Categorized | Features, General

De Ole Dawg – Part 13: 2017-PRINCE2 and Moving Towards an Economy Transformation Programme

Why all of this fuss about PMO, PRINCE2 and creating an economy transformation programme based on “catalytic” projects?

BRADES, Montserrat, Jun 11, 2017 – In his June 9th 2017 Budget Speech, Premier Romeo said that, “[w]e took radical steps to ensure that the longstanding problem of delays in projects will be minimized by implementing a Programme Management Office  (PMO) . . . .  This will improve our value for money business cases, project and programme governance, transparency, and risk management. Such measures will help us improve our ability to effectively implement a sound development programme and put an end to underspending, and project over-runs. ”In short the PMO and its PRINCE2-based standards for project and programme management are pivotal to the growth and transformation programme that is now beginning with the UKCIF and EU-funded first phase port development project.

 Such a programme, likely, will take ten to twenty years to truly transform Montserrat’s economy; given the example of what happened between the 1960’s and 1980’s. This estimate is supported by the Independent Commission on Aid Impact’s [ICAI] recommendations in its June 2015 Report, on DFID’s approach to delivering impact[1]:

 “In difficult environments, DFID may need to set more modest objectives and plan its results over a 15 to 20-year period.  Its country strategies should give more attention to long-term pathways out of fragility and how to get the right balance of risk and return across the portfolio.  Conversely, when DFID is working in environments that are more conducive to development, its objectives can be more ambitious . . . .  A key success factor is coherence across DFID programmes operating in the same space, as well as with initiatives by partner countries and other development partners . . . .  We encourage DFID to move from simple forms of consultation to more meaningful collaboration with intended beneficiaries, including by building sustainable community structures that are integrated with wider governance systems.  Results will be sustained when they become ‘business as usual’ [→  i.e. are “mainstreamed”] for the communities in which DFID works.” [p. ii.]

Montserrat is a unique case, one where both halves of the ICAI’s recommendations apply. We have been hit hard by natural disasters that create fragility, but at the same time, we have significant potential to break through to self-sustaining growth and ongoing development. The obvious danger with such a situation is that we can tend to fall between two stools, with the emphasis fruitlessly shifting back and forth from one pole to the other and back again. So, our challenge, is to instead draw energy from both aspects of the situation and move ahead decisively, restoring sound governance and stable community life with adequate health, education, housing and welfare support on the one hand, and creating a dynamic, growing inclusive economy on the other.

Another concern lurks in some new words we are seeing; not just “projects” but “portfolios” and “programmes.”  We have even been hearing of a new “Programme Management Office,” PMO.  (A glance at the Programme Management Institute’s Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)[2] will help: [a] in order to achieve their long-term goals, organisations hold and manage portfolios, that is strategic collections of projects and programmes, much as they would hold an investment portfolio. [b] Programmes, in turn, are organisational units that support and host clusters of projects towards sets of related goals.  [c] A project, in this context, is a time-limited group of activities and efforts towards a definite, unique set of deliverable results, e.g. build a particular building or create an app for the iPad, or carry out a vaccination campaign, or the like.)

 In Montserrat, the new Programme Management Office is using PRINCE2 and other standards by Axelos, to develop capacity and to create a credible framework for the governance, management and implementation of the key, “catalytic” projects. But, that leads to another question, what is PRINCE2?

PRINCE2 means, “projects in controlled environments,” and was first created by the UK Government working with consultants. It is now under a joint public-private partnership, Axelos. It is a system of training, testing and certifications, it is a set of standards and frameworks for world-class project management, it is a way for us to move the ball forward on the key transformational projects, in collaboration with DfID and other development partners.  It is based on seven each of principles, themes and processes:

These principles, themes and processes should readily fit in with the programme-based project cycle management approach(PbPCM) used for many development projects by DfID, EU and other bodies, and so we should be able to tailor the approach to our particular circumstances. Where, of course, tailoring is one of the seven PRINCE2 principles. Also, the Tasmanian Government’s Project Management Framework e-government initiative[3] will provide some very useful resources (which are generally compatible with the PRINCE2 approach).

Beyond PRINCE2, Axelos has several other frameworks that will be highly relevant to Montserrat.  For instance: Managing a Successful Programme (MSP), Management of Portfolios (MoP),  Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices (P3O), Management of Risk (MoR) and Management of Value (MoV).  There is even an IT-specific form of PRINCE2, PRINCE2 Agile. All of these could help us build our capability to manage and govern our transformation programme. So, such frameworks and standards will provide world-class, third party quality assurance of our growing capability to carry out, manage and transparently, soundly govern the key projects in our transformation programme. (And, let us duly note: while we can hope to minimise over-runs on project costs and timelines etc., no method can actually utterly eliminate such problems.)

Clearly, solid business cases for our “catalytic” projects, backed by adequate capacity and tied to a sound economic development strategy will credibly go a long way towards strengthening our negotiation position. That should help to break the deadlocks in the project cycle that have kept our key “catalytic” projects stuck for twenty years. END

[1]              http://icai.independent.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/ICAI-report-DFIDs-approach-to-Delivering-Impact.pdf

[2]           https://www.amazon.com/Project-Management-Knowledge-PMBOK-Fifth/dp/1935589679/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495645619&sr=8-1&keywords=Guide+to+the+Project+Management+Body+of+Knowledge+%28PMBOK%29

[3]           http://www.egovernment.tas.gov.au/project_management

Leave a Reply

Newsletter

Archives

Why all of this fuss about PMO, PRINCE2 and creating an economy transformation programme based on “catalytic” projects?

