Posted by: kerrywills | March 21, 2014

Evolution of Program Stability

I have run many programs and been dropped into many and they all seem to be in various degrees of stability. I was thinking the other day on the car ride home from work about this and came up with an evolution scale for stability. Here is what I was thinking about…

  1. Chaos – This is when programs don’t have clear scope, plans are not solidified, resources are not all on-board and there are many outstanding actions/issues/risks that are not being addressed
  2. Structure – Whether it is starting up a new program or re-evaluating an existing one, the first critical step is to set up structure. This can include organizing the work into projects, identifying the team structure, crafting plans and aligning resources to them
  3. Transparency – Once there is structure in place, the program can then show insights against that structure – including scope of work, timing of work, milestones, cost, and outstanding risks/issues
  4. Manage/Control – This means tracking against milestones, reporting progress, and setting up processes such as change control and work intake


These steps may seem obvious but I often times see programs that don’t have a solid structure, are lacking transparency of work and do not manage against the structure well. It’s like a big game of “chutes and ladders” because without having steps 2-4, you will ultimately wind up back in step 1 (chaos).

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