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Figure 9-5 shows the characteristics of a large project. Comparing
this table with the tables presented for the other project and program
types, you can see where the differences lie at just a glance.

Initiate Stage
Initiation of a large project usually begins with an idea by management
that a certain task should be accomplished. That task is then passed on



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126 APPLYING YOUR SKILLS TO PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS


Figure 9-5. Large project characteristics.
Tasks: Installation, construction, administrative,
medium to large R&D, subsystem,
medium system.

Customer: The customer is inside the company and
is usually in a different operating unit.

Value: Usually greater than $1,000,000.

Duration: Usually more than 1 year.

Risk Level: Moderate.

Complexity: Moderate.

Contract Type(s): No contract.

Number of People: Usually more than 10.

Disciplines: Usually multidisciplinary.

Schedule Tools: Charts, software applications.

Accounting Base: Labor hours, materials invoices.

Accounting Tools: Time cards/sheets, invoices.

Organization Type: Matrix.

PM Reports to: Group leader.

Materials and Subcontracts: Identi¬ed by a management team,
procured and accounted for by Materiel
Department, veri¬ed by project.

Quality: Ad hoc or assigned depending on size
and complexity.

Effectiveness: RMA and/or other.

Facilities and Equipment: Identi¬ed by project, provided by the
company.

Team Training: 1-2 days.

Applicable Skill Set: Advanced




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Matching the Skill Sets to Projects and Programs


to a committee or group to do the initial planning and justify the need.
The output of this group, once approved, becomes the requirements
document for the project. A group leader is usually appointed, and this
person (or persons) becomes ˜˜the customer.™™ Once the project has
been de¬ned in terms of its requirements, it is assigned to you for im-
plementation. Now is a good time to consult previous ˜˜Lessons
Learned™™ papers for hints concerning pitfalls or shortcuts that did or
did not work on similar projects in the past. If a mentor is available,
discuss any concerns you™ve encountered or anticipate.

Planning Stage
The Planning Stage starts when the project is assigned to you. A large
project includes many tasks, so your project plan must include all the
elements necessary for a complete project plan. In a large project, Re-
source Management (11) drives the Project Plan, and you need to con-
centrate on that subject area. Resource Management will, in turn, drive
how you organize (19).
In the case of the large project, you advertise for, evaluate, award,
manage, and receive the materials and subcontracts associated with the
project. This can be a large job and is frequently accomplished by one
or two persons. One person handles the purchases of standard off-the-
shelf equipment and software and another person handles all the sub-
contracts. The size and complexity of the task determines whether you
have one or two people performing this task and whether they are as-
signed as full- or part-timers. When you start purchasing materials and
subcontracts within the project, your job increases signi¬cantly. Typi-
cally, the technical departments (such as engineering) de¬ne the mate-
rials and subcontracts necessary and must initiate the speci¬cations for
these items. You, the program of¬cer, are responsible for the ˜˜State-
ment of Work™™ that accompanies the speci¬cation, and the subcon-
tracts administrator or manager handles the terms and conditions
(Ts & Cs) and the whole procurement package. Subcontracts can make
or break a project, and at this level, you must thoroughly understand
˜˜Procurements & Subcontracts (17).™™ Even if you have a subcontracts
manager, it will be necessary to manage (not micromanage) this proc-
ess from the top down.
This is a large project, so you need to Negotiate (40) for the people
who will support your project.
Once assignments have been made, call the people together for a



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128 APPLYING YOUR SKILLS TO PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS


training session. This action will test your knowledge and application
of subject area Training (24). The training session must turn the group
into a team. Use the training session for Team Building (23) to accom-
plish this.
As leader of the team, you need to start the session off on the right
foot. Once again, the ¬rst thing on the training agenda should be the
objective of the team. Next, give team members the schedule and any
important milestones. Then, your presentation should include the or-
ganization. The breadth and depth of the organization will vary in ac-
cordance with the complexity of the task. As before, have each project
element stand up and specify the input products they need to do their
jobs, who they expect to provide them, and when. Document the effort
and have each team member sign the input and output sheets that
apply to them. Each team member gets a copy of their sheets, and you
get copies of all of them. I keep harping on this point for a reason. It is
the heart and soul of getting your project job done. You can™t, and
shouldn™t, do it alone. Every member of the team must be a contributor,
and they must all act together as a team. Drive this point home, and
then get on with it.
Kickoff for these projects can be accomplished shortly after the
team session and will last about a half of a day. It is always a good idea
to have each group stand up and go through their responsibilities and
their schedules. For large projects, it is usually a good idea to invite
management to the kickoff to show you know what you are doing. Ob-
viously, you will want to have several ˜˜dry runs™™ beforehand to ensure
that everything goes well.

Execution Stage
The Execution Stage is what the project is designed for as far as man-
agement and the customer are concerned. You™ve planned your project
and trained the team, now is the time to make it work.
As you saw in Figure 9-5, these projects may appear to be similar
to intermediate projects but they are larger and more complex. To keep
up with the complexity of all of these ˜˜goings on,™™ it is a good idea to
employ an Earned Value Management System (18) to understand ex-
actly where you are in terms of accomplishment.
With a project of this size, if it is for hardware or software, it is
likely you will have a design. You will likely have a pure design portion
and a rapid prototype portion for both hardware and software. It is not



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Matching the Skill Sets to Projects and Programs


at all unusual for a project at this level to have several components
being addressed simultaneously. For instance, if you have a project that
uses off-the-shelf hardware and software in conjunction with new hard-
ware and software, it will require you to be in several places at one time
and changing hats frequently.
As with intermediate projects, procurements will ˜˜fall out™™ at sev-
eral levels and at several times. The design process will reveal the next
level of procurements. The ¬nal level is the common items that can
be purchased ˜˜off-the-shelf.™™ Scheduling the delivery of all procured
products is critical because they will pace the ˜˜main line™™ of your im-
plementation and integration activity.
Implementation consists of bringing all the elements together into
a single system. Your people will be working together as a team and
need to be evaluated both as individual performers and as team mem-
bers. Using Personnel Management (22) techniques, you can keep up
with individual performance in both these areas. This is important both
to you for selecting people in the future and to the company for promo-
tions and recognition.
It is necessary to use the concept of incremental testing due to the
complexity of this and the levels that follow.
Final testing draws the entire system together and likely uses oper-
ators of the same level of abilities the customer will use. Sometimes
the customer will require that the actual operating personnel be used
to completely test the system. Also, all the elements of the system are
used in ¬nal testing to ensure the system operates under the expected
operating loads. If there are discrepancies, they must be captured in
Discrepancy Reports (DRs) and dispositioned as Action Items (AIs) for
closure. Treat AIs the same way as with intermediate systems. Again,
run the ¬nal test a number of times before the customer arrives just to
make sure the system will run properly during the real ¬nal test.

