Definition

Programme Controls encompass the effective implementation, regular assessment and development of strategies, standards, processes and systems, supported by requisite capabilities, that provide the mechanisms for programme and portfolio planning and control.

General

They are regular and effective mechanisms that enable, stimulate and promote informed decisions at the earliest opportunity in order to minimise risk and maximise certainty of outcome.

They require four basis elements to be effectively in place and to deliver:

  • Knowing what must be done (Execution Planning)
  • Knowing what has been done (Performance Measurement)
  • Monitoring and comparing performance against plan
  • Regularly taking proactive planning and control management action

The objectives of Programme Controls are to:

  • Ensure the Programme Management team understand the strategic and operational governance frame and clear ‘governance and compliance gateways’.
  • Provide, coordinate and consolidate standard processes for the planning and monitoring of multiple resources across multiple workloads.
  • Execute a common system of programme and project controls and ensure their integration and compatibility with other organisational systems.
  • Baseline key programme components such as scope, schedule and budget, then compare and monitor proposed or actual changes against the Baseline and their impact.
  • Define standard data collection methods for progress and performance measurement and analysis to support optimised planning, decision-making and consolidated oversight reporting.
  • Establish and implement common methodologies and actively support time and cost integration, risk and change management, problem analysis and best practice sharing solutions across the programme.

Benefits of Programme Controls

  • The three fundamental elements of cost, time and scope are never split and the transparency of change, risk and opportunity management processes ensures issues are understood and proactively managed.
  • Resource planning accurately predicts the demands being made on the resource pool and team members understand management priorities.
  • The Baseline only changes through the use of a formal Change Control process.
  • Regular and effective mechanisms are in place to assess the effectiveness of programme planning and control.
  • Providing a focal information point or ‘visibility’ room that manages the collection, analysis and dissemination of plans and progress ensures reliable and accurate reporting and provides a basis for benchmarking and incentivisation.
  • Alignment of the programme and its projects to the client’s organisational strategy is assured through an ongoing programme governance role that monitors compliance with the programme execution plan, organisation policy and standards, with gateway reviews and the overall development strategy.
  • Scalability, repeatability and re-usability economies are leveraged by applying a consistent methodology and continuously improving standards, processes, procedures and toolkits.