|Project Pre-Check is based on this premise:“If the stakeholders for a given change are actively involved in and agree with each decision, and all the vital decisions are addressed, the project will be successful.”
|Project Pre-Check has been developed specifically for stakeholders, to help them deliver major business and technology change successfully. It provides:
- A unique practice for stakeholders that is easy to learn, easy to apply and quick to deliver value.
- An extensible framework that helps stakeholders manage and access proven practices and leverage potential opportunities.
- A foundation that enables stakeholders to consider a broad range of factors including business, technology, strategic directions, operational issues and the logistics of managing change to ensure project success.
Project Pre-Check views any change as a “business” initiative, demanding appropriate due diligence, prioritization mechanisms and appropriate justification and funding authorizations. But, most importantly, Project Pre-Check requires and enables stakeholder collaboration as it is the prerequisite for successful change.
|The framework was developed using best practices espoused by management of change practitioners, project management practices including the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and OPM3 from the Project Management Institute, Prince2 and P3M3 from the UK Office of Government Commerce, software development practices including IBM’s Unified Process, DSDM, SEI’s CMMI and industry standards from the IT Governance Institute (COBIT and Val IT), ISO/IEC and the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL). From each of these, relevant components were included in the framework to specifically address stakeholder involvement.
“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is
the only thing.”
|From the Project Pre-Check perspective, stakeholders are the influencers and decision makers. Stakeholders are the people who make or break a change. They are managers who have the organizational authority and ability to:
- Allocate resources (people, money, services)
- Set priorities for their own organizations in support of a change
- Influence the behaviour of those who must change to support a successful implementation.
Project Pre-Check covers stakeholder involvement from the inception of the change process through to the realization of planned benefits. It addresses controls and practices that stakeholders can leverage to form and guide the change to the intended conclusion or to change direction or even cancel the initiative in time to avoid undue damage if conditions warrant.
What’s important is that the roles are understood and filled so there is at least one person whose primary role is sponsor, change agent, target and champion from the initiation of the change through its achievement.
|A major change will typically have from five to ten stakeholders: one or two sponsors, one or two in the change agent role, three or more in the target role and one or more in the champion role. The actual number depends on the decision makers that need to be involved for the project to be a success.
“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”
|The Project Pre-Check processes provide stakeholders with a road map to achieve project success. There are three processes; the Diagnostic Process, the Framing Process and the Oversight Process.
The Diagnostic process is used on in-progress projects to assess the performance of the project to date and identify strengths, areas of stakeholder divergence or gaps that require remedial action.The Framing and Oversight processes integrate those best practices into the operations of the stakeholder group.
These processes provide the means for stakeholders to apply consistent rigor to the management of a change and its outcomes and provide the vehicle for ensuring that the decisions that need to be addressed to ensure success are in fact addressed.
|The processes incorporate four key principles: accountability, relevancy, stakeholder agreement and integration.
- Accountability places the mandate on one, and only one, stakeholder to provide guidance and direction to the stakeholder group on the relevancy and direction of a given Decision Area.
- Relevancy specifies whether a given Decision Area provides value to or is impacted by the planned change.
- Stakeholder agreement tracks and measures the degree of stakeholder commitment to key project decisions. The success of a change initiative is predicated on stakeholders being accountable for the decisions that determine what benefits the change will deliver, when the benefits will be realized, how much the change will cost, what kind of functionality and quality will be delivered, who will need to change the way they perform for the change to be successful and what support they will be given to make those changes. Having all stakeholders on side with the decisions that shape a change offers the very best chance for success.
- Integration leverages the in-place project planning and control mechanisms to make sure action items identified by the stakeholders are planned, resources are allocated, and progress is tracked to ensure completion. Integration relieves the stakeholders of the planning and control burden and allows them to focus on the critical decision making role.
“It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.”
|Project Pre-Check provides structure to the project decision making process through the Decision Framework. It helps stakeholders maintain a broad perspective of the planned change, including business and technology, people and processes, internal and external organizations, short term and long term views.It includes four Domains; Change, Environment, Assets and Project. These four Domains contain eighteen Factors and 125 Decision Areas, most of which should be considered for each and every change.
The Decision Framework also provides the means to rationalize thousands of best practices from a multitude of diverse sources into the Decision Areas that form the basis for Project Pre-Check decision making.
It is also the mechanism that is used to support the concept of “Write-ins” – Decision Areas that project stakeholders can add to their decision making deliberations to cover the unique needs of the project, the organization, industry or culture. The “Write-ins” can be applicable to the scope of one project or can be added to the Decision Area catalogue for use by other projects and stakeholder groups.
|It is also the mechanism that is used to support the concept of “Write-ins” – Decision Areas that project stakeholders can add to their decision making deliberations to cover the unique needs of the project, the organization, industry or culture. The “Write-ins” can be applicable to the scope of one project or can be added to the Decision Area catalogue for use by other projects and stakeholder groups.