Activity 1.3: Formulate case to address the needsUltimately even the most well-constructed list of needs will need to be prioritized and set into a scope so that planning can be appropriately managed and performed. In this activity planners work with stakeholders to evaluate the relative priority of each need and then establish the scope of the planning effort.
The prioritization of needs is another opportunity for the stakeholder community to have a dialogue that will ultimately bring the community together in a consistent line of thinking. The many factors that are weighed in prioritization and how members of the stakeholder community relate to (or resonate with) those factors are an important discovery. Put more plainly, it is important to understand how each stakeholder views the needs and sets the priorities of the needs differently than their peers. Planners facilitate the stakeholder community in a dialogue to discover how needs will be prioritized and how the scope of planning will be set.
In addition to the prioritization of needs, planners engage the stakeholder community to initiate performance planning. Planners, with their awareness of the high priority needs, focus on performance metrics that are aligned to those high priority needs. This precision of focus on priority needs allows for more time and concentration to be put on planning for those needs that are most critical.
Planners leverage the high priority needs and performance metrics to develop a vision, purpose statement and scope for planning. The vision for planning is the stakeholder community’s single voice as to what must be accomplished in planning given the high priority needs and emerging operational requirements. The purpose statement synthesizes this content into a statement as to why the planning must be done. This purpose statement is authored and signed by the sponsor. The scope of planning is a more detailed look at the boundaries of the planning effort given the prioritized needs, the performance metrics, the vision, and the purpose statement.
The following visual illustrates the tasks within this activity.
Establish high priority needs based on stakeholder input
The planning effort must be focused on needs that are commonly determined to be of high priority and realistic within defined drivers, assumptions, and constraints. Planners engage the stakeholder community to determine, in a structured way, the relative priority of the defined needs.
There are several ways to accomplish a prioritization of needs. In most instances it is important to evaluate the relative degree of association between the stated need and the defined performance gaps. Needs that are more closely associated with performance gaps are generally of higher priority.
In some instances, the performance gaps themselves might need to be prioritized in order to better target the intent of the planning effort. In such instances, revisiting performance gaps with the stakeholders is important to gain consensus as to which performance gaps are higher priority. After this is accomplished, the needs can be associated to the high priority performance gaps to determine the high priority needs.
One method that could be used to determine this relative importance is pairwise comparison, in this case balancing the priority of drivers against the ability of a project to address them. Methods like the Value Measuring Methodology (VMM) could also be used, although this may be more appropriate to CPM Task 3.41: Identify alternatives for transition and perform cost / value / risk analysis to compare transition alternatives.
Evaluate the impacts, value, risk, and dependencies
Finalizing the list of high priority needs cannot be done without first considering the impacts, value, risks, and dependencies associated with each need. The intent is to look more closely at each high priority need from the previous task to determine that the list of high priority needs has been defined appropriately.
Planners must evaluate each high priority need to determine the impact and value of meeting the need. During this task, planners evaluate the significance of meeting the need and specifically the degree of value and impact on stated performance gaps. This approach allows planners to begin formulating the intended or projected effects of addressing each need. This analysis is a significant start to the formulation of the performance and outcomes expectations associated with the planning effort. The planning effort must only be considering needs that are of significant impact and value to stated performance gaps.
Planners also must consider significant dependencies associated with each need. There will be instances where a need is highly aligned to a performance gap and will almost certainly provide value in relation to that performance gap, however the need may not be feasible to address due to other dependencies. These dependencies could be financial, social, political, technological, or organizational to name a few. Planners need to consider significant dependencies associated with each need and then determine if any of the dependencies render it impractical to immediately plan to address the need.
Formulate the Vision, Goals and Objectives, Purpose Statement, and Scope
After identifying the high priority needs, planners can leverage the impact and value assessment from the previous step to formulate the vision, goals and objectives, purpose statement, and scope for what is to be achieved through the planning effort. It is important to note that the performance related items are highly iterative and must continue to develop throughout the planning process. That being said, it is critical to begin the planning activities with a defined and documented vision, goals and objectives, purpose statement, and scope. These performance-related items are the guiding light for the planning process and for decision making with the stakeholder community.
Planners must leverage the stated performance gaps and high priority needs to craft a vision for what is expected as outcomes of the planning. Even at the point of having defined performance gaps and high priority needs, the stakeholder community can still have significant differences in opinion as to the vision for the future. The vision is a summary description and illustration that captures how the world might look if the needs are appropriately addressed. At this point in the planning process, this vision and its depiction will likely be very high level. However, having this documented vision is useful to continuing to coalesce the stakeholders.
The vision is further defined by developing goals and objectives. These goals and objectives are a more detailed representation of the vision. This level of precision and detail continues to bring the stakeholders into a common alignment with a stated intent for the future. Like the vision, the goals and objectives must continue to be developed throughout the planning process. Ultimately what is planned must be evaluated against the vision, goals and objectives to determine if the planning was effective in addressing these performance intentions.
The vision, goals, and objectives must be drafted with stakeholder input and presented to the sponsor for review and approval. The sponsor then can produce a succinct, sponsor level statement that defines the purpose of the planning effort. This purpose statement must be a succinct but meaningful articulation of the major challenges or issues that the sponsor would like to see addressed, based on the vision, goals, and objectives. This purpose statement provides planners and stakeholders with a consistent, sponsor level mandate to perform the planning. The purpose statement must be direct enough to ensure that planners and stakeholders understand the sponsor level expectations and can develop an actionable, integrated plan based on those expectations.
The vision, goals and objectives, and purpose statement must be packaged into a formal scope for the planning effort. The inclusion of the priority performance gaps, the priority needs, and the intended performance metrics from previous tasks will complete the formal scope. The scope sets the boundaries for the planning effort, based on the analysis and stakeholder consensus achieved in the previous tasks.
|Target Performance Metrics
|Impacts, Value, Risk, and Dependencies
|Vision, Goals and Objectives, Purpose Statement, and Scope
Key to FEA Layers: S = Strategy, B = Business, D = Data, A = Application, I = Infrastructure, SP = Security