Closure Stage
The Closure Stage will have begun at ¬nal test just as with the interme-
diate project. It is usually a part of the Closure Stage to ensure that all
the AIs are closed to the customer™s satisfaction. Then it™s time for
handover, the Final Report, and the ˜˜Lessons Learned™™ paper.
Wrap up the project by having the customer sign off acceptance of
the system. Once again, no matter what your internal procedures are,
it is a good idea to have the customer sign off for the same reasons as
before.



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Finally, write a Final Report that summarizes the project. The Final
Report usually goes to the customer and is ¬led internally. Addition-
ally, write a ˜˜Lessons Learned™™ paper. Keeping personal copies of these
papers will give you a library of things ˜˜to-do™™ and ˜˜not-to-do™™ in fu-
ture.
You have phased your people in and out as with the intermediate
project, so you should be down to a core team at this point.

A Program
In Chapter 4, I said that a program ˜˜is distinguished from a project by
the existence of a legal contract between the company and the cus-
tomer.™™ So, in order to lead a program, you need to add all the subject
areas of the Expert Skill Set to the knowledge you gained in the Basic
and Advanced Skill Sets. Because your customer is now outside the
company, we are no longer talking about a ˜˜slap on the wrist™™ if the
project does not go exactly right. Here we are talking about a legal
situation that, even if you win, will cost the company a signi¬cant sum
of money. You need to know what you are doing contractually. One
other very important task to be added to your responsibilities is that
you now have pro¬t and loss responsibility. I like to say that I have
pro¬t responsibility. I don™t know what loss responsibility is because
I™ve never had a losing program (ahem). OK, OK, OK (with apologies
to Joe Pesci), let™s take the pieces one by one.
As a consequence of these differences, you will need to add to your
competencies Business Considerations (29), Legal Considerations
(31), Customer Relations and Satisfaction (36), and Management Rela-
tions and Satisfaction (43), as well as a number of other related subject
areas.
Figure 9-6 shows the characteristics of a program. Comparing this
table to the tables presented for the other project and program types,
you can see where the differences lie at just a glance. (Some of these
may be contractual at the program level.)

Initiate Stage
In the earlier de¬nition and discussion of the Initiate Stage, I said that
a program is subdivided into three periods: the initiation phase, the
pursuit phase, and the capture phase. In this case our discussion begins
with the initiation phase. The initiation phase is the purview of the
customer whether it is a project or a program. The customer creates a



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Matching the Skill Sets to Projects and Programs


Figure 9-6. Program characteristics.
Tasks: Practically any task de¬ned by an
outside customer and awarded through
a legal contract.
Customer: The customer is outside the company. A
legal contract exists between the
customer and the company.
Value: Usually greater than $5,000,000.
Duration: Usually more than 1 year.
Risk Level: Moderate to high.
Complexity: Moderate to high.
Contract Type(s): Can be any of the basic contract types
for the overall contract. Some elements
of the overall contract may be different
types.
Number of People: Usually more than 10.
Disciplines: Multidisciplinary.
Schedule Tools: Software applications, including
enterprise software applications.
Accounting Base: Dollars through pro¬t.
Accounting Tools: Time cards/sheets, invoices. Usually
automated.
Organization Type: Matrix or projectized.
PM Reports to: Line manager or director and/or PMO.
Materials and Subcontracts: Identi¬ed, procured, accounted for, and
veri¬ed by program.
Quality: Ad hoc or assigned depending on size
and complexity.
Effectiveness: Ad hoc or assigned depending on size
and complexity.
Facilities and Equipment: Identi¬ed by program, provided by
company or, in some cases, the
customer.
Team Training: Involved. Several days. May include
customer.
Applicable Skill Set: Expert




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132 APPLYING YOUR SKILLS TO PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS


need, documents the requirement, and, in the case of a program, puts
the requirement up for bid. Marketing has identi¬ed and tracked the
program, and the program has been quali¬ed as a legitimate bid oppor-
tunity. As stated earlier, identifying opportunities is the purview of the
marketing department. You may or may not be involved in identifying
opportunities.
Once the requirement is issued however, the ˜˜troika™™ is estab-
lished (see Glossary). As program manager, you assist the assigned
marketer in tracking the new program. The marketer is primarily inter-
ested in the competition, the schedule for procurement release, the
winning price, and the politics of the procurement. The technical man-
ager is interested in the technology involved. If the enterprise has fol-
lowed the Technology Management (32) plan and provided ˜˜on-
ramps,™™ you should be able to slip into this technology easily. If not,
you may have a very dif¬cult time or it might be time to no-bid. If the
company has all the capabilities, including the technologies needed to
perform this program, ¬ne. If not, you may need to gain that knowledge
through Teaming & Partnering (37) activity. It is likely that the market-
ing representative will initiate this activity, but you really need to man-
age it. This may create some friction, but if you were thorough in your
Teaming & Partnering study, you will be able to handle it.
If all these factors are overcome, ¬ne. If not, here is where the con-
cepts of Value Management (27) come into play, and you must under-
stand the positions of management and marketing and how they
evaluate the position of this program. Why? Because it is possible that
the program will be identi¬ed and quali¬ed, and after the tracking pro-
cess is started, new information is unveiled that makes the program a
˜˜no-bid.™™ This is a very dif¬cult time in programs, because just as soon
as a program is identi¬ed to be tracked, it gains a personality. People
identify with the personality, right or wrong, and don™t want to let it
go. You will hear arguments like you™ve never heard before about why
you should continue with the bid process. Nevertheless, follow the pre-
cepts of value management and do what needs to be done.
When in a bid posture, you are primarily interested in the State-
ment of Work (SOW), the task to be accomplished, the people in-
volved, the performance schedule, and any unusual considerations of
any kind (programmatic, technical, or contractual). Notice that I used
the term ˜˜primarily interested.™™ This term is used to recognize the
primary focus of the individual, not the overall interest. In fact, you,



