Strategic Goal of the Program:
The Primary purpose and objective of the <name of the program>, was to deliver a framework to enhance client experience (write a line or 2 about your program ensured you have keywords like org strategy, strategic goals and achievement of strategic goals). Due to recent organisational changes and as there was a direct impact to organisational strategy which led to initiation of <name of the program>. This program was approved by the portfolio review board as critical program and its execution was expedited and mandated due to factors such as regulations and competition. This was one of the critical steps as part of growth mandate of the organization and step towards meeting the vision of the organization.
As the strategy was decomposed critical strategic goals were identified one of which being enhancing client experience, employee retention, less escalations and most importantly improving advisor cross sell and upsell opportunities. As a part of my role in the earlier stages of the program my responsibilities included meeting with my sponsors and other critical shareholders to ensure that program outputs and outcomes to provide benefits were validated as provided in the business case and were aligned with the organization’s strategic goals and objectives. I worked with my critical stakeholders and new benefits were identified and new components defined as a part of this initial conversation to ensure that benefits remained aligned with the strategic goals and their achievement and realization.
The primary strategic goal was to provide one common infrastructure for all the sales advisors and this was achieved by decomposing the goals into benefits, objectives and outcomes. This was also achieved by adding components such as CRM implementation, interfaces to third party authorization system, adding cloud documentation, Kofax implementation, Docusign an PDF report generation. I updated the business case now was updated by me with the blessings of sponsors, I presented the business case to Governance Board to ensure that the program alignment and benefits directly mapped to the organizational strategy.
My core focus to ensure alignment with strategic goals was also on developing program charter using input from all stakeholders, including sponsors, in order to initiate and design program and benefits that were designed to achieve strategic goals. I also translated strategic objectives and into high-level program scope statements by negotiating with stakeholders, including sponsors, in order to create a program scope description.
To endure strategic goals remained aligned with the vision and achievement was not hindered, ne of the critical tasks that I performed during this time was an assessment of EEF and identified and quantified environmental factors, outcomes, and benefits and to identify and manage program risks are executed and controlled within the program governance framework. At this time due to the risks identified and early misalignment I recommended revision of organization’s strategic goals and objectives to ensure alignment with the vision.
I was allocated to the program in the earlier stages of Program Definition. As part of my initial discovery, I held meeting with my sponsors and other critical shareholders to ensure that program outputs and outcomes to provide benefits were validated as provided in the business case and were aligned with the organization’s strategic goals and objectives. I worked with my critical stakeholders and new benefits were identified and components defined as a part of this initial conversation.
The primary goal of providing one common infrastructure for all the sales advisors was achieved by decomposing the goals into benefits, objectives and outcomes. This was also achieved by adding components such as CRM implementation, interfaces to third party authorization system, adding cloud documentation, Kofax implementation, Docusign an PDF report generation.
The business case now was updated by me with the blessings of sponsors, I presented the business case to Governance Board to ensure that the program alignment and benefits directly mapped to the organizational strategy.
Upon review and sign-off of the business case and approval from Steering committee to expend the resources on the program, my next step was to get the program authorized. I developed the Program Charter using the strategic goals as well as the business case as the primary input. My task as program manager needed to have a thorough understanding of how the program will fulfill the portfolio and organization’s strategy, goals and objectives, and the skills needed to align the program with the long term goals of the organization.
After the early reviews with the sponsor and other critical stakeholders and their early buy in, I worked closely with the Governance board to ensure that there was an agreement on strategic objectives and benefits the program was expected to deliver. The program charter was then issued by a sponsor that authorized the program management team lead by me to use organizational resources to execute the program The program charter defined the scope and purpose of a proposed program presented to governance to obtain approval, funding, and authorization. I also ensured that the program charter confirmed the commitment of organizational resources for achieving these objectives and triggers the program definition phase.
One of the critical tasks that I performed during this time as an assessment of EEF and identified and quantified environmental factors, outcomes, and benefits and to identify and manage program risks are executed and controlled within the program governance framework. At this time due to the risks identified and early misalignment I recommended revision of organization’s strategic goals and objectives to ensure alignment.
