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Designing the Blueprint Delivery Tutorial

1 Designing the Blueprint Delivery

This lesson focuses on the designing activities of blueprint delivery. Let us begin with the objectives of this lesson in the next screen.

2 Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you will be able to: Explain optimising the approach Identify the various options if emerging business case is not viable Describe tranches Discuss the criteria for choosing an existing project Let us move on to the next screen to discuss options analysis.

3 Options Analysis

Options analysis is about reviewing the best path to deliver the planned benefits. The project outputs provide the means to deliver the future organisation and there can be multiple approaches to achieve a vision. Each approach will have different degrees of improvement, costs, timescales and risks. Before the projects dossier design is finalised, a range of different solutions should be considered. These need to be modelled to link outputs as enablers to outcomes, which then lead to benefits. Each of these models should be assessed to choose the model that presents the most viable business case. The ideal model should have low cost, low risk, quick delivery and high benefits. As this is highly unlikely to occur in real life, programme needs to optimise its approach by balancing these dimensions. In next screen, let us look into optimising the approach.

4 Optimising the Approach

Optimising the approach is about finding the best mix of future state solution to deliver the capability and timing of the capability via tranches. This is done by cross working and iterating between the benefits management activities and activities in designing the blueprint. It is important to test the solution from a number of key perspectives in order to ensure that solution is viable. For example, the main thing to check is, whether adequate funding is available. Another question that should be asked is whether required skills are available. It is important to assess the risks that are identified and analysed. It is also important to identify benefits timelines, as benefits will drive the programme. Most importantly, it is essential to check the availability of sufficient capability to manage work when needed by the programme. In the next screen, let us look into options that are available, in case viable business case is not emerging.

5 Options if The Emerging Business Case is Not Viable

Following are the three available options to adjust the blueprint or approach or both, if the business case is not emerging. The first option is to consider all alternative options that best maintain a balance between cost, timescale and benefits. If it is unable to find an optimum business case, compromises have to be made on the desired output. This will be the first option. Here, a blueprint is designed in which the gap between the current state (as-is (read as “as is”)) and future state (to-be (read as “to be”)) is small. Second option is to find a different approach and solution that can deliver the blueprint, addressing the constraints of cost, time, risks, etc. The last option is to close the programme, if it is unable to find a viable business case. In the subsequent screen, let us study about tranches.

6 Understanding the Tranches

At first, let us understand the characteristics of tranches. Following are the characteristics of tranches: A tranche is made up of one or more projects or activities. A programme is divided into tranches and each tranche delivers a step change in capability for the organisation, as described in the intermediate blueprint. Tranche will also include transition activities to achieve the outcomes defined for the tranche. End of tranches will provide a control point at which the programme can be re-directed or stopped. In MSP, programme plan is designed to deliver the new capability in tranches. These step changes in capability should be carefully planned to support the realisation of appropriate desired benefits. In the next screen, let us discuss how to select existing projects for a tranche.

7 Step Changes through Tranches Choose Existing Projects

At first, the boundaries of the emerging programme are analysed to identify which projects are to be a part of the programme. As the work may already be in progress, there might be practical constraints in selecting or rejecting projects. The following criteria can be used to select projects: Proximity to delivery: Under this, those projects which are close to completion can be allowed to continue. A high degree of confidence exists regarding the successful completion of the programme. Strategic fit: Projects that do not align with organisation strategy can be closed prematurely, if they are not close to completion. Re-use and adaption: Under re-use and adaptation, mid cycle projects that can be aligned to new strategy with minimal effort and cost can be allowed to continue. For other projects, research results, designs and prototypes can be used for further analysis in programme. In the following screen, let us understand step changes through tranches with overlapping tranches.

8 Step Changes through Tranches Overlapping Tranches

In practice, an organisation may run a programme with overlapping or parallel tranches. Overlapping tranches are more likely in large or complex programmes. However, concurrent tranches increase the risk. Careful analysis of the situations is needed in which the tranches can be parallel. In some cases, if delivery confidence is high, next tranche can be brought forward. This will mean that subsequent tranche will overlap the end of current tranche. But, this can be done only when the commitment from the sponsoring group is assured. The other scenario in which the tranches can overlap is where there aren’t any dependencies on projects’ outputs between tranches. The risk increases in case of overlapped tranches. Before committing to this approach, it is important to ensure that the organisation is willing to accept increased risk associated with the overlapping tranches. End of tranches are the key ‘Go’ or ‘No Go’ decision points, but this is not possible with overlapping tranches. This structure of the programme should contain planned reviews at key decision points (or end of tranche); these may be time-driven (for example, every 3 or 6 months) or events-driven. Programme with multiple concurrent tranches will be difficult to stop or redirect, as there are multiple go or no go points. Also, it might be possible in some scenarios, where a programme may change direction after a tranche. If that has to happen in case of overlapping tranches, it might lead to wastage of money, as the work done in other tranches might not be required. In case of overlapping tranches, it is not possible to use what has been learnt to inform the direction of the remaining programme, to increase the likelihood of success, which is the main purpose of a tranche.

9 Summary

Let us summarise what we have learnt in this lesson: Optimising the approach is about finding the best mix of future state solution to deliver the capability and timing of the capability via tranches. The various options available to adjust the blueprint or approach or both are considering all alternative options which best balance between cost, timescales and benefits, finding a different approach and solution and closing the programme. Tranches are made up of one or more projects or activities. It provides a control point to stop or redirect a programme. The criteria for choosing an existing project are proximity to delivery, strategic fit and re-use and adaptation. Next, we will focus on blueprint design and delivery within the transformational flow.

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  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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