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Matching the Skill Sets to Projects and Programs


the marketer, and the technical person will each be interested in all
aspects of the entire program.
How long you track the program depends on when the opportunity
was identi¬ed and when the request will be issued. I have tracked some
programs for many months and some for only a day or two. You should
track the program long enough to present your capabilities to the cus-
tomer and to fully understand all the wants and needs of the customer,
plus any tidbits that may give you a competitive advantage.
During this time, you will be involved in making tactical alliances
and teaming arrangements if necessary. In a classical case, let™s assume
you make a teaming arrangement with a small software company that
has a unique product that meets a critical need to be included in the
request. Your marketer has been clever enough to ¬nd this company
and conduct teaming discussions. This small company will provide a
˜˜software kernel™™ around which you will wrap some entry and exit
paths and imbed this software into the overall software package for the
customer. You must monitor the process very carefully because there
are implications of infringement into the intellectual product of both
that company and the software your program develops. These issues
may well test your Legal Considerations (31). You decide the lawyers
need to be involved in drafting the teaming agreement. Both the mar-
keter and the technical person agree. Clearly, you have a need for un-
derstanding Marketing and Sales (38) and Business Considerations
(29).
Now your presentations to the customer involve not only you, but
your new teammate as well. You have a new capability set to offer the
customer. You continue these interfaces and data gathering until the
requirement is issued. Once the requirement is issued, the procure-
ment people get involved, and all contacts go to ˜˜arm™s length.™™ This
means that the technical and program people will only talk to you
through their procurement people. All these contacts are made ˜˜of¬-
cial™™ and are usually documented. This is the opportunity to under-
stand and put into practice Customer Relations and Satisfaction (36).
Once the requirement has been issued, you are ready to start the
proposal. Actually, the troika has been working with the Proposal Cen-
ter for several months. If this is a very large program, you will be work-
ing with the entire proposal core team long before the request is issued.
The Proposal Center must be kept apprised of the requirement and
its schedule”that is, the time when the requirement will be issued,
when the proposal is due, what the proposal size is to be, and every



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134 APPLYING YOUR SKILLS TO PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS


other detail you can think of. The Finance Of¬ce must be kept apprised
of the proposal needs as well. Your role will be challenged by how well
you learned and applied the Financial Management (25) subject area.
In fact, within twenty-four hours of when the request is received, you
should be able to issue all the needs of the proposal: the schedule,
section assignments, page allocations, the theme, and every other detail
necessary to get the proposal published and back to the customer, in-
cluding who delivers the proposal and when.
Your Proposals (39) training will have shown it is normal to treat a
large proposal as if it were a program with kickoff, execution, and clo-
sure. For a proposal of this size, you need to have a proposal kickoff.
You can assume that a person from the Proposal Center will be assigned
as the overall proposal manager and that you will lead the Management
Proposal and the Cost Proposal. A person assigned from the Finance
Of¬ce will provide the support necessary for the ¬nancial ˜˜boilerplate™™
and will ˜˜crunch™™ the numbers as they come in. It is necessary for you
to make sure the budgets are assigned and the numbers come in on
schedule and on budget. They won™t, so you™ll need to stay on top of
everyone that owes you cost data. The technical person (now the Chief
Engineer) leads the Technical Proposal.
The proposal writing will be in process for some time and include
the design of the product to meet the requirement, a review of the
design, a costing of the design, a redesign to meet the cost envelope,
and all the writing necessary. The drawings will pace the writing and
production.
The most critical part of any proposal is the costing process. You
need to know how to cost your part of the proposal and understand the
cost bases of the other contributors as well. Estimating (33) techniques
are required for your costs and for evaluating the cost inputs of others.
Finally, the writing is complete and the proposal will go through
editing, rewriting, incorporation of the drawings, and ultimately print-
ing. The marketing representative ¬‚ies all night to deliver all seven
boxes of the proposal to the customer just before the clock runs out.
The proposal phase is different and unique. Even though it is con-
ducted the same as a program, there are numerous nuances that you
must learn to conduct a proposal effort. Those details are outside the
scope of this book but the seminars mentioned in Chapter 6 provide
you with a base for participating on proposal teams until you gain the
experience to conduct one of your own.
The customer reviews your proposal and usually has a number of



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Matching the Skill Sets to Projects and Programs


questions to submit to you. This can, and frequently does, happen sev-
eral times during the proposal evaluation. In some cases, you may be
required to give an oral presentation and answer questions posed by
the customer™s evaluation team, in real time.
Finally, after iterations of questions and answers, the day comes.
The customer representative calls the general manager of your com-
pany and tells him or her of the award. If the contract is large enough,
the U.S. representative from your district calls the general manager
with the news ¬rst. Time for another party”no pizza this time!
The time for negotiations has been set. You show up with the mar-
keter, the chief engineer, a ¬nance representative, and a contracts man-
ager. After pleasantries, you get down to business. Then you discover
that these guys are serious! How you handle all this depends on what
you learned in the seminars you attended for Negotiations (40).
Finally, negotiations are complete, and you and your team return
to the of¬ce. Exhausted but happy, you take the next day off to get your
˜˜faculties back in mind™™2 and rejoin the human race.
You were lucky. You were a part of the Capture Team, so you know
what went on in the negotiations. Still, you need to document the ¬nd-
ings of the negotiations just to make sure everyone knows what the
program baseline is for Handoff (35).

Planning Stage
It™s time to call the core team together and get the planning under way.
The functional managers are ˜˜chomping at the bit™™ trying to get you to
put the people on the program (meaning on your charge number and
not their overhead), and you are trying to hold them off, but at the
same time hold on to the people you want. This is going to take some
diplomacy and maybe a few lunches. Get started. The objective is to
get a Program Plan completed and approved, bring the team on board,
provide team training, and have a kickoff for your team and for manage-
ment as soon as possible.
First, establish your Mission Statement. Convene the core team and
use the ˜˜Brainstorming Method™™ (Glossary) to create a Mission State-
ment with meaning to each and every one of you.
The Program Plan is the written instrument that summarizes and
references the requirements of the customer and the requirements of
the company to the team. It is the most important document you will
create, and it must contain, in a company con¬dential attachment, the



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136 APPLYING YOUR SKILLS TO PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS


understandings you have with management, such as follow-on sales
and pro¬t. These issues will have been covered when researching Man-
agement Relations and Satisfaction (43).
Have roundtable meetings with the contracts manager, the ¬nance
representative, the chief engineer, and the subcontracts manager; and
construct the framework for the Program Plan, then establish the Work
Breakdown Structure (WBS) and name the subcontracts involved. Re-
member, if you have an alliance, that™s the subcontract you want to nail
down before anything else.
Then create the Organization Chart. One of the questions for the
Organization Chart is where to put the alliance that was created. Are
they part of the ˜˜voting™™ organization and placed within the organiza-
tional structure? Or are they treated as a subcontractor and placed on
an extension below the primary organization chart? These questions
have political overtones and will have a bearing on how the overall
organization operates.
At this point, you can release the core team to return to their func-
tions and ˜˜farm out™™ various sections of the Program Plan, with speci¬c
instructions, just like what was done with the proposal. Each must
perform their functions and get back together quickly. Remember, this
is the plan and not the actual design or the actual subcontracts. You
need to maintain control to ensure the Program Plan process does not
exceed its bounds and slip into design or otherwise go off track. Once
you have the Program Plan established, together with the WBS and the
Organization Chart, you are ready to start bringing the people on board.
For lower-level projects, we used Earned Value Management (18)
techniques to understand project performance. We now need to add
more re¬ned techniques through the use of Metrics (26).
Larger programs imply more people and a concentrated workplace.
Here is where you need to make considerations of Health, Safety, Se-
curity & Environmental (28) factors of the workplace.
For training, bring everyone together. For a group this size, I rec-
ommend you have a warm-up to get everyone comfortable with every-
one else. You can do this and make some progress at the same time by
using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) program as described in
Chapter 8.
To get ready for a kickoff for this program, each group must put
together all the work packages for which it is responsible. The Work
Package has task, schedule, and budget, and should be a line item on
the overall program schedule. This is the level that should be presented