To finalize and package program objectives, I also developed a Roadmap to show chronological order in which the components and benefits were to be delivered. The components were shown in a 3 year plan and clearly showed alignment with strategic goal, risk and dependencies. The visual representation helps my sponsors clearly see the benefits delivery and how the strategic goals will be achieved as a part of this program.
As the program manager on the <name of the program>, after the strategic goals and outcomes were established, next step was to identify and quantify the benefits. The components such as CRM implementation, interfaces to third party authorization system, adding cloud documentation, Kofax implementation, Docusign an PDF report generation were now evaluated and benefits were clearly listed in the benefit register that showcased how the program will achieve the strategic goals.
It was important in the early stages of the program to present a compelling story to the management. The first step was to understand the Mandate and stakeholders perception of benefits. It was not just about creating benefits register to document benefits but also clearly show how the benefits will be delivered and sustainment of the benefits as a part of the <name of the program>.
I worked very closely with the stakeholders to define, create, maximize, and delivers the benefits provided by the program. It included but not limited to benefits identification, benefits analysis and planning, benefits delivery, benefits transition and benefits sustainment. As a program manager I knew that Program Benefits Management comprises a number of elements that are central to program success. I wanted to ensure that I included the processes to clarify the program’s planned benefits and intended outcomes and includes processes for monitoring the program’s ability to deliver against strategic goals. Throughout the program I focused on program stakeholders including but not limited to program sponsors, program manager, project managers, program team, program steering committee, and others on the outcomes and benefits to be provided by the various activities conducted during the program’s duration.
To accomplish this I identified and assessed the value and impact of program benefits, monitored the inter dependencies among the outputs being delivered by the various components within the program and how those outputs contribute overall to the program’s benefits and strategic goals.
I also analyzed the potential impact of planned program changes on the expected benefits and outcomes while ensuring that the expected benefits aligned with the organization’s goals and objectives. Finally, I identified resources and assigned responsibility and accountability for the realization of benefits provided by the program and ensure that the benefits can be sustained to my change manager.
One of the most important steps in the earlier stages of the <name of the program> was to review the governance structure and ensure that the current framework supported the program. The scope was of the <name of the Program> was vast meant, as a program Manager I needed to set up an appropriate governance structure as a critical success factor for the program. My first step was to develop program governance that led to an effective framework for making decisions on the program.
As some of the components such as CRM implementation, interfaces to third party authorization system, adding cloud documentation, Kofax implementation, Docusign an PDF report generation were critical it was important to establish component initiation, authorization and evaluation procedures to avoid any delay in components execution and respective benefit delivery to achieve strategic goals. The primary goal that I knew was critical was continuous Alignment of program with strategic goals and objectives. I developed program and project management standards and structure (governance, tools, finance, and reporting) using industry best practices and organizational standards in order to drive efficiency and consistency among projects and deliver program objectives. I worked very closely with the steering committee to establish a governance model structure including policies, procedures, and standards that conformed program practices with the organization’s governance structure in order to deliver program objectives consistent with organizational governance requirements.
As the scope of the program was vast and due to geographically dispersed stakeholders, I obtained authorization and approval through stage gate reviews by presenting the program status to governance authorities in order to proceed to the next phase of the program. I established escalation policies and procedures in order to ensure risks were handled at the appropriate level either at the program level that fell in my threshold outside the program authority that were escalated to the Governance board. I also developed and contributed to an information repository containing program-related lessons learned, processes, and documentation contributions in order to support organizational best practices in order to monitor benefits throughout the program life cycle. Worked with board to provide escalation mechanism to allow risks and issues that cannot be managed at a lower level to be raised to a higher level and resolved systematically. As a program manager I wanted to ensure that no risks went into the program risk register without analysis, this process helped immensely in achieving this objective and kept the program within the organisational risk threshold.
Once of the most important task was to continue to monitor the business environment, program functionality requirements, and benefits realization in order to ensure the program remains aligned with strategic goals and objectives.
The <name of the program> encompassed various geographies and it was paramount that stakeholder engagement remained the focus from definition phase itself. As the first step as a part of the program during the definition stage itself, I started the engagement activities in a proactive fashion. I wanted to work with leadership to identify as many stakeholders as possible to ensure that their expectation and needs from program and benefits standpoint were understood.
