Saturday Oct 11, 2014

Questions to Ask When Organizing Your OUM Workplan

So you’ve read all the tips and blogs about how to tailor OUM for your project and you’ve figured out what tasks you need. Now you have to put them into a workplan. What do you do? Do you use the traditional activity wbs structure highlighted in the method or do you need something else? The possibilities are endless. Think about how you implement your projects now. Think about what works now and what doesn’t. Consider this blog my Questions to Ask When Organizing Your OUM Workplan.

  1. Does the traditional OUM activity-work-breakdown structure fit my project?
  2. Does your project involve more than one custom-off-the-shelf (COTS) product? If so, maybe you want to do this work in partitions. Determine which activities/tasks should be duplicated into each partition.
  3. Do you need to consider copying sections of your workplan and putting them into iterations for accommodating use case packages?
  4. Can certain processes be run as “mini projects?” Some processes can almost be run as a side project on their own, for example, Technical Architecture (TA), Performance Management (PT), Documentation (DO), Training (TR), and Organizational Change Management (OCM). If so, it may make more sense to group and track these tasks under a process/activity heading and not space them out into the various phases.
  5. Do you use one workplan or a master workplan with individual plans that report or roll up into the master? This might work if you have Team Leaders that manage specific pieces of work. Use a placeholder activity/task in the master workplan and the detail can be managed in a sub workplan.

The bottom line is, be creative. Build your workplan(s) to suit your project. As you start another project, don’t be afraid to change something that isn’t working. Finally, share your workplans and experiences.

Monday Jul 14, 2014

Eleven Questions to Ask When Tailoring OUM for Your Project

I’ve posted several blogs in the past on tailoring OUM. Here’s one more. As you can see from the title, I call this one Eleven Questions to Ask When Tailoring OUM for Your Project. 

Start with the Core Workflow and adjust it based on the following questions.

  1. Do you need additional Business Requirements (RD) and Requirements Analysis (RA) tasks?  If so, add them.
  2. Are you implementing a custom-off-the-shelf (COTS) product?  If yes, review the Mapping and Configuration (MC) process and add any tasks not already included in the Core Workflow.  If no, remove the Configuration Sub-Flow tasks.
  3. Is there custom work?  If yes, add additional Analysis (AN), Design (DS), Implementation (IM) and Testing (TE) tasks, as appropriate.  If no, you may be able to remove the tasks in the Custom Development Sub-Flow.
  4. What are the Technical Architecture (TA) requirements?  Add TA tasks as appropriate.
  5. Will there be any data conversion?  Add any Data Acquisition and Conversion (CV) tasks as appropriate.
  6. Are there any Performance Management (PT) requirements?  Add PT tasks as appropriate.
  7. What are the Documentation (DO) requirements?  Add DO tasks as appropriate.
  8. What are the Organizational Change Management (OCM) requirements?  Add OCM tasks as appropriate.
  9. What are the Training (TR) requirements?  Add TR tasks as appropriate.
  10. What are the Transition (TS) requirements?  Add TS tasks as appropriate.
  11. What are the Operations and Support (PS) requirements?  Add PS tasks as appropriate.

Now that you’ve identified all the tasks you need, consider how you want to approach your project.  Can you use the traditional OUM WBS approach or do you need to configure your workplan a little differently.  The possibilities are endless, but that’s a discussion for my next blog.

Monday Apr 22, 2013

Tailoring the OUM Workplan

Did you know that OUM has guidance for tailoring your project?

Located in the Supplemental Guidance section of the Key Components on the Manage view is the Tailoring OUM for Your Project guidance.  This guidance describes a step-by-step process for tailoring OUM for your project.  This process starts with the Estimate and/or Proposal and ends with Assigning Resources and Duration to Activities and Tasks. 

What this blog focuses on is the tailoring of the actual OUM Project Workplan for your project for activities and tasks (tailoring steps 2.0 through 5.2) including tips for applying a bottom-up as well as a top-down technique for tailoring the Project Workplan.  So let’s get started.

For our example, we are starting with the OUM Project Workplan that is located in the Method Resources section of the Key Components of most view pages. In OUM 5.6, a new Project Workplan template was introduced with pre-tailoring capability for most Implement views.  Our example project also is most closely aligned with the Requirements-Driven Application Implementation view.

To develop our Project Workplan, we have several options.  We can employ a top-down approach and start with all of OUM and tailor it down.  We can employ a bottom-up approach and start with the Core Workflow and build up from there.  The best approach is probably to start with the workplan that most closely matches our engagement and tailor up and down.  That is, immediately tailor down to a pre-tailored Workplan and continue to tailor from there based on the requirements of the engagement, while simultaneously keeping in mind the Core Workflow and building up from there.

So for our example, we are starting with the Requirements-Driven Application Implementation pre-tailored OUM Project Workplan.

Our next step is to eliminate activities/tasks that are not needed. Consider the following:
  1. Don’t eliminate anything in the Core Workflow without carefully consideration.
  2. Review any available supplemental guidance.
  3. Consider removing activities/tasks NOT included in the Estimate and/or Proposal.
  4. Determine if it’s possible to eliminate all if not most of some processes. For example, consider removing the following processes and corresponding activities and/or tasks, if your project does not include ANY requirements for them:
  • Performance Management
  • Organizational Change Management
  • Training
  • Data Acquisition and Conversion
Now that we have tailored down, we should consider if we need to add any activities/tasks.  These include two types of activities/tasks:
  • Activities/Tasks that were excluded from the Requirements-Driven Application Implementation pre-tailored Project Workplan, and
  • Project-Specific (Custom) Activities/Tasks

For the excluded activities/tasks, use the 01_OUM_Set_Project_Filter view of the OUM Project Workplan to review any activities/tasks that were not included in the Requirements-Driven Application Implementation pre-tailored OUM Project Workplan and determine if they are needed for the engagement.

Project-specific custom activities/tasks are activities/tasks that are not already included in OUM. Add these to the Project Workplan.

Now we have a tailored OUM Project Workplan for our engagement.  However, we still need to apply partitioning, if applicable, and iteration planning.  This however is a topic for another blog.  In the meantime, I encourage you to peruse the following OUM guidance:

From the Manage view, Key Components, Supplemental Guidance:

  • Planning a Project using OUM
  • Tailoring OUM for Your Project

Form the Manage view, Key Components, Method Resources

  • OUM Project Workplan – This link accesses the Project Workplan page which allows you to download a zipped file containing the Project Workplan and the Project Workplan User’s Guide.

Finally, you might also want to review the Task Overviews for WM.010 (Develop Baseline Project Workplan) and WM.030 (Manage Project Workplan).

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