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Matching the Skill Sets to Projects and Programs


at the team kickoff. When presenting to management and to the cus-
tomer, present at the level required by the contract.
It is a good idea for a program such as this to formalize the kickoff
meeting. This means giving a stand-up presentation with visual aids.
The team presentation is a good preliminary run for the management
or customer presentation. By the way, if the management or customer
reviews are not required, you should still conduct a full-blown kickoff
meeting for a program of this size. In this case, you and the core team
are the reviewing authority.

Execution Stage
The Execution Stage for these programs includes a number of progres-
sive periods, and some of these periods are subdivided into even ¬ner
increments. In addition, there is some overlap between the periods as
well as with the phases. To complicate matters even further, you may
be going through a design period on one subsystem and the develop-
ment period with another subsystem. But that™s what keeps program
management interesting.
The Design Period will likely be subdivided into subsystem designs
and a system design. The system will likely have several design reviews
such as a Conceptual Design Review (Concept). The system and each
subsystem will have incremental design reviews, such as a Preliminary
Design Review (PDR), a Critical Design Review (CDR), and a Final
Design Review (FDR). Each is conducted in strict accordance with es-
tablished procedures. The chief engineer manages the reviews but you
must attend them all and be aware of all the details. Each period must
have Design & Development (30) considerations, and activities must
meet the ˜˜gates™™ established before proceeding any further. As each
design review is completed with the customer in attendance, you
should have the customer sign an acceptance sheet to attach to the
design package for your records. I have found it is essential to either
take notes myself or have a very trusted team member take them. These
include not only formal action items, but anything helpful in avoiding
problems or satisfying a customer. Each subsystem design review must
precede the equal system design review. In other words, all the subsys-
tem PDRs must be completed before the system PDR is conducted, and
so on. This assumes the subsystems are a part of the overall system. If
a subsystem is ˜˜outboard™™ of the main system, its design reviews can
be conducted independently. If that is confusing, consider that related



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138 APPLYING YOUR SKILLS TO PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS


systems and subsystems are sometimes collected together under the
aegis of one program. That™s what I am talking about here.
With a great number of people with diverse personalities and with
different technical and administrative objectives (read: agendas), you
are certain to encounter con¬‚ict somewhere along the path. This may
happen occasionally or frequently. How often it happens may well be a
re¬‚ection on how well you prepared the individuals as a team. Never-
theless, con¬‚icts will arise, and you must control them with the Con-
¬‚ict Management (41) techniques you learned to be a part of the
program.
In one form or another, programs of this size use Prototyping (34)
as a method of execution to get the product to market as soon as possi-
ble. Prototyping can be a great advantage or can blow up in your face.
As program manager, you must stay on top of any prototyping activities
that are going on and avoid disasters through forward thinking.
The Procurement Period will begin almost immediately after the
contract has been awarded. These procurements are a part of the design
in the proposal, and now it is time to get the ˜˜Best and Final™™ proposals
from the competitors. It is also time to ¬nalize any Teaming Agree-
ments you may have entered into during the Initial Stage. It is amazing
how your leverage increases with subs after you™ve won a contract.
Engineering writes the speci¬cations, the Program Of¬ce (that™s
you) writes the Statements of Work, and the Subcontract Manager
writes the Terms and Conditions (Ts & Cs). Subcontracts then go
through the accepted practices of advertising, proposal evaluation, and
award for the subcontracts outstanding.
As the design develops, engineering develops a materials list. This
is a ˜˜living list™™ and will be updated frequently. The Materials Manager
combines all the lists at the appropriate time and order for volume.
Here is where the (in)famous 80/20 rule comes into play. You
know, the one that says: ˜˜You spend the ¬rst 80 percent of the money
on the ¬rst 80 percent of the program and the next 80 percent of the
money on the last 20 percent of the program.™™ This is the point where
it starts to rear its head. Your job as program manager here will be a
constant state of ˜˜work arounds.™™ Whatever plan you had yesterday
needs to be modi¬ed today because something ˜˜doesn™t ¬t right.™™ This
period will try your problem-solving skills, and once again, you and
your chief engineer will be living in each other™s pockets.
You are a clever and hardworking person (ahem!) and you will man-



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Matching the Skill Sets to Projects and Programs


age to get through even this. Until you are challenged, you can™t really
understand what success is.
Testing is progressive, and its importance rises in visibility at this
point. The customer is apprised of system test schedules, and you pro-
vide the test procedures sometime before the test is to begin. The usual
process is to send out the test procedures about sixty to ninety days
before system test and allow thirty days for comments. When com-
ments begin to come back, you will ¬nd that some of the people who
have been sleeping for the last year are suddenly awake. They are asking
questions and making comments that are a year old. This is the point
where your ˜˜diplomatic self ™™ needs to come to the front. Handle these
comments as best you can. Refer back to the documentation you have
kept throughout the program to show your position. Sometimes even
this won™t work, and people become emotional. You need to handle
these emotional outbursts on a logical level. To say: ˜˜It™s not that we
won™t make the changes, it™s just that the change will cost X dollars
and Y months in the schedule™™ is the way you handle these issues.
Changes at this point are very expensive. I have seen programs go ber-
serk at this stage, and getting to agreement will test every ounce of
diplomatic, psychological, and technical skills you can muster. Don™t
be afraid to ask for help.
You have been leading your program team con¬dently, and when
you enter ¬nal system test, you are ready. The team is assembled, the
hardware and software have been successfully interfaced a number of
times. The procedures have been run, red-lined, rewritten, and rerun.
The customer is here, and you are ready for the ¬nal system test.
Even when everything runs well, there may be some minor glitches
that weren™t caught earlier, or the customer suddenly decides he wants
to see another aspect of the operation. These call for Action Items
(AIs). Document the anomalies or changes and work them off until
everyone is satis¬ed. All this must be kept in scope however. If not, the
change may present an opportunity for a contract expansion, Engineer-
ing Change Proposal (ECP) (Glossary), or follow-on work.