I identified stakeholders, including sponsors, and created the stakeholder matrix in order to document their position relative to the program. I along with my program management team conducted stakeholder analysis through historical analysis, personal experience, interviews, knowledge base, review of formal agreements and input from other sources in order to create the stakeholder management plan and a strategy. After this, I categorized the stakeholders using tools such as power/interest, or influence/impact grids, etc. This categorization proved very helpful because it provided pointers to the prioritization of stakeholder engagements. I negotiated the support of stakeholders, including sponsors, for the program while setting clear expectations and acceptance criteria for the program benefits in order to achieve and maintain their alignment to the program objectives which was followed by generating and maintaining visibility for the program and confirm stakeholder support in order to achieve the program’s strategic goals objectives.
I developed a communication management plan which was critical as stakeholder management and communication management were critical to the success of the <name of the program>.
Once of the important aspects and my area of focus was to evaluate risks identified by stakeholders, including sponsors, and incorporate them in the program risk management plan. I felt that this step was critical in garnering support and buy in from the stakeholders. This also helped to develop and foster relationships with stakeholders, including sponsors, in order to improve communication and enhance their support for the program through out the duration of the program and ensured stakeholder satisfaction remained high as benefits were delivered and strategic goals were achieved.
One of the processes that I was detailed with was the review of stakeholder metrics, to identify risk due to lack of participation. These were tracked and the results and metrics from stakeholder engagements, and if there are risks arising from lack of or inappropriate engagement or a particular engagement not yielding expected results, then such risks were logged and tracked. I personally met with these stakeholders to ensure that they remained aligned with the program and the ensured benefits and strategic goals were understood. As the program manager I ensured that the team had the means to log all the issues that were raised by the stakeholders during the engagement from time to time. The issue log was used to guide appropriate action and timely closure of the issues to ensure that the engagement is positive and is moving forward. It is a cliché, but it is true that stakeholder’s issues or lack of engagement of the stakeholders are one of the biggest risks that a program can face.
Program Life Cycle Management:
As the program manager of the <name of the program> and with various components such as CRM implementation, interfaces to third party authorization system, adding cloud documentation, Kofax implementation, Docusign an PDF report generation focus of my role in Program Lifecycle Management, was on activities that would result in achieving strategic goals.
During the initiation of the program my core focus remained on developing program charter using input from all stakeholders, including sponsors, in order to initiate and design program and benefits that were designed to achieve strategic goals. During program initiation I also translated strategic objectives into high-level program scope statements by negotiating with stakeholders, including sponsors, in order to create a program scope description.
During the planning phase I developed a detailed program scope statement by incorporating program vision and all internal and external objectives, strategic goals, influences, and variables in order to facilitate overall planning. I engaged my team to develop program WBS and established the program management plan and schedule by integrating plans for constituent projects and creating plans for supporting program functions for example but not limited to , quality, risk, communication, resources in order to effectively forecast, monitor, and identify variances during program execution.
One of my critical tasks and based on my personal lesson learned executing various program was to develop the transition and the closure plan by defining exit criteria.
The most important step was facilitating a program kick-off with key stakeholders by holding meetings in order to familiarize the organization with the program and obtain stakeholder buy-in. This was the most challenging part but due to a great stakeholder engagement plan and early identification and strategy to manage the stakeholders I was able to overcome these initial challenges with considerable ease.
While executing and monitoring and controlling the program, my first task was to implement the program management plan. I with governance board chartered and initiated constituent projects such as CRM implementation, interfaces to third party authorization system, adding cloud documentation, Kofax implementation, Docusign an PDF report generation by assigning project managers and allocating appropriate resources in order to achieve program strategic goals.
Once core aspect of my role was to keep the component managers motivated, I achieved this by reviewing project managers’ performance in executing the project in accordance with the project plan in order to maximize their contribution to achieving program strategic goals. I also consolidated the project and program data using predefined program plan reporting tools and methods in order to monitor and control the program performance and communicate to stakeholders any variance in a transparent fashion.
Finally, during program closing, I completed the program performance analysis report. I obtained stakeholder approval for program closure in order to initiate close-out activities. I also conducted the post-review meeting by presenting the program performance report in order to obtain feedback and capture lessons learned along with reporting the lessons learned and best practices observed and archive to the knowledge repository in order to support future programs and organizational improvement.