Implementation Components

Phase 1 – Investigate

The Investigate ridge is the preliminary phase of the project.  This ridge actually occurs prior to full project approval.  Its purpose is to investigate the problems giving rise to the problem just enough to create a Project Charter.  The charter is created by TAC4 staff and the project sponsor, and outlines the following about the project:

  • Project Leads
    • Project Sponsor – client dedicated to the project full-time, with budget authority
    • Project Manager – TAC4 manager running the project
    • Preliminary Improvement Team – TAC4 and client staff who will likely serve at least 30% of their time on the project during its life
  • Project Description
    • Problem Statement
    • Preliminary Scope
    • Tools
  • Project Justification
  • Project Goals & Deliverables
  • Project Requirements
  • Project Stakeholders
  • Project Success Criteria
  • Project Risks
  • Project Milestones
  • Project Budget
  • Project Assumptions
  • Project Constraints
  • At the end of the Investigate ridge, the project manager and project sponsor present the project charter to senior management for final review and for approval to initiate the full project.  During the Investigate Ridge View Session is the first time that the project’s budget estimate is given.  As the project is exploratory in nature, with most of the ridges remaining to be crossed, this budget amount is an Order of Magnitude (OoM) estimate: the final project cost should be no less than half the OoM estimate, and no more than double the OoM estimate.  The end goal of the Investigate Ridge View Session is to obtain signatures for starting the full project.

Phase 2 – Plan

The Plan ridge is the initial phase of the official project.  This ridge’s purpose is to create the Project Trek Plan (this document) and all subsidiary management plan documents that outline how the project manager will guide the project.  The plans are created by the project manager and project sponsor, with help from TAC4 staff and the core improvement team.  The subsidiary plans are:

  • Scope Management Plan
    • Scope Baseline
  • Schedule Management Plan
    • Schedule Baseline
  • Cost Management Plan
    • Cost Baseline
  • Human Resource Management Plan
  • Trek Refinement Management Plan
  • Communications Management Plan
  • Quality Management Plan
  • Risk Management Plan
  • Procurement Management Plan

The subsidiary plans are created in the relative order listed above.  These plans also mention a wide variety of project management and process redesign tools (e.g., Kickoff Script; Milestone List; SIPOC Diagram), for and in which TAC4 Solutions has templates and expertise.  Key outcomes to emphasize from the subsidiary plans include:

  • Macro Flowchart
  • Stakeholder Analysis
  • Core Improvement Team Initiation
  • Kickoff Meeting
  • Scope Baseline
  • Schedule Baseline
  • Cost Baseline
  • Risk Register

Also during the Plan ridge, the team will fully detail the activities to be performed during the Analyze ridge.  The project manager, with help as needed from the core improvement team, will fully decompose any planning components scheduled for the Analyze ridge during schedule development and create duration estimates and a cost basis for these activities.  If the planning components now have more detail around these tasks (which is expected), the project manager will write trek refinements for the Analyze tasks, outlining schedule and budget and quality implications as appropriate.

During the Plan ridge, the project scope becomes more defined than in the Investigate ridge.  Thus, the project manager provides a new schedule and budget estimate during the Plan Ridge View Session.  This budget amount is a Conceptual estimate: the final project schedule and budget should be within 30% below the conceptual estimates and 50% above the conceptual estimates.

Phase 3 – Analyze

The Analyze ridge is where the actual work to resolve the project’s problem begins.  The core improvement team performs the following tasks:

  • Create operational definitions
  • Build the data collection plan
  • Determine the metrics needed to measure
  • Build the As-Is Flowchart
  • Measure the metrics with the existing processes
  • Update the SIPOC Diagram
  • Perform root cause analysis
  • Determine and execute early low-hanging fruit for quick wins
  • Use tools:
    • Voice of Customer/Voice of Business
    • Five Why’s
    • Traveler
    • Fishbone diagram
    • FMEA Matrix
    • Pareto charts

Also during the Analyze ridge, the team will fully detail the activities to be performed during the Redesign ridge.  The project manager, with help as needed from the core improvement team, will fully decompose any planning components scheduled for the Redesign ridge during schedule development and create duration estimates and a cost basis for these activities.  If the planning components now have more detail around these tasks (which is expected), the project manager will write trek refinements for the Redesign tasks, outlining schedule and budget and quality implications as appropriate.

At the end of the analysis, the team should have confidence in their understanding of the root causes of the project’s problem.  The conclusions must be supported by measured data surrounding the process.  The team will have a prioritized list of root causes and effects.  Once this Analyze ridge is completed and the conclusions are drawn, the project scope becomes more defined than in the Plan ridge. Thus, the project manager provides a new schedule and budget estimate during the Analyze Ridge View Session.  This budget amount is a Preliminary estimate: the final project schedule and budget should be within 20% below the conceptual estimates and 30% above the conceptual estimates.

Phase 4 – Redesign

During the Redesign ridge, the core improvement team investigates possible solutions for how to solve the project’s problems.  They evaluate which solution(s) provide the best benefit with the least cost/impact.  They decide on the exact solution(s) that will be enacted.  Then they define all details of the solution(s), including writing detailed design documents.  The designs will be communicated to relevant stakeholders to ensure the designs will sufficiently solve the project’s problems to the degree of the success criteria written in the project charter.

Also during the Redesign ridge, the team will fully detail the activities to be performed during the Implement ridge.  The project manager, with help as needed from the core improvement team, will fully decompose any planning components scheduled for the Implement ridge during schedule development and create duration estimates and a cost basis for these activities.  The detailed Implement ridge activities must include development, testing, documentation, training, deployment, evaluation, and control of the new design.  If the planning components now have more detail around these tasks (which is expected), the project manager will write trek refinements for the Implement tasks, outlining schedule and budget and quality implications as appropriate.

At the end of the redesign, the team should have fully designed the solution(s) to project’s problem.  The project scope is now fully defined; thus, the project manager provides a new schedule and budget estimate during the Redesign Ridge View Session.  This budget amount is a Definitive estimate: the final project schedule and budget should be within 10% below the conceptual estimates and 15% above the conceptual estimates.

Phase 5 – Implement

During the Implement ridge, the core improvement team performs all activities listed in the Redesign ridge that solve the project’s problem.  These tasks may involve software development, hardware/network configuration, physical relocations, changes to a process, or any number of tasks that will implement the redesign.  In addition to these development changes, the core improvement team will also perform these tasks:

  • Testing
    • Ensure that the process changes will successfully solve the problem, based on all success criteria metrics of the project charter, prior to deployment
  • Documentation
    • Document redesigned process
  • Training
    • Train staff on redesigned process
  • Deployment
    • Implement the solution during a go-live event
  • Evaluation
    • Ensure that the deployed solution satisfies all success criteria metrics of the project charter
    • Ensure that the deployed solution meets the TAC4 external principles of Transparency, Accountability, Cost-Efficiency, and Cost-Effectiveness
  • Control
    • Place controls (and measuring/monitoring tasks within the process) around the process to ensure that the process continues to meet the success criteria metrics
    • Build an action plan for handling metrics outside the control limits

At the end of the Implement ridge, project’s problem should be fully solved and implemented.  The Implement Ridge View Session will verify that all development, testing, documentation, training, deployment, evaluation, and control have been completed.

Phase 6 – Close

The project manager wraps the project with the project sponsor during the Close ridge.  The core improvement team is transitioned to their prior jobs, to the maintenance of the new process, or to another project.  The team conducts Lessons Learned, with full documentation of the project successes and difficulties.  Finally, senior management signs the Project Close documents, agreeing that the team met the success criteria for the project.

 

See more about the projects we have managed here.