Closure Stage
You are ¬nally here. Now, it™s a mixture of emotions. On the one hand,
you™re glad it™s behind you, and it has been a successful program. On
the other hand, the team members are going their separate ways. You
have developed a close relationship with each of them, and they with



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140 APPLYING YOUR SKILLS TO PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS


you, over the life of the program. Now you have a retinue of folks who
will be glad to work with you on any program in the future. That™s a
great feeling!
The Closure Stage began during the testing phase to ensure that all
the AIs got documented and worked off. And they were. Now is the
time for handover to the customer.
There are some formal legal documents to sign for the system and
for the security equipment and software. The chief engineer, the con-
tracts manager, and you sign these documents. The system then be-
longs to the customer.
You have taken care of your people by ˜˜shedding™™ them at ap-
propriate times throughout the program. Early in the program, you
released the design engineers who completed their tasks. The Con¬gu-
ration Management (CM), quality, and Reliability, Maintainability and
Availability (RMA) people were just brought on for speci¬c tasks, and
you won™t need to worry about them. At this point, you should have
just enough people to get through the system test and perform the
wrap-up. You should be back to the core team again, just as when you
started. It™s a good time to have each member of the core team write
up their ˜˜Lessons Learned™™ paper and give them to you. Combine and
re¬ne the inputs and create a ¬nal ˜˜Lessons Learned™™ paper that you
turn over to your boss, and of course, keep a copy for yourself. Not only
for records purposes but for reminders of changes you can make to
processes and procedures when in a position to do so.
Now is a good time to write thank-you letters to all those who
participated in the program and letters of commendation for those who
did outstanding jobs. If you didn™t do this when it happened, you need
to do it now. Little things like photos of the ¬nal product in action are
greatly appreciated by the people and don™t cost a lot. One of the things
that you can use is a ˜˜Certi¬cate of Accomplishment™™ or the like. With
today™s computers and ten cents™ worth of certi¬cate material from the
local stationery store, you can create a handsome certi¬cate with appro-
priate lettering to acknowledge a person™s actions. I assure you, people
hang these on the wall. This investment will return tenfold on the next
program. You can bet these people will be willing to work with you on
the next job that comes down the pike.
You met all your cost and pro¬t objectives. The best part is that you
have given your customer a good product, you have given the company
a good pro¬t, and have created a good reputation for yourself, so you



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will go up a few notches when the next, larger program comes along.
That™s a good feeling, and that™s what it™s all about!

A Virtual Project or Program
The only thing in life that is constant is change! I don™t know who said
it ¬rst but it was probably on day two after Creation. Just when we
think we can play the game, they go and change the rules. As I said in
Chapter 3, projects and programs are becoming more and more virtual.
This project type is presented for several reasons: First, many projects
are now using this technique in some form. Second, the world of pure
software is moving more and more in this direction, and you may well
be confronted with a project of this sort. Third, you may want to add
this kind of thinking to some of your projects or programs at this point
in your career. Is this a better way to handle your subcontractors? Can
you use some of these techniques on your spread-out home campus to
increase ef¬ciency? To decrease costs? Virtual Projects are complex and
evolving. They will be the subject of many more books in the future.
The following however is intended only to show the differences be-
tween a virtual project and a traditional project.
Any virtual project needs three primary project tools to accomplish
the task. The ¬rst is a communications tool. The second is a project
management tool. The third is a construct tool.

Communications Tool. It is generally agreed in the virtual world that
e-mail is the quick reaction tool of choice for this task. However, a
virtual project of any size needs a ˜˜home™™ or ˜˜war room™™ where
the current status of the elements of the project can be seen, and a
˜˜water cooler™™ section for topics for discussion. Of course, each
project will have its own format and content dictated by the nature
of the project at hand. Whatever the format, this tool is the Web
site. It can be on an intranet, such as a company LAN, or an extra-
net, such as a company WAN, or the Internet.
Project Management Tool. There are several project management tools
available on the market that lend themselves to virtual projects
such as Microsoft Project, Primavera, and Project Scheduler. A gen-
eralized summary of the data in the tool can be presented on the
project Web site. The mechanics of the project management tool
will allow the project manager to keep up with the entire project in
a form normally used. Even though you can ˜˜parse™™ out the ele-
ments of the management tool, there is one thing that absolutely
must be common in a virtual project”that is, every function must



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142 APPLYING YOUR SKILLS TO PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS


˜˜sign up™™ to the task they are to perform. This is a normal function
during the teaming session, and the results should be posted on
the project Web site.
Technical Tool. Here™s where it gets tough. Is there a common tool
that all the technical people on the virtual project are familiar with
and can operate within? It depends. If the virtual project or program
is within one company, a multinational, for instance, it is possible
that a common set of tools will be used, because companies tend to
standardize on tools for economic and legal (licensing) reasons.
But, for a project that is put together by dissemination and bidding,
there is usually no way everyone will be using the same tools. Not
only will the tools be different, the languages will be different as
well. The emergence and re¬nement of the Java language is helping
to commonize these tools, but we are still a long way from a stan-
dard language or tools. Furthermore, hardware programs will prob-
ably use some basic tool such as CAD or AutoCad, while software
programs will likely use tools speci¬c to the task. The only way to
ensure that the tools are common is to specify the tools to be used.
This will likely be expensive to start but will most certainly save
money and time in the long run.

Figure 9-7 shows the characteristics of a virtual program. Comparing
this table with the tables presented for the other project and program
types, you can see where the differences lie at just a glance.

Planning Stage
The Planning Stage of this project is critical, even more so than on a
normal project or program. The communication and control of the en-
tire project must be thought through before the project is launched and
then presented in the Project Plan. The Project Plan must be written or
controlled such that it can be available to everyone and yet not expose
trade secrets to the competition. One of the best ways I know of to do
this is to establish a secure Web site. The level of security should be
consistent with the value of the data contained on the Web site. No
more, no less.
First, look around. Are there other projects that have been con-
ducted in your company using this method? If so, search out the project
plan used for that project and modify it to your needs. You should prob-
ably allow for more time than usual to develop your plan and to leave
time for more iterations. The most common characteristic of virtual
projects is that they are all a little different.



