Planning plus strategy brings business value

Craig Couch_062215.jpgBy Craig Couch, PMP, project manager

Ulteig’s project management team has developed a reputation for consistently delivering value and high performance results via client intimacy. We manage complex projects spanning a spectrum of markets, including electric power utilities, renewable energy, communications and government. More than 95% of our nearly 1,100 projects are managed by this team of highly skilled and technically competent project managers.

Ulteig has developed comprehensive project management service offerings to leverage our in-house expertise and duplicate this value for our clients’ projects. Now, we are expanding our project management offerings by adding Program Management Services to our extensive array of client solutions.

Successfully realizing business value begins with comprehensive planning aligned with organizational strategy. We are keenly aware of the importance of managing the competing constraints of scope, schedule, cost and quality for delivering successful projects. We also understand programs require unique processes and management techniques to optimize objectives, schedules, dependencies, resources and risks.

PMO-Program-management-082015.jpgAs Figure 1 illustrates, by focusing on project interdependencies and working closely with our clients to align and integrate multiple projects with their organizational strategic objectives and on-going operations, Ulteig drives greater efficiencies and enhanced value for client projects and program investment portfolios.

Our approach to program management emphasizes consistency and control. Our program management team is structured to leverage our unique capabilities to provide maximum efficiency and cost optimization to clients. Our process-driven philosophy, rooted in tried and tested industry best practices, allows us to achieve an unparalleled level of project governance and control which yield consistent dependable outcomes.

Ulteig’s program management team is led by a senior program manager who serves as the leadership representative throughout the program life cycle. The senior program manager works with each project manager to provide support and guidance on individual projects as well as key internal and external stakeholders.

A project manager is assigned to each subproject and is responsible for the successful execution of the deliverables of the project, as well as the overall success of the project. A project coordinator works collaboratively with the program management team to ensure all project management reporting, subcontracting, administration and document control are executed in a seamless fashion. A project scheduler rounds out the program management team and is responsible for all scheduling and cost reporting requirements.

The program management process we employ is built using proven and accepted industry standards developed by the Project Management Institute (PMI) and defined within The Standard for Program Management - 3rd Edition. This methodology recognizes and exploits the long-term iterative and cyclical nature of programs and integrative nature of program management processes, which must be highly coordinated between program components and organizational strategy.

PMO-Program-domains-082015.jpgThis methodology is characterized by five distinct program management performance domains: Program Strategy Alignment, Program Benefits Management, Program Stakeholder Engagement, Program Governance, and Program Life Cycle Management, as shown in Figure 2.

Working within this methodology, our program management team, in conjunction with an appointed Program Governance Board, uses strategic visioning and planning skills to align program goals with the long-term goals of our clients. Project managers employ traditional project life cycle management techniques of initiating, planning, executing, controlling and closing to lead and direct work on their subprojects, while the senior program manager ensures the alignment of the individual plans with the program’s goals and imperatives in support of the achievement of the client’s organizational strategy.

Ulteig’s program management team collaborates frequently throughout the program life cycle with key stakeholders to develop and execute plans within each program management performance domains. We are dedicated to delivering the highest degree of value to our clients, with strategic value provided through general and comprehensive solutions such as:

  • Optimized cost through application of total value management
  • Industry proven best practices and processes
  • Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) resources who are diverse and experienced
  • Efficient management of projects based on a holistic project management approach
  • Improved on-time delivery of project deliverables through intensive programmatic oversight
  • Reduced risk achieved through upfront project planning and continuous mitigation steps

Further value is realized via project specific solutions, including:

  • Subcontractor management
  • Collaborative relationship management
  • Clear and concise communication
  • Clear roles and responsibilities
  • Alignment of project stakeholders
  • Thorough scope definition
  • Accurate costing
  • Schedule expectation achievement
  • Rapid project initiation
  • Disciplined change control
  • Timely RFI management
  • Proactive action item management
  • Targeted progress meetings
  • Concise reporting
  • Convenient document control
  • First-time quality assurance and quality control
  • Lessons-learned capture and application

Craig Couch, PMP, is a project manager in Ulteig's Project Management Office, based in Missoula, Mont.