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Blueprint Design and Delivery

MSP-blueprintBlueprint design and delivery is one of the Governance Themes that are fundamental to MSP. The Blueprint is a statement of the intended state of affairs after completion of the programme, and is designed during the Defining a Programme stage. Along with the Benefits Realisation Plan and high level corporate goals, it forms the basis of the Business Case.

Our MSP Foundation and MSP Practitioner courses will teach you about Governance Themes, including Blueprint design & delivery. As well as giving you this theory, our trainers will give you real life examples and case studies, so you’ll be able to put your new knowledge into context straight away!

What goes into the Blueprint?

The Blueprint is a model of how the organisation works, including it’s working practices/processes, the information it needs to function, and of supporting technology needed. The Blueprint designed during the Defining a Programme stage clearly demonstrates what the programme will achieve, and is referred back to throughout the life of the programme in order to maintain focus. Read the rest of "Blueprint Design and Delivery"

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Business Case Management in MSP

Business case in MSPWe recently talked about Defining a Programme in MSP and mentioned the need for a Business Case to ensure the programme is required.

The business case is crucial to the MSP framework as it ensures that the programme is the best possible course of action towards progress.

MSP is a defined and controlled methodology for managing programmes, and defining the business case is just one small part of the technique. Our accredited MSP courses will cover this topic in much more depth, along with all the other theory and best practice of programme management.

What is the Business Case in MSP?

The official MSP website defines Business Case Management as “The manner in which a programme’s rationale, objectives, benefits and risks are balanced against the final investment, and how this balance is maintained, adjusted and assessed during the programme.” Read the rest of "Business Case Management in MSP"

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MSP Governance Themes

Fundamental to the MSP methodology is the concept of Governance Themes. These are the procedures and responsibilities that define how a programme is set up and run – representing the organisation’s approach to programme management.

MSP training and certification will guide you through APMG best practice for each of these. This will be closely based on the MSP manual, which does emphasise that the profile for each of these must be tailored to the organisation and the specific programme.

MSP-governance-themes-APMG-logoThe 9 Governance Themes are:

  • Vision
  • Programme organisation
  • Benefits management
  • Leadership and stakeholder engagement
  • Blueprint design and delivery
  • Planning and control
  • The business case
  • Risks and issue management
  • Quality and assurance management

Vision

The vision statement is perhaps the most rigid of the governance themes, and is a document compiled by the Senior Responsible Officer and a team of relevant senior managers and stakeholders. The statement outlines the expected result after the programme objectives are fulfilled.

Blueprint design and delivery in MSP Governance themesBlueprint Design and Delivery

This is an extension of the vision statement – a detailed model of the future organisation with ‘gap analysis’ of the differences between that and the organisation as it is now. This gap analysis helps plan and refine the programme.

Organisation & Leadership

This details the structure of the programme and the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved. Read the rest of "MSP Governance Themes"

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MSP: Managing the Tranches

In recent posts we looked at Defining a Programme and developing the Business Case in MSP. Once you have defined your Programme and developed the Business Case you can move onto the Managing the Tranches process.

Managing the Tranches is the process that oversees the other two processes of Delivering the Capability and Realising the Benefits.

Managing the Tranches establishes and implements the strategies, procedures and activities that define how the programme will be managed and controlled.

If you would like to learn more about Managing Successful Programmes (MSP), using tranches and other theory, MSP Foundation training may be for you!

What is a Tranche?

A tranche is a portion of something – in this case a group of projects and activities that deliver a step change in capability. During the Managing the Tranches process, after each tranche, End of Tranche reviews can be held to review the benefits in accordance with the business case. Read the rest of "MSP: Managing the Tranches"

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MSP – Defining a Programme

MSP (Managing Successful Programmes) is a framework for managing programmes.

Training in MSP provides principles which can be applied to a wide range of business programmes.

Many businesses fundamentally fail to recognise a programme, and assign the term instead to groups or portfolios of projects.

More accurately, a programme is a group of projects that are all closely related and working towards the same business objective.

Programmes, Projects and Portfolios

It’s crucial that businesses keep sight of the differences between projects, portfolios and programmes. Project management is simply about controlling one project with one overriding objective. Project Management techniques such as PRINCE2 can be used to work with programme management like MSP.

A portfolio is a group of projects, probably in the same business area, which may share some objectives but are not directly related.  The term ‘portfolio’ may sometimes be used loosely as a group of projects within a programme, but is best avoided as it can cause confusion. More information on programme management and project management differences.

Programme management is concerned with controlling a group of related projects with shared objectives. It is important that everyone concerned knows that different processes and experts much be used to manage programmes than who manages projects. Read the rest of "MSP – Defining a Programme"

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Silicon-Beach-Training-Project-Definition-&-Scope-ChecklistWe always endeavour to provide our delegates with useful resources for before, during and after their training.

With this in mind, we are giving away an exercise taught on our MSP training courses - the Silicon Beach Training Project Definition & Scope Checklist.

This Project Definition & Scope Checklist can be downloaded and kept for future reference, just click on the link or the image to download it as a .PDF

You can use the checklist to review the Project Definition and Scope Document that you are currently producing.

