To plan a program you need to plan all projects that compose the program. Developing an effective program plan often requires more than one planning cycle. Feedback and adjustments are important to create a program plan that minimizes interruption and make more efficient all the work that has to be done.
Planning each project that is part of a program
To create a plan it is important to delegate the planning of each project to project leaders. For each project that is part of a program, it is useful to establish clear planning standards and tools. In fact, they will ensure that the documents and other planning outputs can be reviewed and integrated with minimal effort.
Enforcing the use of common processes and tools can make the difference in program success. In addition, as project planning proceeds, it is important to ensure that all projects define interfaces by using a common format.
Focus on project interconnections
To create a plan it is also important to focus program planning on the interconnections among the projects. In fact, if all parts that compose the program are clear it is possible to control and track the program through the interfaces that link the projects.
It is crucial to identify interfaces as planning goes on. To identify interfaces it is important to ask the right questions to the right people. For instance, project managers who manage projects with external requirements have document what they need and when they would like to have it. At the same time, project managers who manage projects that will deliver external outputs need to specify what they will produce and when they will deliver them.
Keep in mind
To create a plan that minimizes interruption it is important to delegate the planning of each project to project leaders. In addition, it also critical to focus program planning on the interconnections among the projects.