OPG Program Model

The Program Model consists of four phases and five Gates. Included in the model are several documents including templates for governing. The first two phases are used to continuously increase the knowledge and level of detail about the program. The last two deal with actually doing what the program was started to do, usually delivering deliverables and/or benefits. Before the first phase and after each phase there are decision points, called Gates. These Gates are used for the Organizational Project Governance Process and to take the program from one phase to the next in an orderly fashion.

Roles and responsibilities

The immediate roles for program governance are shown in the figure above. Below is a short overview of the roles shown. Some of the roles are given in the document OPG Organization and Roles.

Program Sponsor
The Program Sponsor owns the program and determines its vision, goals and. The Sponsor provides funding and appoints a Program Manager and Steering Committee for the program.
 
Program Steering Committee
The Program Steering Committee supports the Program Sponsor in her/his decision making, and is responsible for acquiring skilled resources of sufficient quantity to the program.
 
Senior Line Managers
The functional line organization is usually represented by the executive heading the function, since the function will be impacted by the program and/or of the resulting outcome.
 
Program Manager
The Program Manager is responsible for delivering benefits, products, services and/or results from the program, as defined by the Program Management Plan, in a timely manner and within the budget.
 
Business Change Manager
The Business Change Manager handles the transition of benefits from the program to the business/line, and is responsible for ensuring that the delivered products and/or capabilities are used in a way that ensures that the benefits are realized.
 
Program Risk Manager
The Program Risk Manager is responsible for tracking and managing program risks
 
Program Quality Manager
The Program Quality Manager ensures that all deliverables are adequately tested and fulfil the acceptance criteria
 
Project Sponsor (Often the Program Manager)
The Project Sponsor owns the project and determines its vision, goals and objectives. The Sponsor provides funding and appoints a Project Manager and Steering Committee for the project.
 
Project Steering Committee
The Project Steering Committee supports the Project Sponsor in her/his decision making and is responsible for acquiring skilled resources of sufficient quantity to the project.

Overview of important documents

The governance process requires specific documents for monitoring and for control processes as well as for balancing the total portfolio. For the process to be able to perform, the documents must adhere to standard templates and methods. This standardization will make it possible to compare different programs (and projects) to each other.

  • The Program Initiative is a narrative description of what the initiator and/or sponsor want the program to deliver. In some cases this document may be referred to as the Statement of Work, SOW. It must outline the business need, scope description (deliverables and benefits needed), and how the initiative will support the strategic goals.
  • Business Case v0 is the first Business Case that the initiator/sponsor will issue. The Business Case will, at this point, be on a high level with gross estimates of the costs of doing the program. The Business Case is used to justify the investment. As the program progresses, the Business Case must be updated to continuously show the benefits, investment and costs for the whole product life cycle (not only the program life cycle). A new version of the Business Case will be issued at the end of each phase, and as a result of major change requests. The version numbers correspond to the Gate numbers.
  • Program Charter is issued by the Sponsor, but is usually produced by the initial program team. The Program Charter is the formal document that recognizes that the program is in existence and gives the Program Manager mandate to use organizational resources for the program. The levels of authority as well as the responsibilities of the Program Manager and Sponsor should be included. The Program Charter is a very comprehensive document outlining on a high level what the program will do and how it will be done
  • Program Management Plan describes how the program will be managed during the remaining two phases. The Program Management Plan states how the program will be governed, as well as outlining the separate management plans for different areas (e.g. scope, time, cost, benefit). Another part of the Program Management Plan will contain the Program Baselines for Benefits, Scope, Schedule and Cost.
  • Status Report describes the current status and gives a forecast on a monthly basis.
  • Program Change Requests will occur – the program is a change vehicle and must be organized to handle changes. Change Requests must be documented, analyzed and decided on. The Program Manager will usually have a mandate to decide on most of the Change Requests, but when one or more of the program baselines will be exposed a decision will be required by the Sponsor and Portfolio Board. In this case the Change Request should be accompanied with an updated Business Case.
  • Deliverables Acceptance Report is produced at the end of the Deliver Program Benefits Phase. A deliverable from the program may come in different shapes. It may be a product or service, but it will also usually be in the form of a result and/or benefit that has been realized in the organization. At the end of the program all deliverables will be summarized in the Deliverables Acceptance Report.
  • Final report concludes the program. This is the report that will document the program for the future, and it is an essential document for collecting lessons learned.

Program Initiative

 The Gate 0 (G0) decision is taken by the Portfolio Board using the Portfolio Process. The documents required to do this are:

  • Program Initiative description
  • Business Case version 0 (v0)
  • Other supporting documents

The steps in the G0-decision are described in the Portfolio Process document. If a decision to continue is taken there must be an appointed Sponsor and, preferably, a Program Manager.

Initiate the Program

Purpose: The Initiation Phase involves analyzing the program, with respect to what is to be done, how it can be done, and what it will take to do it. The initiation has two main objectives: the first is to give a better position for making a decision about whether the program should be initiated; the second is to delegate ownership of the program to the Program Manager.
 
Result: the Initiation Phase will result in two documents: the Program Charter and an updated Business Case (version 1).

While the Program Initiation is a very important phase and must be done in a thorough way, it should not be overdone – most of the topics will be covered in further detail during Program Planning.

