Planning a large program

Help required to develop a master program schedule

Scenario

Quick solutions needed after company lands government contract

Geoff* works as the program manager of a large and complex communication network program, recently won through tender to the Australian Government.

Time is not on Geoff’s side. He needs to rapidly develop a master program schedule using MS Project, detailed schedules for each of the capability streams, and establish scheduling standards across the program to ensure an agreed baseline schedule and ongoing integrated updates.

Having worked previously on several large programs, Geoff was aware of Core Consulting Group’s (CCG) extensive scheduling capability and decided to contact the business.

CCG influence

Immediate assistance that encourages team member ‘buy-in’

CCG provided a master scheduler to work with the team to develop the proposed baseline schedule.

By customising CCG’s scheduling standard and templates, CCG hit the ground running, ensuring there was an agreed approach within days of commencing.

Although the scheduling team had basic scheduling and tool knowledge, CCG ran training for scheduling ‘our way’ to ensure all participants understood the objectives, expectations, rules, and specific custom field usage. CCG also ran briefing sessions for subject matter experts to ensure they were clear about their contribution.

Using the proven best-practice approach of agreeing to the objectives, the scope-based WBS, responsibilities and hence identifying packages of work, CCG ensured there was clarity around the ‘jigsaw pieces’: that is the packages of work and the people accountable for their delivery.

The focus then turned to identification of and agreeing to deliverables and dependencies (between WBS elements, via those deliverables).

The planning team could then get to work, coordinating with subject matter experts and delivery managers to work through the ‘how’, the tasks, and the sequencing of those tasks as well as the resources required to deliver outcomes, based on generic role-based resourcing.

CCG acquired the schedule jigsaw pieces and put them together via the dependencies to calculate dates: the ‘when’. After analysis of risk ‘what ifs’ along with contingency allowances and resolution of critical path optimisation, CCG helped Geoff establish the baseline schedule and move the scheduling team focus to maintenance and reporting. More importantly, the focus extended to analysis and risk reduction in addition to opportunity for optimisation.

Outcome

Positive results for company and customer

As a result of the engagement, not only did Geoff’s company comply with contract obligations, they and the customer had visibility and awareness of the likely forecast delivery of the program elements, which enabled them to make informed decisions.

*Name changed to protect client confidentiality

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