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Importance of program health checks
 

Importance of program health checks

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This presentation highlights the differences between program health checks and program audits, the factors that influence the choice between internal staff and external consultants to execute the ...

This presentation highlights the differences between program health checks and program audits, the factors that influence the choice between internal staff and external consultants to execute the program health check, and the dimensions on which these assessments are done.

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    Importance of program health checks Importance of program health checks Presentation Transcript

    • Introduction:• Organizations may view program health checks as unnecessary expenses, especially when thereare program audits that are performed and when program execution appears smooth.• Program teams are at times focused on operational details and could fail to recognize risks andissues. Independently done, program health checks ensure that the program is run effectively andthe progress is smooth as envisaged in the plan.• Therefore, all critical programs should be put through a health check process. By their verynature, these health check exercises unearth risks early.• Taking necessary corrective action early would help organizations manage these programs betterthan trying to salvage projects that run in a crisis mode.• This paper highlights the differences between program health checks and program audits, thefactors that influence the choice between internal staff and external consultants to execute theprogram health check, and the dimensions on which these assessments are done.
    • How Health Checks are different from Program Audits :Program health checks prima facie appear similar to program audits, but these are complementaryservices. The table below highlights some of the subtle nuances between the two exercises:
    • How Health Checks are different from Program Audits :
    • How Health Checks are different from Program Audits :
    • Program Health Check Execution – Internal Staff versus ExternalConsultant:• Organizations need to resolve this issue upfront – whether they use existing internal staff orengage external consultants to conduct this exercise.• While internal staff understand the organization culture well and are acquainted with the systemsand processes for data collection, they would also have their biases and preferences.• External consultants on the other hand can be expected to bring best practices / learning fromother engagements and a structured methodology besides a comfort factor where projectpersonnel can be free when expressing their views during interviews.
    • Dimensions :The Project Management Book of Knowledge* provides a comprehensive framework for projectexecution. A program / project health check should encompass addressing various domain areasincluding:• Project set up and planning• Project scope• Project schedule and costs• Project resourcing• Project communication and reporting• Project risk management• Stakeholders, vendors and benefits management
    • Conclusion:Every complex program encounters problems that are seemingly out of control of the programmanagement team. Some of the telltale signs include schedule slippages that cannot be resolved;increasing effort spent on issue resolution and reduced productivity. Program health checks focuson diagnosing such problems, identifying the causes that produce seemingly unrelated problemsand suggesting remedial actions. A health check exercise executed with appropriate diligence canhelp avoid projects getting into distress mode, by taking early corrective action