If you are looking to become a programme manager then the right training is essential. Our MSP Foundation training and MSP Practitioner training courses both have high pass rates thanks to our experienced trainers, small class sizes and dedicated pre course material.

Project Definition

Defining the project is one the most important steps for successful projects. The Project Definition should be clear and accurate to ensure that the targets are hit by the end of the project.

Although defining the project is the project manager’s role, the programme manager has to be aware of the projects they are in control of and must produce a Programme Definition to present to the organisation.

Project Scope

Once you have defined the project you must establish the Scope. The Scope Statement is essential for all projects and is used to outline the desired outcome of the project and the conditions under which the outcome will be achieved.

The Scope Statement should include:

  • Justification
  • Objectives
  • Product scope description
  • Product acceptance criteria
  • Constraints
  • Assumptions
If you’re unsure on programmes and projects then use our guide to understanding the differences between programme management and project management.

Using the Project Definition & Scope Checklist

Use our Project Definition & Scope Checklist to evaluate your Project Definition and Scope Statement documents to ensure you haven’t missed anything.

It is important to get both documents right at the start to minimise disruption during the project.

Changing the definition or scope can cost both time and money as other aspects of the project must then be changed.

If you like our Project Definition & Scope Checklist then please share it around!

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Programme managers oversee a number of projects and so it is important that they are able to recognise if a project manager is letting the organisation down. Stakeholders expect results from everyone and may be looking at the signs in this guest post when considering if the management team is performing capably. To become an MSP Practitioner you must first have completed an MSP Practitioner Training course. Brighton is a fantastic place to train and our course have very high pass rates so come down to Silicon Beach Training for your MSP Training! In the meantime, read through these 7 warning signs of failed management to see if there are any areas you could improve…

Morale is down, productivity is down and your bottom line is seeing red. While this sounds like an indicator of a bad economy, it may have more microeconomic implications. If you think your business should be doing better than it is, consider looking at your management team. A bad boss or faulty leadership can quickly deteriorate all aspects of your business. Check these seven red flags to see if you management team is failing to encourage and assist your employees.

1. Lack of Communication

poor-communicationUse your ears and not your voice to look for a lack of communication between your managers and employees. Listen to what employees have to say about tasks they have been assigned to and examine the results. Little communication between the boss and the worker can leave questions unanswered, resulting in poor work. Additional lack of communication signs are:

  • Limiting answers to yes or no – A manager who does not explain the process or reasoning behind a decision can leave a team of employees confused.
  • Ignoring a crises – Management fails when a leader ignores problems or issues that arise in a project making it worse/
  • Low employee performance – If you have noticed your employees messing up on routine projects, it could be stemming from a lack of communication from the management.

2. Micromanagement

On the other end of the spectrum, failed management includes leaders who communicate way too much. When a manager assigns a project or task to an employee, he should ensure that the individuals are capable of handling that task. He should set a deadline for when the task needs to be completed and then back off. Micromanagement does the opposite of producing effective results. Signs of micromanagement include: Read the rest of "Do You Recognise These 7 Warning Signs of Failed Management?"

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Leadership Tips – 8 Laws of Power

As a programme manager you are at the helm of a series of projects you must be a confident leader to fulfil your role and keep the stakeholders happy. Here are 8 tips for being a great leader:

Take Control

If you don’t take control then somebody else will. As the programme manager you must assert yourself and show that you are in control of each move. Creating clear and precise agendas – starting point, finish point and route – gives you the power. Elements of the process might change but it is still your agenda so you are still in control.

Build Your Network

Networking is crucial in all aspects of life but as programme manager you want to create an elements of trust within the organisation. If the people working under you trust you – based on previous interactions – then you will have a more successful team. Nobody wants to be lead by somebody they don’t know, so get your name out there and network.

Act the Part

Act like a professional and people will treat you like a professional. Don’t act like you’re above anybody else, that just creates friction. Treat your team as partners and they will produce results closer to your vision. Read the rest of "Leadership Tips – 8 Laws of Power"

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Project or Programme managementIn the past we have looked at the differences between MSP training and PRINCE2 training, but what about the application of the methodologies? How does programme management differ to project management? The two disciplines are related but it is important to understand the distinctions to avoid getting mixed up.

Programme management is also commonly confused with portfolio management. Take a look at how programme management and portfolio management are different for more information.

Programme Management is about delivering the whole product while project management takes care of individual parts. For example, if a company is to make a new mobile phone the project managers would be supervising individual parts – software, screen, design etc. while the programme manager would supervise all the projects to ensure the the product meets the business requirements and integrate effectively.

 

 

Definition

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Agile Project Management Overview

Agile PRINCE2 MSPAgile Project Management is a flexible methodology which can work very well alongside both MSP and PRINCE2. Its flexibility makes it an ideal methodology for the development of software and for business systems.

Since MSP and PRINCE2 focus on providing a framework for projects – concentrating on elements such as engaging stakeholders, change control and risk management – Agile can be used as a partner methodology to plan the actual creation of the project.

But what exactly is Agile Project Management? Read the rest of "Agile Project Management Overview"

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