PgMP Office Read 7 – Program Activities


Office Read 6 – Program Activities (Chapter 8)
Disclaimer – This artifact is a short summary of respective content that will be covered in class. The summary is a great tool to review content however by no means replaces the SPM V4. Standard for Program Management remains the authoritative source of preparation for the PMP Exam
Goal of this domain: IMPProgram activities are tasks and work conducted to support a program and which contribute throughout the program life cycle
Weightage on the PgMP Exam: 44% (75 Questions)
This section includes:
8.1  Program Definition Phase Activities (2 phases – Formulation and Planning)
8.2  Program Delivery Phase Activities
8.3  Program Closure Phase Activities


The program definition phase establishes and confirms the business case for the program and then develops the detailed plan for its delivery. This phase is divided into two parts: program formulation and program planning.
In program formulation, the high-level scope, risks, costs, and expected benefits of the program are assessed to confirm that the program represents a viable way forward for the organization and is well aligned with the organization’s strategic objectives.
Question: What happens when in some cases, program formulation leads to the conclusion that the program does not have a strong business case”
Answer: The program is stopped. PROGRAM CHANGE ASSESSMENT
As part of program formulation, potential change management considerations are identified and assessed to help develop the program’s business case.
Question: What does Program Change Assessment identifies?
Answer: The program change assessment identifies sources of change, such as the volatility of the enterprise environmental factors, the sensitivity of the proposed program’s business case to changes in organizational strategy, and the possible frequency and magnitude of changes that may arise from components during program delivery.
Important Concept for the Exam: The output of this activity is the program change assessment, which is an input to the program business case, program charter, and program change management planning. PROGRAM COMMUNICATIONS ASSESSMENT
An initial assessment of the communication needs of the program is a key input to the program charter. It may be useful as part of program formulation to survey program stakeholders to identify their expectations for its outcome and their interests in staying informed and involved during its delivery.
Question: An initial assessment of the communication needs of the program is a key input to what critical program artifact?
Answer: Program Charter
The output of this activity is the program communications assessment, which is an input to the stakeholder engagement plan and program communications management planning. PROGRAM INITIAL COST ESTIMATION
An initial cost estimate is prepared in the program definition phase to determine the cost of its planning and delivery. This initial rough order-of-magnitude estimate allows financial decision makers to decide if the program should be funded.
Imp Exam Concept: The output of this activity is the program initial cost estimate.
Program Initial Cost Estimate is an input to the program business case and the program charter and detailed program cost estimation during program planning. PROGRAM INFORMATION MANAGEMENT ASSESSMENT
The information management needs of the program should be considered as part of program formulation so that possible financial, organizational, or resource implications can be assessed.
The output of this activity is the program information management assessment, which is an input to the program business case, program charter, and program information management planning during program planning. PROGRAM PROCUREMENT ASSESSMENT
An assessment of the procurement needs of a program can be a valuable input to the program charter.
The output of this activity is the program procurement management assessment, which is an input to the program business case, program charter, and program procurement management planning during program planning. PROGRAM QUALITY ASSESSMENT
An assessment of quality constraints, expectations, risks, and controls should be included as part of program formulation.
Expectations about the quality of program outputs may serve as important inputs to determine program costs and required program infrastructure and resources. Finally, the need for program quality reviews or audits may be considered important to enable program governance.
The output of this activity is the program quality assessment, which is an input to the program business case, program charter, and program quality management planning during program planning. PROGRAM RESOURCE REQUIREMENTS ESTIMATION
The resources required to plan and deliver a program include people, office space, laboratories, data centers or other facilities, equipment of all types, software, vehicles, and office supplies.
The output of this activity is the program resource requirements estimate, which is an input to the program business case, program charter, and program resource management planning during program planning. PROGRAM INITIAL RISK ASSESSMENT
Question: What Two aspects of risk should be assessed during program definition?
Answer:  First, an identification of the key risks that the program may encounter and their relative likelihood and impact should be developed as an input to the program business case and the program charter.
Second, an assessment of the organization’s willingness to accept and deal with risks—sometimes referred to as its risk appetite—is essential in understanding the level of effort that may be required to monitor and assess risks during program delivery.
The output of this activity is the program initial risk assessment,
Question: What is one critical input to the program business case, the program initial cost estimate, the program charter, the program roadmap, and program risk management planning during program planning.
Answer: Program Initial Risk Assessment PROGRAM SCHEDULE ASSESSMENT
An assessment of expectations for delivery dates and benefits milestones should be part of the program charter.
Question: What artifact may at time integrate high level schedule or the roadmap while submission for approval?
