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Conceptual Framework of Program Design . Ian J. Potter, Vice President Engineering. 20 th October 2011. Purpose. Setting the stage and foundation for program design in the context of an RTO, with theory and core principles. Picking Races and Creating Wins through Collaboration.

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conceptual framework of program design

Conceptual Framework of Program Design

Ian J. Potter, Vice President Engineering

20th October 2011

  • Setting the stage and foundation for program design in the context of an RTO, with theory and core principles
collaboration what is it
Collaboration – what is it?
  • Collaboration is working together to achieve a goal.
      • It is a recursive process where....organizations work together to realize shared goals, by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus.
what is an rto
What is an RTO?
  • Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs) are specialised knowledge organisations dedicated to the development and transfer of science and technology to the benefit of the economy and society.
  • RTOs make a vital contribution to strengthening a region's economic performance by supporting product and process innovation in all branches of government, industry and services - in firms large and small - as well as by developing technologies which contribute to improved living standards and higher quality of life.
  • RTOs build bridges between basic research and industrial applications.
      • They are innovative and competitive problem-solvers for all sectors of industry and services.
      • They are technology developers, adapters and transfer intermediaries, helping to ensure more effective exploitation of research by the enterprise sector.
      • They are state-of-the-art technology specialists providing expertise which customers do not possess or cannot afford individually to maintain in-house.
      • They are generic and sectoral know-how suppliers, fashioning multidisciplinary solutions fitted to the needs of specific industries and trades, traditional sectors and SMEs.
characteristics of world class organizations
Characteristics of World Class Organizations
  • Clear vision of what needs to be done
  • Common understanding, buy-in and alignment to vision
  • Knows processes better than competitors, uses best-practices and standards to maximum advantage
  • Knows its industry competitors better than anyone else
  • Knows its customers better than anyone else
  • Adapts to a changing environment and can respond rapidly to customer behaviours
  • Demonstrates its value offering clearly
  • Has employees who are motivated and effectively utilized
  • Innovative and committed to continuous improvement
  • Competes for a market share on a customer-by-customer basis, exceeds customer expectations
  • Measures its performance and has a balanced perspective
ten best rto practices for success
Ten Best RTO Practices for Success
  • Understand drivers for industry change
  • Coordinate R&D with long range business plans
  • Focus on end-use customer needs
  • Agree upon clear, measurable project goals
  • Formal development process
  • Cross-functional teams
  • Coordinate development & commercialization
  • Determine, understand & measure end-user needs
  • Refine projects with customer feedback
  • Hire/maintain the best people and expertise
strategic management construct
Strategic Management Construct











