Program Plan

A program plan is fundamental to the success of any project. For large and often complex programs, customers may require a program plan that documents all activities within the program. The program plan then serves as a guideline for the lifetime of the program and may be revised as often as once a month, depending on the circumstances and the type of program (i.e., research and development programs require more revisions to the program plan than manufacturing or construction programs). The program plan provides the following framework:

• Eliminates conflicts between functional managers

• Eliminates conflicts between functional management and program management

• Provides a standard communications tool throughout the lifetime of the program (It should be geared to the work breakdown structure)

• Provides verification that the contractor understands the customer's objectives and requirements

• Provides a means for identifying inconsistencies in the planning phase

• Provides a means for early identification of problem areas and risks so that no surprises occur downstream

• Contains all of the schedules defined in Section 11.18 as a basis for progress analysis and reporting

Development of a program plan can be time-consuming and costly. All levels of the organization participate. The upper levels provide summary information, and the lower levels provide the details. The program plan, like activity schedules, does not preclude departments from developing their own plans.

The program plan must identify how the company resources will be integrated. The process is similar to the sequence of events for schedule preparation, shown in Figure 11-10. Since the program plan must explain the events in Figure 11-10, additional iterations are required, which can cause changes in a program. This can be seen in Figure 11-12.

The program plan is a standard from which performance can be measured by the customer and the program and functional managers. The plan serves as a cookbook by answering these questions for all personnel identified with the program:

• What will be accomplished?

• How will it be accomplished?

• Where will it be accomplished?

• When will it be accomplished?

• Why will it be accomplished?

The answers to these questions force both the contractor and the customer to take a hard look at:

• Program requirements

• Program management

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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