Prioritizing Processes

In order to implement improvement initiatives, you must first have some way of prioritizing them. That will allow you to tackle them in an organized fashion. You may choose to schedule improvement initiatives by knowledge area, in groups, or one at a time.

5.8.1 Scheduling Improvement Initiatives by Knowledge Area

The first pass at that prioritization by groups was discussed in Chapter 3 and presented in the zone map in Figure 3.12. Recall that the zone map was generated from the (PD or PP) maturity level of a process and its correlation factor. As simple as those metrics are, they allow us to crudely prioritize the 39 processes. Basically, the closer a process is to the northwest corner of the zone map, the higher the priority of the process as a candidate for improvement.

Figure 5.6 Generic representation of a root cause analysis.

At the program level you will want to identify the knowledge area most in need of improvement. That will be the knowledge area whose processes are nearest the northwest corner of the zone map. In addition to its location on the zone map, that need may be based on project performance, business needs, or any other criteria that can be used to rank order the knowledge areas.

By inspecting Figure 3.12 you will note that HR management (P21, P22, and P23) has the lowest PD values of all the processes (1.14, 1.22, and 1.10, respectively). Cost management (P14 = 1.50, P15 = 1.38, P16 = 2.00, and P17 = 1.22) and risk management (P28 = 1.33, P29 = 1.00, P30 - 2.00, P31 = 2.00, P32 = 1.33, and P33 = 2.00) are not far behind. That means that your improvement programs should focus on HR, cost, and risk in that order and preferably one at a time.

If you wish to focus your improvement programs on PP values, then Figure 5-7 would be changed to display the PP data for your prioritization decisions. Figure 5.7 is a plot of the average PP maturity level for nine projects that recently failed. Here you will note that all five of the scope management processes (P04, P05, P06, P07, and P08) have maturity values in the 2+ range and correlation factors of 6 and above. This would clearly be your first choice for improvement initiatives aimed at increasing the PP values. The second choice should be HR management (P21, P22, and P23). All of those PP values are in the 1+ range and have correlation factors of 5 and above.

5.8.2 Scheduling Improvement Initiatives in Groups

The reason you would want to form a group of processes for an improvement initiative is that they possess the following:

• They are grouped in the zone map in the same or neighboring cells.

• They form a dependent set of processes.

Any change to one process will most certainly impact any related processes. That relationship may be a causal one or one in which the output of one process becomes the input to one or more other processes. Furthermore, a change in one process may require some form of complementary or coordinating change in another process.

5.8.3 Scheduling Improvement Initiatives One at a Time

Both Figure 3.12 and Figure 5-7 can be used as the basis for calculating a metric that will allow you to create a single prioritized list of the 39 processes. Since a

Zone 1

Zone 2

Zone 3

Zone 1

PD8

P21

P03 P05 P07

P14P23 P28 P33

PD1 P06

P12P36

P04 P20

P13P19 P22 P34 P35

P25

Pli P15 P17P18 P27 P29 P32

P02 P09 P24 P26

PÍO P30 P31 P37 P38

Zone 2

P16P39

Zone 3

Maturity level

Maturity level

Figure 5.7 The PP maturity zone map.

prioritization of the 39 processes is not immediately suggested by either Figure 3.12 or 5.7, another filter is needed. In this case the product of the calculated maturity level of the process and (10 minus its correlation factor) produces a natural ordering of the 39 processes. If one or more processes were correlated with all 10 CSFs, then use 11 instead of 10 in the formula. Applying the formula results in the prioritized list for the 39 processes shown in Table 5.1.

There are at least two ways that this prioritized list can be used. The first would be to establish target maturity levels for each process and then begin your improvement project with the first process on the list. The improvement project goal is to raise the PD (or PP) maturity level value to the target value. The second approach would be to implement a single improvement project for the first process on the list, complete the project, assess its new PD or PP value, recalculate the formula value of the now improved process and return it to the list in its new prioritized position. The next improvement project would be with the now first process on the revised list. This approach can be repeated until all processes reach their target maturity level. In actual practice your improvement program would most likely involve a subset of the nine knowledge areas. An example is given in Chapter 7.

Table 5.1

Priortized List of Improvement Areas

Table 5.1

Priortized List of Improvement Areas

Process Number

Process Name

Knowledge Area

P21

Organizational planning

HR

P23

Team development

HR

P08

Scope change control

Scope

P28

Risk management planning

Risk

P14

Resource planning

Cost

P19

Quality assurance

Quality

P03

Integrated change control

Integration

P06

Scope definition

Scope

P07

Scope verification

Scope

P18

Quality planning

Quality

P29

Risk identification

Risk

P33

Risk monitoring and control

Risk

P22

Staff acquisition

HR

Table 5.1 (continued}

Process Number

Process Name

Knowledge Area

P17

Cost control

Cost

P32

Risk response planning

Risk

P05

Scope planning

Scope

P36

Solicitation

Procurement

P12

Schedule development

Time

P15

Cost estimating

Cost

P01

Project plan development

Integration

PID

Activity sequencing

Time

P13

Schedule control

Time

P2Q

Quality control

Quality

P35

Solicitation planning

Procurement

P11

Activity duration estimating

Time

P24

Communications planning

Communications

P26

Performance reporting

Communications

P3Q

Qualitative risk analysis

Risk

P31

Quantitative risk analysis

Risk

P37

Source selection

Procurement

P38

Contract administration

Procurement

P25

Information distribution

Communications

P34

Procurement planning

Procurement

PQ4

Initiation

Scope

P16

Cost budgeting

Cost

P39

Contract close-out

Procurement

P09

Activity definition

Scope

PQ2

Project plan execution

Integration

P27

Administrative closure

Communications

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