  1. Establish the program organization.
  2. Perform a stakeholder analysis
  3. Establish the program mission and goals
  4. Define the program scope and deliverables
  5. Perform an initial estimate of the program finances.
  6. Define quality targets
  7. Define an initial communication plan for the program
  8. Initial risks
  9. Outline the program procurement
  10. Develop a Program Charter and Business Case v1

Gate 1: Decide to start the Program

The Sponsor together with the Steering Committee will, based on the Program Charter and the updated Business Case (v1), take the Gate 1-decision. The result can be either of the following:

  • Continue with Program Planning Phase
  • Re-submit for further analysis, if new data are needed.
  • Decide to terminate the program.
  • Put the program “on hold”.

If the decision is to continue and to start the Program Planning Phase, then the proposal will first have to be submitted to the Portfolio Board for selection, prioritization and authorization (see Interaction between the Portfolio, Program and Project processes description).

Interaction between Portfolio, Program and Project processes

Completely new initiatives are first handled by the Portfolio Process. If the Portfolio Board decides to select and authorize the initiative it will be assigned a Sponsor who will be accountable for the initiation.

The initiation will result in a new Business Case and a Program Charter or Project Charter. The Steering Committee will take the Gate 1-decision. This decision, together with the Business Case and Charter will be brought to the Portfolio Process. If the Portfolio Board selects and authorizes the initiative the planning process may continue (it will already have started after the Gate 1-decision).
 
The planning will result in an updated Business Case and a Program Management Plan or Project Management Plan. Based on these documents the Steering Committee will take the Gate 2-decision, which will be brought to the Portfolio Process. If the Portfolio Board selects and authorizes the program or project it may now move forward to the next phases.

When the program or project has concluded the closure phase, the decision is again raised to the Portfolio Process to formally decide to close the initiative and remove it from the list of active initiatives.

Program Management Plan

Purpose: During the Program Planning Phase the foundation of how the program will be managed is developed. The planning will result in detailed plans for how the deliverables and benefits of the program will be delivered.

Result: the Planning Phase will result in two documents: the Program Management Plan and an updated Business Case (version 2).

The planning covers the following topics, which are usually tackled iteratively:

  • Define an internal program governance model. The Organizational Project Governance model and the Portfolio Management Processes define how governance above the program is performed.
  • Compose management plans for: Program Change Management, Stakeholder and Issue Management, Benefit Management, Scope Management, Schedule Management, Budget Management, Resource Management, Quality Management, Risk Management, Communication Management, and Procurement Management. There should also be detailed planning of scope, schedule and budget. Structure the program into separate entities (projects, other work)
  • Define program interdependencies
  • Define roles and organization
  • Define program quality, for both quality in the program execution and quality in the deliverables.
  • Define Risks and Issues for the program, its projects and the business as a whole.
  • Define communication and stakeholder management
  • Procurement: what to buy and what to make.
  • Define program infrastructure
  • Produce the overall Program Management Plan

Gate 2: Decide to start the execution and to deliver benefits

The Sponsor together with the Steering Committee will take the Gate 2-decision, based on the Program Management Plan and the Business Case version 2 (v2),. The result can be either of the following:

  • Continue to the Program Establishing Phase
  • Re-submit for further analysis, if new data are needed.
  • Decide to terminate the program.
  • Put the program “on hold”.

If the decision is made to continue and to start the Program Establishing Phase, then the proposal will first have to be submitted to the PMO and Portfolio Board for selection, prioritization and authorization (see Portfolio Process).

Program Establishing

Purpose: In this phase all the deliverables and new capabilities are developed and implemented. The program will usually have the responsibility of ensuring that the benefits from deliverables and new capabilities are possible to realize.
 
Result: Accepted delivery of products, services, results and resulting benefits.

The first part of this phase is to establish the program and the projects (and other work) that need to start as early as possible. Establish the program may be regarded as a separate phase and is usually concluded by a Gate 3.

When the program is established it will start developing the deliverables and benefits. These will be monitored, controlled, coordinated and sometimes combined at the program level to produce new capabilities in the organization and thus generate the benefits.

A program will be subject to change and PCRs. The PCRs may come from many different places, not always in an explicit form.

Gate 3: one of several possible gates during the Program

There may be several Gate-3s though in some programs there may not be any. If one or more G3s have been defined, then the actual gate decision will be taken by the Sponsor in conjunction with the Steering Committee. At the time of the decision, a review and possibly an update of the Business Case must take place. The actual decision can result in one of the following:

  • The program may continue as is
  • A PCR, a corrective action or a preventive action is needed. This should be submitted to the Change Mgmt Process in the program for analysis and decision.
  • The program should be terminated. This decision will have to be forwarded to Portfolio Board for a final decision.

Gate 4: Decide to start closing the Program

The program will be ready for Gate 4 when all planned deliveries and benefits have been realized and accepted according to the defined acceptance criteria. The decision will be taken by the Sponsor in conjunction with the Steering Committee. At the time of decision an updated Business Case should be reviewed. The actual decision can result in one of the following:

  • The program will move into the Program Closure Phase
  • A PCR or a corrective action is needed. This should be submitted to the Change Mgmt Process in the program for analysis and decision.

Program Final Report

Purpose: Formally close all contracts with customer(s) and suppliers, organize all records, return all resources to their functional organization, and capture lessons learned.

Result: Final report and Business Case v5

Gate 5: Decide to formally close the Program

The Sponsor together with the Steering Committee will take the Gate 5-decision, based on the Final Report, Final Business Case and closure review. The result can be either of the following:

  • Close the program
  • Re-submit for further analysis, if new data are needed.

If the decision is made to close the program, the G5-decision will be submitted to the Portfolio Board for formal closure and for an update of the Portfolio Log (see Portfolio Process).

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