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Figure 9-7. Virtual project or program characteristics.
Tasks: Any task that requires geographically
separate work locations.
Customer: For a project: Follows the characteristics
of a large project. For a program:
Follows the characteristics of a program.
Value: Variable.*
Duration: Usually more than 1 year.
Risk Level: Moderate to very high.
Complexity: Moderate to very high.
Contract Type(s): If a project, no contract. If a program,
any type of contract with or without
incentive or award provisions.
Number of People: Usually more than 10.
Disciplines: Multidisciplinary.
Schedule Tools: Software applications compatible with
Internet transmission.
Accounting Base: If a project: hours. If a program: dollars.
Accounting Tools: May be disparate in that more than one
company is involved. Usually complex
and requires time for collection and
reconciling.
Organization Type: Matrix or projectized.
PM Reports to: Line manager or director and/or PMO.
Materials and Subcontracts: Identi¬ed, procured, accounted for, and
veri¬ed by program.
Quality: Ad hoc or assigned depending on size
and complexity.
Effectiveness: Ad hoc or assigned depending on size
and complexity.
Facilities and Equipment: Identi¬ed by program, provided by
affected company, or in some cases, the
customer.
Team Training: Involved. Several days. May include
customer.
Applicable Skill Set: Expert
*Becoming more and more common even for smaller tasks.




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The project plan for a virtual project must be comprehensive, thor-
ough, and thought through (read that sentence slowly). Everyone on
the team must know not only what he or she is doing but what every
other team member is doing as well. As I said earlier, each function
must sign up to their task, and that information must be available to
the entire team on the project Web site.
In this case, the team is dictated to you. The team is established
and the people and locations apprised of the need for support. Your job
begins by convening the group, making a team of them, and getting the
job done. This is the time and place for the team to meet and inter-
change electronically in the same way they would if they were meeting
face-to-face.
Training a virtual team is the same and different. It is the same in
that each person describes the inputs they need to do their job and the
expectations they have of others regarding inputs. It is different in that
it is not done in ˜˜real-time.™™ The nature of e-mail is that it is asynchro-
nous”that is, response is not immediate to the question. An exception
to this is made by the use of ˜˜chat rooms™™ to get everyone online at the
same time. In chat rooms, statements or questions and responses are
in near real-time.
Training begins by ˜˜broadcasting™™ all the necessary materials, such
as vision, Mission Statement, requirements, and documents to all the
team members and asking for comments. Resolve the comments and
go on to the team interfacing portion, where each team member states
their needs and expectations. A chat room environment is a good tool
to use if brainstorming is needed. You can set up a chat room at a
time most convenient to all the team members. Sometimes this is very
dif¬cult, especially if unions are involved (when it is noon here, it is
midnight somewhere else, and overtime may be required), and you
must also be sensitive to the observance of different cultural and reli-
gious days. This point will test your application of Social Sensitivity
(42). At any rate, set up your chat room and get on and off as quickly
as possible. Another method to use is a conference call. And ¬nally, a
video link can be used. Internet video linking currently gives marginal
results, but gets better all the time. Advances in compression technol-
ogy are re¬ning this mode, so it is a good idea to keep up with the latest
available.
Once all the training needs and issues have been met, they should
be captured and placed in a reference section of the project Web site for
future reference.



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You will likely need to provide absolute assurance to your manage-
ment that your virtual project is ready to kick off. But before proceed-
ing, be sure that management concurs with all the objectives, goals,
strategies, schedules, and so on. Conduct your kickoff electronically
exactly as you would in a face-to-face situation. Once launched, virtual
projects are much more dif¬cult and confusing to change than tradi-
tional projects. When the project is launched, announce to the other
team members that they may now charge to the Execution Stage of this
project.

Execution Stage
The Execution Stage of this project is accomplished in a very traditional
manner”that is, design is completed before coding begins. The prod-
uct is tested, and the process iterated as necessary. Granted, your proj-
ect may not be conducted in this manner but the purpose in this section
is to show differences between traditional and virtual project”not to
make life harder!
Techniques such as rapid prototyping, build-a-little/test-a-little,
peer review, and code exchange should be emphasized to enhance the
probability of success.
The major dif¬culty you will face in the Execution Stage is, once
again, communication. In this case (and this is quite common) the cod-
ing is done in a ˜˜tank™™ full of people. Your communication is through
the local project supervisor only”he or she may be the only one who
speaks your language. Using some of the techniques recommended
above will help overcome this situation.
Sometimes the gain in labor costs is offset by the cost of rework, so
be very careful and most explicit in your directions.

Closure Stage
The important part of the Closure Stage is delivering the product and
all of its documentation. Further, a ¬nal report and especially a ˜˜Les-
sons Learned™™ paper are in order. This is particularly true if this is the
¬rst such project conducted in your company, or the ¬rst one you have
led, or there was something else unusual about it.
One of the neat things about a project such as this is that the people
just fade away. You don™t need to worry about sending them back to
their home units because they never left in the ¬rst place. However, a
few words of caution: Make certain that the product has been accepted



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146 APPLYING YOUR SKILLS TO PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS


by the customer before closing the project. It can be extremely expen-
sive to try to restart a project such as this.

An International Program
An international program is a different kind of beast. An international
program should be led only by a program manager speci¬cally trained
or with speci¬c experience in international programs. Additionally, the
program manager should be aware of the speci¬c rules required by his
or her own country when dealing with the customer™s country and the
speci¬c rules that apply to this program in the customer™s country. It is
likely that they will not be the same.
An international program follows the same precepts as a regular
program insofar as the de¬nitions are concerned. But the devil, as they
say, is in the details.
Figure 9-8 shows the characteristics of an international program.
Comparing this table to the tables presented for the other project and
program types, you can see where the differences lie at just a glance.

Initiate Stage
The Initiate Stage follows the same guidelines as for the normal pro-
gram except that the Initiate Stage is usually longer, a lot longer, and
is usually handled primarily by an in-country marketing representative
or agent. The expense of international travel is a real factor in pursuing
these kinds of programs.
As stated earlier, identifying opportunities is usually the purview
of the marketing department, in this case, the in-country marketing
representative or agent. The in-country marketing representative usu-
ally lives with the customer and understands the cultural nuances as
well as the special considerations of the customer™s procurement pro-
cesses. We will likely not be involved in identifying opportunities.
Once a program has been identi¬ed and selected is where the
˜˜troika™™ is established, just as in a regular program. The primary differ-
ence is that the marketer will be ˜˜in country™™ or living with the cus-
tomer, and the program manager and technical manager will stay
CONUS (i.e., the continental United States). As program manager, you
will assist the assigned marketer in tracking the new program. The
marketer is primarily interested in the competition, the schedule for
procurement release, the winning price, and the politics of the procure-
ment. You, on the other hand, are primarily interested in the Statement



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Figure 9-8. International program characteristics.
Tasks: Any task that requires delivery of the
product to an overseas location.