Answer: Roadmap
The output of this activity is the program schedule assessment, which is an input to the program business case, the program charter, the program roadmap, and program schedule management planning during program planning. PROGRAM SCOPE ASSESSMENT
This initial program scope assessment develops the program scope statement from the program goals and objectives. This input to the program charter can be obtained from the program sponsor or stakeholders through the portfolio management or stakeholder alignment activities.
The output of this activity is the program scope assessment, which is an input to the program charter.
In program planning, the program organization is defined, and an initial team is deployed to develop the program management plan.
Question: What is used to develop  the program management plan?
Answer: Organization’s strategic plan, business case, program charter, and the outputs from the assessments completed during program definition. The plan includes the roadmap of the program components and the management arrangements PROGRAM CHANGE MANAGEMENT PLANNING
The program change management plan is a component of the program management plan that establishes program change management principles and procedures, including the approach for capturing requested changes, evaluating each requested change, determining the disposition of each requested change, communicating a decision to impacted stakeholders, documenting the change request and supporting detail, and authorizing funding and work
The outputs of this activity include:
·         Program change management plan
Question: What is the objective of Program Communications Management?
Answer: It includes the activities for the timely and appropriate generation, collection, distribution, storage, retrieval, and ultimate disposition of program information. These activities provide the critical links between people and information that are necessary for successful communications and decision making.
Program communications management planning is the activity of determining the information and communication needs of the program stakeholders based on who needs what information, when they need it, how it will be given to them, and by whom.
Question: What factors should be considered when developing the program communications management plan?
Answer: Cultural and language differences, time zones, and other factors associated with globalization. Although complex, program communications management planning is vital to the success of any program.
The outputs of this activity include:
·         Program communications management plan, and
·         Communication requirements inputs to the stakeholder register.
Question: Communication requirements are critical component to one artifact, what is it?
Answer:Stakeholder register PROGRAM COST ESTIMATION
Imp Concept: Program cost estimating is performed throughout the course of the program.
Many organizations use a tiered funding process with a series of go/no-go decisions at each major stage of the program. They agree to an overall financial management plan and commit to a budget only for the next stage at each governance milestone.
Question: What helps derive confidence factor in the estimate?
Answer:  A weight or probability may be applied based on the risk and complexity of the work to be performed. Statistical techniques such as Monte Carlo simulation can also be used.
This confidence factor is used to determine the potential range of program costs.
Question: What do decision makers consider while determining program costs?
Answer: Decision makers need to consider not only the development and implementation costs, but also sustainment costs that may occur after the program is completed. Calculating full life cycle costs and including transition and sustainment costs result in total cost of ownership.
Question: What is Total cost of ownership?
Answer: Full life cycle costs and including transition and sustainment costs result in total cost of ownership.
Program cost estimates should also identify any critical assumptions upon which the estimates are made.
Question: What happens if critical assumption in developing costs are proven to be wrong?
Answer: If these assumptions may prove unfounded in the course of program delivery and require reconsideration of the program business case or revision of the program management plan.
The outputs of this activity include:
·         Program cost estimates
·         Program cost estimation assumptions
·         Component cost estimation guidelines PROGRAM FINANCIAL FRAMEWORK ESTABLISHMENT
Question: What is the primary objective program financial framework?
Answer: It is a high-level initial plan for coordinating available funding, determining constraints, and determining how funding is allocated. The financial framework defines and describes the program funding flows so that the money is spent as efficiently as possible.
The type of program and the funding structure dictate the financial environment for the duration of the program.
Funding models vary, from those that are:
·         Funded entirely within a single organization,
·         Managed within a single organization but funded separately,
·         Funded and managed entirely from outside the parent organization
·         Supported with internal and external sources of funding.
Imp Concept: In addition to funding sources, the timing of funding has a direct impact on a program’s ability to perform. To a much greater extent than for projects, program costs occur earlier (often years earlier) than their related benefits.
Question: What is the objective of financing in program development?
Answer: To obtain funds to bridge the gap between paying out monies for development and obtaining the benefits of the programs. Covering this large negative cash balance in the most effective manner is a key challenge in program financing.
Question: When happens as the program financial framework is developed and analyzed and if changes may be identified that impact the original business case justifying the program?
Answer: Based on these changes, the business case is revised with full involvement of the decision makers.


