In this video, learn about the Plan of Record and how to maintain one plan until it is time to decide to change. Explore efficient execution strategies to solve complex problems. Learn about project breakdown, WBS, and reporting for risk management.
- [Instructor] Here we begin Phase 1, and the mission of Phase 1 is a stable and high-confidence plan of record. Phase 0s included concept development, employing program managers, one or more architects and engineers, typically a product manager as well. To that core team, we add more engineering, more quality, more support, more tech pubs, and training people in order to get that multi-functional, high-confidence plan of record. So, how do we get from here to there? I want to describe the destination here.
The destination is the end of Phase 1, meaning you have an engineering plan. The engineering work product is an engineering PRD, a product requirements document. Engineering starts with the MRD, and for each line item, each functional requirement defined in the MRD, engineers respond with a yes or a no, or sometimes a later. If it happens to be later, that means the feature goes into that stepping-stone release. Again, the mission of the plan of record is stability. You start with the MRD and embellish that with an engineering PRD, and you establish a plan of record.
The plan of record allows a team to discuss better and different alternatives, and there is no change in plan of record until the team agrees to the change of plan of record. What this serves to do is to avoid confusion. You have one plan of record, but you can still have that conversation. Along the way, it's fine to have those plan of record changes. It's fine for the team to have a healthy discussion, it's fine for the program managers to go around the table and say, do we agree that there's going to be a change of plan of record? The team agrees, the documents are updated, everybody's clear.
Minor course corrections are fine. Large course corrections are high risk, so be careful about changing the plan of record, especially in big, high-impact ways. Stick to the lower-impact course correction changes in plan of records, and that'll make for a healthy project. The destination includes definition of scope, meaning what you're going to build, the definition of schedule, meaning when you're going to deliver it, definition of the resources used, meaning people and money and potentially partners, definition of risk.
Risk management is something that we'll touch on multiple times through the duration of the project and risk management takes on different forms based on different phases in the project. At the end of Phase 1, we have a reviewed and final plan of record. Typically, there is an executive review at the end of Phase 1, and the execs do a go or no-go and commit budget. This is important in the sense that, if the budget is committed, we have a much higher confidence of execution of the project, and without a committed budget, the resources tend to evaporate.
So, please be careful about the non-committed budget and the ad hoc resources. That's a program risk that can be mitigated with a committed budget.
- Hard skills and soft skills needed for program management
- Reporting and managing risk
- Phases of program management
- Understanding customers
- Running effective team meetings
- Working with partners
- Engineering, architecture, design, and code reviews
- Managing delivery and release
- Competitive analysis
- Measuring results