for the most risk of being late. You lull yourself into a false sense of security! The same happens in major programs as well. In a post for the Association for Project Management, Neil McCrimmon explains how you can create a uniform rhythm in programs.

You Got Rhythm

Creating a rhythm that’s uniform throughout a program can be difficult to pull off. It requires managing different time zones, different vendors, and different clients all the same time. It may be “easy” to work faster when the deadline is more immediate, but how do you keep the pace up throughout the program?

There are some simple principles to adopt that can make this process easier, one of them being to establish key milestones. These should be able to work as health indicators of the program and be frequent enough to be able to gauge progress. This ties into the second of McCrimmon’s principles, which is to set up stage gates to provide markers of progress. Work backwards from your milestones to see what needs to be done before you reach certain points in your program.

The third principle is to create the right culture for the program. You can incentivize people to complete their goals, but also personalize this part of the program. Check in with team members, see how people are doing, and actively establish an interest in the folks behind the magic. And finally, McCrimmon explains that communication is key:

Communicate, communicate, communicate. We’ve all been there when despite one set of dates internal project teams and external suppliers have not been clear or failed to understand the importance of expected delivery dates. It is a mystery to me, and I am sure to you too. So we must remain diligent and continue to communicate clearly and consistent aligned to the programme rhythm.

You can view the original post here: https://www.apm.org.uk/blog/major-programmes-creating-a-uniform-rhythm/

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