Customer: For a project: Follows the characteristics
of a large project. For a program:
Follows the characteristics of a program.

Value: Usually greater than $5,000,000.

Duration: Usually more than 1 year.

Risk Level: Moderate to very high.

Complexity: Moderate to very high.

Contract Type(s): Any of the basic contract types plus
international letters of credit with draw-
down provisions.

Number of People: Usually more than 10.

Disciplines: Multidisciplinary.

Schedule Tools: Software applications compatible with
Internet transmission.

Accounting Base: Time cards/sheets, invoices,
international clearinghouse invoices.
Payment may be in customer currency,
provider currency, third-party currency,
or in bartered goods as agreed to in the
contract.

Accounting Tools: Direct payment, payment through in-
country agents, or international bank
accountability, or a combination of
means.

Organization Type: Matrix or projectized.

PM Reports to: Line manager or director and/or PMO.

(continues)




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148 APPLYING YOUR SKILLS TO PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS


Figure 9-8. (Continued).
Materials and Subcontracts: Identi¬ed, procured, accounted for, and
veri¬ed by program. May be purchased
internationally and drop shipped or trans
shipped.

Quality: Ad hoc or assigned.

Effectiveness: Ad hoc or assigned.

Facilities and Equipment: Usually de¬ned by the program and
provided by the company.

Team Training: Same as program but usually does not
include the customer.

Applicable Skill Set: Specialty


of Work (SOW), the task to be accomplished, the people involved, the
performance schedule, and any unusual considerations of any kind
(programmatic, technical, or contractual). The technical person is pri-
marily interested in the speci¬cation for the product, just the same as
in a normal program.
How long you track the program depends on when the opportunity
was identi¬ed and when the request is issued, but you can expect that
the tracking period will be over a long time. How the requirement is
conceived and how it develops are two of the unusual things that hap-
pen in international programs. If alliances develop, your understanding
of Teaming and Partnering (37), Business Considerations (29), and
Marketing and Sales (38), as well as a number of other subject areas,
will be tested.
Now your presentations to the customer take on a new ¬‚air. Your
teammate will be involved in your presentations even if by name only.
You must be extremely careful with this type of arrangement. The alli-
ance partner will know that he has been demanded by the customer
and will likely act accordingly. In other words, you may well lose your
prime/sub leverage.
After the requirement is issued, you are ready to start the proposal.
This will be a moderately sized proposal but follows essentially the
same path as the other program proposals. Sometimes, the price is dic-
tated by the customer, and you need to ¬gure out how to meet the



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needs of the requirement as well as making the price work. This is
called a ˜˜design to cost™™ program. It is necessary for you to make sure
the budgets are assigned and the numbers come in on schedule and on
budget. Of course they won™t, so you need to stay on top of everyone
that owes you cost data.
During this time, the in-country marketing representative will have
been working the payment schemes. It is not unusual in international
procurements to be paid in the currency of the country with which you
are doing business. Now, you may be thinking, ˜˜So what? I can ex-
change dinars or ryals for dollars almost anywhere.™™ Yes, that™s true,
but what if you are being paid in lumber? Specialists will need to ¬gure
out the bartering arrangements to get to dollars; it may take several
˜˜trades.™™ When you ¬nally do get to some recognized currency, you
will likely need insurance to ˜˜hedge™™ the exchange rate. In some tech-
nology areas, the U.S. Defense Department or State Department will
have regulations on what technology can be exported or what can not.
It™s worth knowing if this is a possible barrier before investing too
much. See what I mean about the ˜˜nuances™™ of international pro-
grams?
You will likely send the proposal through a recognized interna-
tional, rapid-delivery service to the in-country marketing representa-
tive. The rep will hand-carry the proposal to the customer with some
amount of ceremony and a cup of tea. The in-country representative
uses this opportunity for another interface meeting. The customer may
evaluate the proposal or it may be a fait accompli. After some period of
time, you will get a ˜˜turn on™™ for the task.
The negotiation will likely be handled by the in-country marketing
representative with questions being sent to you via email or fax. Have
the team answer the questions and return the answers using the same
medium. Often you will need to convene the support team at unusual
times because of the time differences between the host country and the
providing country.
Hopefully, you were a part of the Capture Team and on top of the
procurement every moment so you know what went on in the negotia-
tions. You need to work with the in-country representative to docu-
ment the ¬ndings of the negotiations just to make sure everyone knows
what the program baseline is.

Planning Stage
The Planning Stage follows the same general path as a standard pro-
gram. The objective is to get a Program Plan completed and approved,



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150 APPLYING YOUR SKILLS TO PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS


bring the team on board, provide team training, and have a kickoff for
your team and for management as soon as possible.
This Program Plan has a few hard points that need mentioning.
The hard points usually are: customer meetings, transportation, drop
shipment, port handling, taxes, fees, cartage and drayage, and local
labor. Leave plenty of time in your schedule for these activities because
very few other countries in the world have the same sense of schedule
urgency as the English-speaking countries, with the possible exception
of some European countries. Dock waits and customs can be program
killers, and you will probably need an in-country agent (frequently dif-
ferent from the marketing representative) to make these things
happen.
Have roundtable meetings with the contracts manager, the ¬nance
representative, the chief engineer, the subcontracts manager, and the
in-country representative, and construct the framework for the Pro-
gram Plan. Then, establish the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and
name the subcontracts to be involved. Remember, you have an alliance,
and that™s the subcontract you want to nail down before anything else.
Then you want to create the Organization Chart. One of the questions
for the Organization Chart is where to put the alliance that was created.
All this will test your knowledge of Structures (14), Organization (19),
Teaming & Partnering (37), and Negotiation (40), at least.
Once you have the Program Plan established, together with the
WBS and the Organization Chart, you are ready to start bringing the
people on board.
In the case of this task, your major team members will be dedicated
but your program will not be projectized.
For training, follow the details of a program.
The kickoff for an international program is handled in the same
way as a standard program. If possible, have a customer representative
and the in-country representative attend the kickoff and let them un-
derstand where the hard spots and milestones are in the program.

