How we helped a programme team to improve quality and predictability using a schedule model.
- Pragmatic PMO was engaged to provide delivery support to a multi-year, multi-site, multi-million pound, multi-project programme.
- The programme that had no schedule in place.
- The task was to support the planning and scheduling of the programme.
- As most of the workstream leads were operational people with a good understanding of the business but with little or no experience of planning project activities, we were tasked with creating an overall view of activity within the programme, and an ability to predict delivery dates.
- We liaised with project managers and workstream leads to understand their plans and interdependencies; realised the programme wasn’t a linear sequence of projects, with Project B starting after Project A had completed.
- We built an integrated programme schedule in Microsoft® Project® that modelled the key events and dependencies in the programme’s projects so that we could answer the question “when will we deliver?”
- We updated the programme schedule with progress, and adjusted forecasts in the light of experience.
- Within a month, we had in place a summarised schedule of the programme’s projects, key dates and dependencies.
- Within three months, we had in place a detailed schedule dynamically modelling project activities and dependencies, with filters to show e.g. the next four weeks activities for a given project manager or workstream lead.
- Using this approach, we identified over-reliance on a single subject matter expert, and overcame this by resequencing activities to smooth out resource demand.
- Was also able to detect whether delays on activities happening right now would have an effect on key programme delivery dates six months in the future.
- Thus, improved the programme’s estimation and capability to deliver right first time, and improved the programme’s credibility and confidence with stakeholders from across the business.
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