People, Facilities, Equipment

corporate management principles



Strategic Plan – 3 to 5 years outlook

Longer term Goals and outcomes - measures

Operating Plan – fiscal year

Annual Goals and outcomes – measures

Staff Performance Management and Recognition

Corporate Management Principles
creating clarity start with definitions
Creating Clarity – Start with Definitions
  • Portfolio: a client sector segment falling within RTO’s operating mandate
  • Portfolio Outcome: a definitive goal in respect to a challenge or opportunity within the sector
  • Program: a portfolio of projects (or activities) focused on reaching desired program and portfolio outcomes
  • Project: a tactical activity undertaken to create a unique product, service or result
  • Project management focuses on delivering the specific objectives of the project – program management is focused on achieving the strategic objectives and benefits of the integrated program
background reading
Background Reading
  • Relative shortage of good papers
      • Some elements available
      • More about process than practical operations
  • Learn by doing
  • Based on standard business plan development
program principles
Program Principles
  • RTO will “compete” on the basis of program leadership
  • “RTO” will build and manage programs for the benefit of XXX – outcomes through our clients
  • Program performance guides us
  • Focus
stage gating 10 steps to effective program management
Stage Gating: 10 Steps to Effective Program Management
  • Critical issues and outcome target identification
  • Technology and deployment gaps
  • Corporate role/Mandate alignment
  • Stakeholders and partners
  • Deployment pathways and strategies
  • Program definition – objectives, budgets, milestones
  • Cost benefit
  • Key risks and success probabilities
  • Leadership plan
  • Program implementation
program design process
Program Design Process
  • Iterative process of reflection and “market” testing to refine program definition
  • Stakeholder engagement critical
      • Management support
      • Customer interest
      • Partnership interest
  • Effective design often secures early commitments to build momentum
why programs projects fail
Why Programs/Projects Fail?
  • Inappropriate leadership style, lack of vision, unrealistic expectations, Ill-defined scope, poor role definition, inadequate communications, lack of buy-in, low morale, lack of training and skills, poor teaming, lack of culture conducive to program and project management, lack of trust, poor scope & estimates, unrealistic timeframe, inefficient resource allocation, no change mgmt, mismanagement of projects, management in wrong roles, unrealistic goals, lacks enough milestones, lack of termination policy….
program assessment
Program Assessment
  • Need – issue with objective rationale
  • Value – quantified
  • Impact – minor, low, medium, high
  • Key risks – define with potential impact
  • Risk/success – possible, unlikely, likely, almost certain
  • Investment – overall (multi-year) cost
  • Benefit/Cost – low, medium, high
  • 30 second clearly understood value proposition – public interest
  • Difference it will make - clear game plan - easily measured over time
the value proposition defining high impact program agendas
The Value Proposition - Defining High Impact Program Agendas
  • Within each area, what big issues do we face?
      • What is the driver behind the issue?
      • Who cares about it (stakeholders and influencers)?
      • What difference will it make, to whom and when?
      • Can we define a value proposition?
  • What technology gap makes it expensive, hard or impossible to deal with the issue? Do we understand the challenge? How does it fit within the overall system?
  • What kind of a program would it take to create a solution?
      • What critical challenges need to be addressed?
      • What are the risks – technical, engineering, business, political, economic, regulatory, market and deployment, schedule, partners and alliances?
      • Have we done a market assessment?
      • Do we understand the deployment channels? Do we have the business smarts?
  • Can we carve out a natural advantage in and for Canada?
      • What is the state of the art?
      • What are others around the world doing in the area?
      • What would it make sense to do here?
example value proposition
Example – Value Proposition
  • Give me money and I’ll give you value?
  • (I promise)?
example value proposition1
Example – Value Proposition
  • Increase Alberta’s recoverable gas reserves
  • From 150 Tcf
  • by 12 Tcf
  • by 2017
  • through improved recovery technology
  • at less than $6.50 per thousand scf
        • (baseline 2011 - $8.49 per thousand scf)
depth of intervention of program management philosophy
Depth of Intervention of Program Management Philosophy

“What we are doing is right – we just need to do it better”

– no change to mission, values, strategy








“The fundamentals are right – but we need to refocus”

– change objectives, strategies, possibly mission

“We have to change the way we think and act”

– change vision, values and leadership

“We have to recreate the business – or disappear”

– change, redefine and recreate the total enterprise

Degree of Difficulty

what is culture
What is culture?
  • Culture is a set of stated and unstated, explicit and implicit beliefs and assumptions that are shared by a group
  • Culture is invisible, unconscious, ever-present, and lasting feature that shapes and harmonizes behavior of all members
  • Cultures can have subcultures based on geography, gender, age, …
what does an effective program culture enable
What does an effective program culture enable?
  • The business perspective:
  • Focuses all efforts in the organization towards the same business goals
      • Builds delivery capacity within an organization
      • Moves program management from a tactical delivery control mechanism to a strategic organizational competency
      • Generates commitment to organizational initiatives
      • Sense of purpose
  • Focuses on the client(s)
  • Effective resource allocation
what does an effective program culture enable1
What does an effective program culture enable?
  • The human perspective:
  • The individuals in an organization are the organization’s most important resources
  • A mutual program culture with an understanding of team work and management, can liberate creativity and make use of the knowledge and experiences of all individuals
  • Allows all organizational members to know how they influence program outcomes
  • Shares the responsibility between all team members for the success of the program
building a program management culture requires
Building a Program Management Culture Requires:
  • Senior Management support and (firm) commitment
  • Common language for talking about programs and program management
  • A minimum set of corporate fundamentals:
      • Linking program management to organizational strategy
      • Communications
      • Risk Management in a Program Environment
      • Managing Innovation Programs
      • Building Effective Program and project Teams
      • The Importance of Client Relationships
  • Use of change agents to support the change
what is a great program the outcome
What is a great program? The Outcome!
  • Works to realize a shared vision that is meaningful and inspiring to those involved inside and outside the RTO
  • Fosters a sense of teamwork where individuals feel that their contribution has been valued and that they have made a difference
  • Instils trust & mutual respect both inside and outside the RTO
  • Produces a successful track record that has earned recognition from outside the RTO
  • Showcases “Region” as a place of innovation
  • Through industry, builds the “Region” economy