The following article is a sample from the full BVOP™ Ultimate Guide and is part of the preparation for the BVOP™'s modern Agile Certified Project Manager Program.
Considerable program planning activities may include:
- Prioritizing projects for realization by business value and dependencies
- Defining the high-level scope of the projects
- Analyzing and planning resources
- Projects realizations planning
- Planning milestones
- Communication planning
- Escalations planning
- Projects release planning
Prioritizing projects for realization by business value and dependencies
Based on the dependencies between projects and their business value, prioritization is the first needed step.
Prioritization ensures clarity on the projects’ importance of implementation and requires planning, investment, and general focus.
Defining the high-level scope of the projects
The scope of each project needs to be described as high-level, which sets the basis for a more detailed assessment of further project management activities.
Analyzing and planning resources
The status* of the current materials, resources, tools, and people need to be identified.
*The status is an abstract term defining the condition, quality, capacity, availability, motivation, skills, attitude.
The current availability of materials, resources, tools, and people needs to be identified.
If the program requires additional resources or workforce, the organization defines them and plans the necessary provisions.
Projects realizations planning
May include high-level planning of estimated resources and the time needed to complete projects.
Important events may need to be defined, described, and scheduled. Such events may include:
- Gathering requirements
- Scope finalizations
- Approximate time for project initiation
- Design phase initiation and completion
- Development phase initiation and completion
- Releases of product samples
- Testing or validation phase initiation and completion
- Repairing defects initiation and completion
- Acceptances initiation and completion
- Major Releases
- Marketing campaigns
The planning of project realizations, resources, budget, and milestones should take into account phases that may go beyond predicted time frames such as testing, validating, defects repairing, and acceptances. These considerations are valid for both program and project management activities, and as a result, buffer time may be needed between different phases and milestones.
The communication process is critical during the entire program planning and its realization.
Program communication planning may include:
- Defining communication needs
- Establishing a communication channel for program and project management
- Communication needs with other roles of the organization
- Escalations planning
- Planning communication needs and channels with external parties
Defining communication needs
Defining communication needs may include:
- Defining all communication topics like meetings, status reporting, tests, risk discussions, resources, projects release planning, etc.
- Defining, and concurring on the importance level of topics.
- Agreement on communication frequency and details.
Establishing a communication channel for program and project management
Program and project management roles have to discuss, agree, and establish their communication channels, which include the physical environment, software, or technologies.
Communication needs with other roles in the organization
May include defining and planning communication needs with roles outside of the program and project management offices.
Emergent issues and incidents may need immediate attention and actions. Escalation planning may include:
- Defining parties and roles that may be involved in emergent issues.
- Training parties and roles of the importance of the escalation process.
- Training parties and roles in proper and fast reacting.
- Preparation of potentially needed instructions and references required for different types of issues.
- Preparing potentially needed environments, tools, software.
Simulations or potential scenarios may also be conducted if such may be predefined as part of the escalation planning and training.
Planning communication needs and channels with external parties
All external parties interested in the program need to be involved in the communication. Channels and frequency of communication need to be defined and agreed on between all parties.
Projects release planning
Projects release planning may include:
- Defining all roles involved in project releasing and their responsibilities.
- Defining and describing the steps needed for every project release.
- Defining resources, materials, and tools needed and planning their provisions.
- Testing and analyzing the status of current tools, environments, and materials.
- Notifying all potentially involved parties of the plans, procedures, tools, environments, and materials.
- Potential training.
- Preparing all documentation templates that may be needed.
- Defining and planning post-release needs and activities.