Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

P&PA Framework

 

This page contains the following FAQs related to the Program & Project Assessment (P&PA) Framework.

 

11. What is the PROJECTRx® Framework?

12. What are Assessment Life Cycles?

13. What are Assessment Milestones?

14. What is a Basis of Assessment (BOA)?

15. What is a Rating Methodology?

16. What is a Balanced Scorecard?

17. How is Earned Value Management (EVM) leveraged?

18. How are Best Practices facilitated?

19. What is Framework Integration?

20. What are Assessment Mechanics?

 

11. What is the PROJECTRx® Framework?

PROJECTRx® is an innovative oversight solution developed specifically for P&PA. It effectively integrates proven assessment processes with state-of-the-art tools and people. PROJECTRx® features a three dimensional life cycle approach (i.e. project management (PMLC) and product development (PDLC) life cycles, and assessment areas (AAs)). This approach takes into consideration not only how the project is managed, but how the product is developed and how the project and product will be assessed.

 

PROJECTRx® also features a three dimensional milestone approach (i.e. strategically placed tollgate reviews, ongoing progress/performance feedback, and periodic validation of processes and/or delivery results and expectations). While the framework is aligned to PMBOK®, it extends significantly beyond the limitations of process based approaches. PROJECTRx® incorporates aspects of product development, delivery performance, benefit management, assessment life cycles, assessment milestones, and rating methodology.

 

The framework is flexible in its use of work and organization breakdown structures, life cycles, and milestones. It can be used individually (i.e. with its own project management processes) or in combination with other SME frameworks such as PMBOK®, PRINCE2®, and COBIT®, to significantly improve their assessment capabilities.

12. What are Assessment Life Cycles?

A life cycle is a series of related stages (usually with a beginning and an end) depicting a specific view of a program or project. PROJECTRx® uses Work Breakdown Structures (WBS) consisting of phases, assessment areas, activities, and IOTTs (i.e. inputs, outputs, tools & techniques) for a logical sub-division of project life cycles. WBS Life Cycles are used to maintain assessment content and are the basis for creating assessment milestones.

  • PROJECTRx® uses a three dimensional life cycle approach (i.e. PROJECTRx® activities vs. project management life cycles (PMLC), product development (PDLC) life cycles, and assessment areas (AAs))
  • PMBOK® does not contain assessment life cycles. However, its framework can be used as a two dimensional life cycle approach (i.e. PMBOK® processes vs. process groups and knowledge areas)
  • PRINCE2® and COBIT® utilize a one dimensional life cycle approach (i.e. PRINCE2® activities vs. project management life cycle (PMLC), and COBIT® processes vs. domains)

It is important to note when comparing the SME frameworks that the "processes" within the corresponding life cycles vary by description and level - all processes are not the same!

13. What are Assessment Milestones?

A milestone is an event held to review the status and assess performance of a particular program or project. PROJECTRx® uses Work Breakdown Structures (WBSs) consisting of phases, assessment areas, activities, and IOTTs (i.e. inputs, outputs, tools & techniques) for a logical sub-division of project milestones. Assessment Milestones (i.e. WBS Milestones and Milestones) are created based upon WBS Life Cycle components, and offer significant flexibility relative to scope and content.

 

WBS Milestones are the basis for defining assessment scope. PROJECTRx® utilizes an integrated three-pronged milestone approach (i.e. tollgate reviews, ongoing progress/performance, and periodic validation). Validation is a process by which the effectiveness of the project's procedures and controls are periodically evaluated along with delivery results and expectations. This process can be centralized or decentralized, formal or informal.

 

Milestones are used to collect, analyze, and report assessment findings and results. Earned value management (EVM) is integrated into each milestone to validate schedule and cost performance against baselined objectives, and is used for trend analysis.

14. What is a Basis of Assessment (BOA)?

A Basis of Assessment or BOA documents the methodology and core assumptions for how assessments are to be handled. The BOA contains elements such as the scope of effort, corresponding assessment content, life cycle/milestone strategy, assessment outcomes (i.e. project and milestone), and rating methodology.

15. What is a Rating Methodology?

A Rating Methodology is used to measure elements of the assessment. The methodology should have multiple rating levels and include components such as rating dimensions, metrics, criteria, and exception thresholds. It should also facilitate the rollup or summarization of metrics for the analysis process, and provide flexibility for configuration to a client's environment.

16. What is a Balanced Scorecard?

While having effective processes is certainly a plus, it does not guarantee success or provide a balanced picture of the project's health. In order to obtain a meaningful assessment of the project, the framework should include a project management vs. product development perspective, a process vs. delivery perspective, and benefit management (i.e. identification (via the business case), management, and validation).

 

PROJECTRx® features the use of five (5) delivery elements in conjunction with processes to provide answers that most senior executives and stakeholders are looking for - Will the scope or functionally be delivered? Will the schedule be met? Will the budget be met? Will the product meet quality standards and customer expectations? Will the project benefits be realized?

 

Programs and projects are often required to identify benefits. In many instances, however, the benefits are provided to meet an imposed acceptance threshold, but are not realistic. They are then usually ignored once the program or project begins.

 

PROJECTRx® views benefits as the most important delivery element because it is why projects are done. In fact, it is negligent to evaluate changes to delivery objectives without determining the impact to benefits. PROJECTRx® utilizes elements such as benefit management plans, benefit delivery plans, and benefit validation.

17. How is Earned Value Management (EVM) leveraged?

PROJECTRx® utilizes the four core elements of Earned Value Management (EVM) in order to calculate EVM variances, performance, and forecasts. Budget at Completion, Planned Value (i.e. Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled), Earned Value (i.e. Budgeted Cost of Work Performed), and Actual Costs (i.e. Actual Costs of Work Performed) are used to validate results from the project team relative to cost and schedule. EVM information is available with each milestone in order to provide trending of the results.

 

The PROJECTRx® products utilize EVM Wizards in order to standardize how EVM information is presented and eliminate some of the mystery and confusion with interpreting results.

18. How are Best Practices facilitated?

PROJECTRx® facilitates the identification and documentation of best practices during assessment milestones such that they can be leveraged across the enterprise on future programs and projects. Lessons learned, templates, examples, and critical success factors are linked to the appropriate WBS or project level.

19. What is Framework Integration?

Framework Integration identifies how the assessment solution will integrate process, tools and people. The PROJECTRx® framework includes proven assessment processes, state-of-the-art tools, and corresponding experience, education, training, and mentoring in P&PA.

20. What are Assessment Mechanics?

Assessment frameworks should incorporate the mechanics required to support P&PA. In addition to items previously identified, PROJECTRx® includes assessment elements such as guiding principles, oversight/governance, component flow, reporting, and deployment strategies.

 

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