I'm working on a set of Essential Views for program performance management. These views are the leading indicators of a programs cost, schedule and technical performance measures needed to Keep the Prorgram GREEN. The sponsor of this effort is a DoD office through a think tank. The result will be better assessment of large and complex programs once the concepts have been vetted and reach the field.
The basis of the Essential Views is to make use of lagging indicators of Earned Value Management, with Technical Performance Measures, Measures of Effectiveness, Measures of Performance, and Key Performance Parameters. All are needed to construct the Essential View that is a leading indicator.
These indicators start with knowing the needed capabilities of the outcomes from the program. The fundamental question that must be answered at this level is
Are we accomplishing the mission?
For commercial projects, the question would be Are we providing the needed capabilities to meet the business goals?
To discover the needed capabilities we need to:
- Define the mission (or business need)
- Identify capabilities required to fulfill that mission or business need
- Determine the attributes / standards of the capabilities
- Identify gaps
- Assess operational risk associated with the gaps
- Prioritize the gaps; identify and assess potential non-materiel solutions
- Provide recommendations for addressing the gaps
These activities need to be based on some strategic guidance. For business this can be the Balanced Scorecard. For DOD it is the National Security Strategy.
With this strategy - business or defense - the needed capabilities can be defined in Measures of Effectiveness. This notion provides a solution to the ill-posed problems of any real system.
With statements of needed capability, technical and operational requirements can be developed or discovered. In the traditional development paradigm, requirements are flowed down from the Capabilities Based Analysis. In the agile world, requirements can emerge while maintaining the boundaries around the needed capabilities. If these boundaries change, a re-assessment of the capabilities needs to change.