BRADES, Montserrat, Jun 11, 2017 – In his June 9th 2017 Budget Speech, Premier Romeo said that, “[w]e took radical steps to ensure that the longstanding problem of delays in projects will be minimized by implementing a Programme Management Office  (PMO) . . . .  This will improve our value for money business cases, project and programme governance, transparency, and risk management. Such measures will help us improve our ability to effectively implement a sound development programme and put an end to underspending, and project over-runs. ”In short the PMO and its PRINCE2-based standards for project and programme management are pivotal to the growth and transformation programme that is now beginning with the UKCIF and EU-funded first phase port development project.

 Such a programme, likely, will take ten to twenty years to truly transform Montserrat’s economy; given the example of what happened between the 1960’s and 1980’s. This estimate is supported by the Independent Commission on Aid Impact’s [ICAI] recommendations in its June 2015 Report, on DFID’s approach to delivering impact[1]:

Insert Ads Here

 “In difficult environments, DFID may need to set more modest objectives and plan its results over a 15 to 20-year period.  Its country strategies should give more attention to long-term pathways out of fragility and how to get the right balance of risk and return across the portfolio.  Conversely, when DFID is working in environments that are more conducive to development, its objectives can be more ambitious . . . .  A key success factor is coherence across DFID programmes operating in the same space, as well as with initiatives by partner countries and other development partners . . . .  We encourage DFID to move from simple forms of consultation to more meaningful collaboration with intended beneficiaries, including by building sustainable community structures that are integrated with wider governance systems.  Results will be sustained when they become ‘business as usual’ [→  i.e. are “mainstreamed”] for the communities in which DFID works.” [p. ii.]

Montserrat is a unique case, one where both halves of the ICAI’s recommendations apply. We have been hit hard by natural disasters that create fragility, but at the same time, we have significant potential to break through to self-sustaining growth and ongoing development. The obvious danger with such a situation is that we can tend to fall between two stools, with the emphasis fruitlessly shifting back and forth from one pole to the other and back again. So, our challenge, is to instead draw energy from both aspects of the situation and move ahead decisively, restoring sound governance and stable community life with adequate health, education, housing and welfare support on the one hand, and creating a dynamic, growing inclusive economy on the other.

Another concern lurks in some new words we are seeing; not just “projects” but “portfolios” and “programmes.”  We have even been hearing of a new “Programme Management Office,” PMO.  (A glance at the Programme Management Institute’s Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)[2] will help: [a] in order to achieve their long-term goals, organisations hold and manage portfolios, that is strategic collections of projects and programmes, much as they would hold an investment portfolio. [b] Programmes, in turn, are organisational units that support and host clusters of projects towards sets of related goals.  [c] A project, in this context, is a time-limited group of activities and efforts towards a definite, unique set of deliverable results, e.g. build a particular building or create an app for the iPad, or carry out a vaccination campaign, or the like.)

 In Montserrat, the new Programme Management Office is using PRINCE2 and other standards by Axelos, to develop capacity and to create a credible framework for the governance, management and implementation of the key, “catalytic” projects. But, that leads to another question, what is PRINCE2?

PRINCE2 means, “projects in controlled environments,” and was first created by the UK Government working with consultants. It is now under a joint public-private partnership, Axelos. It is a system of training, testing and certifications, it is a set of standards and frameworks for world-class project management, it is a way for us to move the ball forward on the key transformational projects, in collaboration with DfID and other development partners.  It is based on seven each of principles, themes and processes:

These principles, themes and processes should readily fit in with the programme-based project cycle management approach(PbPCM) used for many development projects by DfID, EU and other bodies, and so we should be able to tailor the approach to our particular circumstances. Where, of course, tailoring is one of the seven PRINCE2 principles. Also, the Tasmanian Government’s Project Management Framework e-government initiative[3] will provide some very useful resources (which are generally compatible with the PRINCE2 approach).

Beyond PRINCE2, Axelos has several other frameworks that will be highly relevant to Montserrat.  For instance: Managing a Successful Programme (MSP), Management of Portfolios (MoP),  Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices (P3O), Management of Risk (MoR) and Management of Value (MoV).  There is even an IT-specific form of PRINCE2, PRINCE2 Agile. All of these could help us build our capability to manage and govern our transformation programme. So, such frameworks and standards will provide world-class, third party quality assurance of our growing capability to carry out, manage and transparently, soundly govern the key projects in our transformation programme. (And, let us duly note: while we can hope to minimise over-runs on project costs and timelines etc., no method can actually utterly eliminate such problems.)

Clearly, solid business cases for our “catalytic” projects, backed by adequate capacity and tied to a sound economic development strategy will credibly go a long way towards strengthening our negotiation position. That should help to break the deadlocks in the project cycle that have kept our key “catalytic” projects stuck for twenty years. END

[1]              http://icai.independent.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/ICAI-report-DFIDs-approach-to-Delivering-Impact.pdf

[2]           https://www.amazon.com/Project-Management-Knowledge-PMBOK-Fifth/dp/1935589679/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495645619&sr=8-1&keywords=Guide+to+the+Project+Management+Body+of+Knowledge+%28PMBOK%29

[3]           http://www.egovernment.tas.gov.au/project_management