Execution Stage
As the ˜˜honeymoon period™™ fades, this program will likely have more
problems than in a standard program, mainly because of the distance
problem. A technique I have used to minimize the distance problem is
to provide photographs with the monthly reports to the customer. This
gives the customer something ˜˜nearly tangible™™ to hold on to and not



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feel left out of the process. Nevertheless, as you near the end of the
program, the customer realizes he will be accepting this ˜˜thing™™ and
will be responsible for it from here on. Questions and comments that
should have been asked and answered in the design reviews and status
meetings will suddenly take on a new level of intensity. Your position
must be to document everything throughout the various periods so
that, when this happens, you are ready.
Your design period follows the same sequences and requirements
as the standard program.
The procurement period begins almost immediately after. It is also
time to ¬nalize the Teaming Agreement. Pay special attention to the
international procurements and to drop shipping and trans shipping.
There may be special considerations for the procurements where
the products will be produced in one country, shipped here, and inte-
grated into the product that will be delivered to your customer in yet a
third country. You and your procurement specialists will have a jolly
good time working out all the import/export and use agreements, but
this is fun stuff!
The implementation period comes next. When dealing with materi-
als and software that are procured internationally, things that work
well alone don™t always interface properly, even when all the design
interfaces and Interface Control Documents (ICDs) are followed. Many
things happen, and some require signi¬cant rework and retest. All that
of course takes time.
Your job as program manager here will be a constant state of ˜˜work
arounds.™™ Whatever plan you had yesterday needs to be modi¬ed today
because something ˜˜doesn™t ¬t right.™™ This period will try your prob-
lem-solving skills, and once again, you and your chief engineer will be
living in each other™s pockets.
The testing period really goes on throughout the entire program.
Component tests, subassembly tests, and subsystem tests have been
going on since early in the program. You and the chief engineer will
constantly stay in contact with the test engineer to ensure that there is
a lineage of tests and they are all accounted for.
Testing is progressive and incremental, and its importance rises in
visibility at this point. As in standard programs, you apprise the cus-
tomer of system test schedules and provide the test procedures some
time before the test is to begin.
On international programs, a funny thing frequently happens about
this time. The customer representative that was sent to witness the



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152 APPLYING YOUR SKILLS TO PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS


tests has some personal likes of his own. He wants you to change from
what was speci¬ed to what he likes. This is a time when your ˜˜diplo-
matic self ™™ needs to come to the front. Handle these comments as best
you can. Refer to the documentation you have kept throughout the
program to show your position. Sometimes even this will not work,
and people get emotional. On international programs you may need
to make critical decisions at this point. Because there will be political
overtones, don™t be afraid to ask for help.
As in previous programs, you have been leading your program care-
fully, and when you enter ¬nal system test, you are ready. The proce-
dures have been run, red-lined, rewritten, and rerun. The customer is
here, and you are ready for the ¬nal system test.
Document the anomalies or changes and work them off until every-
one is satis¬ed. As before, all this must be in scope.
Now is the time to ship to the customer. It is necessary to get the
units to a point of embarkation, on the ships or airplanes and trans-
ported to the customer™s country. Now is when the in-country agent
becomes worth his weight in gold. You need to move the units from
the port to the delivery point. Duties need to be paid, and, in some
cases, local contracts and ˜˜accommodations™™ are required. You have
been isolated from all this by your agent. The agent does this every day,
and it is within his operating methods to do so.
You may send members of your staff to the customer™s country to
retest the units and ensure that you are delivering a compliant product
to the customer. All is well. The customer is satis¬ed, and the in-coun-
try representative is overjoyed. This gives him something to point to
with pride whenever visiting the customer and will likely lead to more
business. After all, that™s why we do what we do!

Closure Stage
There are some formal, legal documents to sign for the system, usually
more than the norm. You, the chief engineer, and the contracts man-
ager (and maybe the security person) will sign these documents, and
the system belongs to the customer. Some of the documents must be
sent to the Department of State or other high-level agencies to close
out the program.
As usual, take care of your people by ˜˜shedding™™ them at appro-
priate times throughout the program. It™s a good time to have each
team member write up their ˜˜Lessons Learned™™ and give them to you.



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153
Matching the Skill Sets to Projects and Programs


Combine and re¬ne the inputs, create a ¬nal ˜˜Lessons Learned™™ paper,
turn it over to your boss, and save a copy for your own ¬les for later
use.
Now is a good time to write thank-you letters to all those who
participated in the program and letters of commendation for those who
did outstanding jobs. If you didn™t do this when it happened, you need
to do it now. You can bet these people will be willing to work with you
on the next job that comes down the pike.
You met all your cost and pro¬t objectives even though it was touch
and go for most of the program. You made some real-time judgments
that reduced cost without impacting the product. Best of all you have
given your customer a good product, you have given the company a
good pro¬t, and you have created a good reputation for yourself, so you
will go up a few notches when the next, larger program comes along.
That™s a good feeling and it will stay with you for a long time.

A Large-Scale Project or Program
This is the one you™ve been waiting and training for. This is as good as
it gets. Based on your performance on the last program you led, you™re
now ready for the big one. Now, instead of having a bunch of little
problems plaguing you, you have a bunch of big problems plaguing
you! We are talking about a large-scale program here”large-scale proj-
ects are few and far between and are almost exclusively the purview of
the federal or at least the state government directly as a project or indi-
rectly through contract as a program.
Even though your job is primarily a task of managing managers,
you still have to sweat the small stuff. One small integrated circuit
problem by a sub-sub-contractor can stop your entire program”dead
in the water.
Figure 9-9 shows the characteristics of a large-scale program. Com-
paring this table to the tables presented for the other project and pro-
gram types, you can see where the differences lie at just a glance.

Initiate Stage
The big difference between a program and a large-scale program in the
Initiate Stage is that the Capture Team for a large-scale program is not
only larger but also contains more disciplines. Frequently in a large-
scale program, the proposal is nearly ¬nished before the requirement
is issued. The requirement may be in the form of a Request For Pro-



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154 APPLYING YOUR SKILLS TO PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS


Figure 9-9. Large-scale project or program characteristics.
Tasks: A large-scale system.

Customer: For a project”Follows the
characteristics of a large project. For a
program: Follows the characteristics of a
program.

Value: Usually greater than $25,000,000.

Duration: Usually more than 2 years.

Risk Level: Moderate to very high.

Complexity: Moderate to very high.

Contract Type(s): Any combination of contract types.
Frequently a mix.

Number of People: Usually more than 50.

Disciplines: Multidisciplinary.

Schedule Tools: Enterprise-level automated software.

Accounting Base: Dollars.

Accounting Tools: Time cards/sheets, invoices. Will use a
common, company-wide tool and is
usually automated.

Organization Type: Projectized but may draw upon
specialists from other organizations.

PM Reports to: Division General Manager or Group
President, etc.

Materials and Subcontracts: Identi¬ed, procured, accounted for, and
veri¬ed by program.

Quality: Assigned.

Effectiveness: Assigned.




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Facilities and Equipment: Identi¬ed by the program. May be
provided by parent company, purchased
to support the program, provided by the
customer, or a mixture of all three.

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