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Topics: Resource Management, Schedule Management, Scope Management
Programme Management Debate

I have a bit of a tussle going on ... on a large programme with two major projects and several smaller enablers and constituents, the programme executive wants to see a single programme plan that has all projects, tasks and resources. Their "vision" is that such a plan will give them instant visibility of resource conflicts, schedule variances and resource utilization. Simples.

A few little glitches with this vision - not all tasks/sub-projects are managed by the core team (think outsourced black-box development), full scope is yet to be established, and we're talking of over 20 projects in total, some of which have individual project plans that could run to many hundreds of lines.

How have you folks typically planned programmes on this scale? My tendency is to let project managers manage their individual projects using their own plans, but agree with them the critical activities and milestones that I would track in my programme plan.

Thoughts on the pros and cons of either approach would be very welcome.
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The devil is in the detail, quite literally. When you have a situation like that, your approach to highlight critical activities and milestones is a good one. But the powers that be that want a birds eye view and thinking program not project. So it is also prudent to highlight shared risks, assumptions, dependencies, along with overlapping budgets, schedules and resources in an effort to find synergy, reduce waste, and increase value.

Create a Program Plan using MSProject for instance and have summarized projects' plans under, with their tasks & requirements inter-dependency, shared resources, risks and deliverables.

In order to avoid potential problems in the process, developing artificial intelligence or defining a randomized genetic algorithm seems to be effective.
Of course, this process needs to be familiar with the genetic algorithm.

This is my day to day life from long time ago....Let the people free to manage the projects and let them know what you need to satisfy the needs of your programme executive. You will have to integrate the information. For example, in my case, I am managing programs where some projects are following agile based methods and others non-agile based methods and I have to integrate the needed information to make the top management happy.

It is a delicate art to let the program flourish without stepping on the project managers' toes within the program.

Rolling wave planning is the only rational way to manage large complex programs. Make sure the program (or programme :-)) level critical activities and milestones are visible, and then trust the individual PMs to flesh out the details within their sub-projects.

Oh yeah - and don't do detailed planning beyond the visibility of your "headlights".


I guess it depends on the size of your programme. In our case with hundreds of projects, this would essentially be an impossibility to manage. The issue is "feeding the beast". Garbage in = garbage out. Think of the resources first and the discipline required to manage such an endeavour.

Usually Primavera Enterprise version would have many options of presentation of overlapped projects and integration of them in one picture.Eppm P6 designed to carry burden of programmes,multiple programmes,many. the flip side eppm is very cumbersome to install and maintain. so the organization needs business case to buy,install and run eppm

Thanks for your input, folks. I think I'm generally hearing validation of my approach, which is great. I'm going to stick to my guns.

Love the "randomized genetic algorithm" suggestion ;-).

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