This is the third post in a series of thought experiments on applying Lean/Agile principles to the early shaping stages of a programme.
In the previous post I started to explore how we could find the value stream in the “messy” stages of early programme shaping. Before I go on to explore the concept of “ waste” in our context, I want to say a bit more about the value stream.
The key outcome of the programme shaping process is a clear understanding of the “Why”, “What”, “How”, “When” and “Who” of the programme. Different methodologies have different names for products that address these questions, and sometimes different names for the products at different stages of their development.
For example in MSP 2007, in the pre-programme and Initiating a Programme stages, most of the key questions are addressed (in outline form) in the Programme Mandate and Programme Brief, but during Programme Definition these expand into products such as the Blueprint, Benefits Maps, Benefits Realisation Plan, Project Dossier, Programme Plan, Programme Definition and Business Case, not to mention the planning and documentation around programme governance.
Regardless of the particular nomenclature, the process is one of iterative discovery and design. What we are doing through this time is architecting the “programme as management system” – the system goals, the programme “engine” and the feedback/control mechanisms.
So the challenge to find a Lean approach to programme shaping is the challenge to find a Lean approach to designing a management system.