The outputs of this activity include:
·         Program financial framework,
·         Business case updates, and
·         Updates to the program communications management and stakeholder engagement plans. PROGRAM FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT PLANNING
Question: What is the objective of program financial management planning?
 Answer: To develop the program financial management plan which is a component of the program management plan that documents all of the program’s financial aspects: funding schedules and milestones, initial budget, contract payments and schedules, financial reporting activities and mechanisms, and the financial metrics.
The program financial management plan expands upon the program financial framework and describes the management of items such as risk reserves, potential cash flow problems, international exchange rate fluctuations, future interest rate increases or decreases, inflation, currency devaluation, local laws regarding finances, trends in material costs, and contract incentive and penalty clauses.
Imp Concept: Developing the program’s initial budget involves compiling all available financial information and listing all income and payment schedules in sufficient detail so that the program’s costs can be tracked as part of the program budget. Once baselined, the budget becomes the primary financial target that the program is measured against.
Question: It is important to develop financial metrics by which the program’s benefits are measured. When are these metrics created and established them.
Answer:  These metrics are created during the program financial management planning and it is one of the tasks of the program team and program steering committee is to establish and validate these financial performance indicators.
The outputs of this activity include:
·         Program financial management plan
·         Initial program budget
·         Program funding schedules
·         Component payment schedules
·         Program operational costs
·         Inputs to program risk register
·         Program financial metrics PROGRAM INFORMATION MANAGEMENT PLANNING
The program information management plan is a component of the program management plan that describes how the program’s information assets will be prepared, collected, organized, and secured. It is often composed of (but not limited to) information management policies, distribution lists, appropriate tools, templates, and reporting formats.
Such information will be gathered and retrieved through a variety of media including manual filing systems, electronic databases, project management software, and systems that allow access to technical documentation such as engineering drawings, design specifications, and test plans.
Question: When are the Program information distribution methods are determined?
Answer: Once the program’s information management system is determined.
The outputs of this activity include:
·         Program information management plan
·         Program information management tools and templates PROGRAM PROCUREMENT MANAGEMENT PLANNING
Imp: The program procurement management plan is a component of the program management plan that describes how the program will acquire goods and services from outside of the performing organization.


Question: How do program manager understand the resources required for the delivery of benefits expected of the program?
Answer: A program manager can rely on techniques such as make-or-buy decisions and program work-breakdown-structure charts aid in this activity.
The concept in bold below is extremely important from PgMP exam:
Early and intensive planning is critical for successful program procurement management. Through the planning activity, the program manager looks across all program components and develops a comprehensive plan that optimizes the procurements to meet program objectives and for the delivery of program benefits. To do this, program procurement management addresses commonality and differences for the various procurements across the program scope and determines:
·         Whether some of the common needs of several individual components could best be met with one overall procurement rather than several separate procurement actions;
·         The best mix of the types of procurement contracts planned across the program; at the component level, a particular type of contract (e.g., firm-fixed-price) may appear to be the best procurement solution, but a different contract type (e.g., incentive fee) may be optimal for that same procurement when viewed at the program level;
·         The best program-wide approach to competition
·         The best program-wide approach to balancing specific external regulatory mandates
Question: How is the an analysis of alternatives is performed in the planning stage?
Answer: This may include requests for information (RFIs), feasibility studies, trade studies, and market analysis to determine the best fit of solutions and services to meet the specific needs of the program.
The outputs of this activity include:
·         Program procurement standards
·         Program procurement management plan
·         Program budget/financial plan updates PROGRAM QUALITY MANAGEMENT PLANNING
The program quality management plan is a component of the program management plan that describes how an organization’s quality policies will be implemented.
Program quality policies, objectives, and responsibilities are established a part of this process.
When initiating the program, the cost of the level of quality requirements should be evaluated and incorporated into the business plan.
Quality is a variable cost in all components and should be considered as such in the program quality management plan.
IMP Concept: It is beneficial to analyze program quality in order to evaluate it across the program with the goal of combining quality tests and inspections in order to reduce costs, where feasible.
IMP Concept: When developing a program resource management plan, it is recommended that a program quality manager participate in the planning activity to verify that quality activities and controls are applied and flow down to all the components, including those performed by subcontractors.


The output of this activity is a program quality management plan that may contain:
·         Program quality policy
·         Program quality standards
·         Program quality estimates of costs
·         Quality metrics, service level agreements, or memorandums of understanding
·         Quality checklists
·         Quality assurance and control specifications. PROGRAM RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLANNING
The primary purpose of resource management is to ensure all required resources (people, equipment, material, etc.) are made available to the component managers to enable the delivery of benefits for the program.
Resource management planning involves:
1.     identifying existing resources
2.     the need for additional resources.
Question: Who is responsible analyzing the availability and allocation of resources?
Answer: The program manager analyzes the availability of each resource, in terms of both capacity and capability, and determines how these resources will be allocated across components to avoid overcommitment or inadequate support.
Question:  What tools can be used to determine the types of resources?
Answer: Historical information may be used that were required for similar projects and programs.
Very Imp Concept: The resource management plan is a component of the program management plan that forecasts the expected level of resource use across the program components and relative to the program master schedule to allow the program manager to identify potential resource shortfalls or conflicts over the use of scarce or constrained resources.
Question: What the guidelines for making program resource prioritization decisions and resolving resource conflicts?
Answer: The resource management plan
If the resources are unavailable within the program, the program manager calls upon the larger organization for assistance. At times to procure resources,  the program manager should work with the organization to develop a statement of work (SOW) to contract the necessary resources.
The outputs of this activity include:
·         Program resource requirements
·         Program resource management plan. PROGRAM RISK MANAGEMENT PLANNING
Program risk management planning identifies how to approach and conduct risk management activities for a program by considering its components.
Question: When is the program risk management planning activity should be conducted?
Answer: It is conducted early in the program definition phase.
Risk management planning may be done any time substantial changes to a program takes place. The program risk register is a living document that is updated as program risks and risk responses change during program delivery.
It is essential to define risk profiles of organizations to construct the most suitable approach to managing program risks, adjusting risk sensitivity, and monitoring risk criticality.
Question: Where are the  risk profiles expressed?
Answer:  in policy statements or revealed in actions. These actions may highlight organizational willingness to embrace high-threat situations or a reluctance to forgo high-opportunity choices.
Imp Concept:
1.     Culture of the organization and stakeholders also plays a role in shaping the approach to risk management.
2.     Lessons learned from executing similar programs in the past are also critical assets to be reviewed as a component of establishing an effective risk management plan.
The outputs from this activity include:
·         Program risk management plan, and
·         Program risk register.



The program schedule management activity determines the order and timing of the components needed to produce the program benefits.



Program schedule management planning begins with the program scope management plan and the program work breakdown structure (WBS), which defines how the program components are expected to deliver the program’s outputs and benefits.



Question: What is developed prior to the detailed schedules of the individual components are available?


Answer: The initial program master schedule. The program’s delivery date and major milestones are developed using the program roadmap and the program charter.



Question: What does the program master schedule define?


Answer: It is the top-level program planning document that defines the individual component schedules and dependencies among program components (individual components and program-level activities) required to achieve the program goals.


It should include those component milestones that represent an output to the program or share interdependency with other components.


The first draft of a program master schedule often only identifies the order and start/end dates of components and their key interdependencies with other components. Later, it may be enriched with more intermediate component results as the component schedules are developed.



The program master schedule provides the program team/stakeholders with a visual representation of how the program is going to be delivered through its life cycle.



Imp Concept: Program Schedule planning may lead to identification of risks so may be input to the risk register.


Changes in the program master schedule may require changes in the program roadmap, and changes in the program roadmap should be reflected in the program master schedule.



The outputs of this activity include:


·         Program schedule management plan


·         Program master schedule


·         Inputs to the program risk register


·         Updates to the program roadmap



Program scope management planning includes all of the activities involved in planning and aligning the program scope with the program’s goals and objectives.



Question: What should Program scope should always be aligned to?


Answer: It should always be aligned to the goals and objectives.



It includes work decomposition into deliverable component products designed to deliver the associated benefits.



Question: What is Program scope is typically described as?


Answer: In the form of expected benefits but may also be described as user stories or scenarios depending on the type of program. Program scope encompasses all benefits to be delivered by the program, which are reflected in the form of a program WBS.



Imp Concept: A program WBS is a deliverable-oriented hierarchical decomposition encompassing the total scope of the program, and it includes the deliverables to be produced by the constituent components. Elements not in the program WBS are outside the scope of the program. The program WBS includes, but is not limited to, program management artifacts such as plans, procedures, standards, processes, program management deliverables, and program management office (PMO) support deliverables.



Question: When does the Decomposition in WBS stop?


Answer: It stops at the level of control required by the program manager (typically to the first one or two levels of a component).


Program WBS serves as framework for developing program master schedule and defines the program manager’s management control points.



Question: What is an essential tool for building realistic schedules, developing cost estimates, and organizing work?


Answer: WBS



Question: What provides  framework for reporting, tracking, and controlling of scope?


Answer: WBS



Care should be taken to avoid decomposing component-level scope into details that overlap the component managers’ responsibilities.



Question: What happens once the scope is developed?


Answer: Scope management plan should be developed. It is a plan for managing, documenting, and communicating scope changes should be developed during the program definition phase. The program scope management plan is a component of the program management plan that describes how the scope will be defined, developed, monitored, controlled, and verified.



The outputs of this activity include:


·         Program scope statement


·         Program scope management plan


·         Program work breakdown structure (WBS)



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