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Strategic Program Management Concepts

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Please help me develop a 2,500-3,000-word paper in which you develop a program management plan for The Foundation Schools to realize its strategy objectives. Remember that your solution needs to focus on the strategic program management concepts. Be sure to incorporate appropriate citations from your readings and research.

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Below and attached are the answers (same answers in 2 different formats) to your questions on the Foundation Schools, Strategic Program Management Concepts. Remember that this is a study guide and to use it as such. You still need to put your assignment in your own words. You can summarize, and paraphrase the information to fit your needs but I would advise that you do not turn it in word for word as your own work or you risk plagiarism. Good luck with your studies!

OTA # 105428

Problem Solution: Foundation Schools

The challenges of today's business management arena are legion. Effective managers must carefully and accurately analyze each situation, diagnose the correct problem and proceed to apply the correct solution to help their organizations grow. In today's challenge-wrought environment managers and the business organizations under their leadership have to devise and execute complex critical organizational strategies. Executing these strategies is essential to the healthy growth of all organizations, and program management is the essential tool that can ensure the proper execution of the critical strategies that achieve organizational growth.
Successful program management involves choosing projects that support the organization's strategic intents in order of their importance to these strategic intents. Effective implementation of projects/programs involves the use of both technical and social expertise. Project managers must plan and budget projects and secure and coordinate the contributions of the project/program's team members (Gray & Larson, 2006).
Program management by definition is about pinpointing, qualifying, and dedicating time and resources to projects / programs that focus on the business strategy. More than that, however, program managers accomplish this by measuring organizational resource demand, capacity, capability, and performance to ensure that projects / programs are collectively meeting the business strategy. Measuring these factors allows project managers to identify and adjust projects / programs that are not meeting business objectives and commitments. Finally project managers ensure that projects/programs are meeting organizational objectives by setting up effective communication and reporting systems that allow timely decision making that is based on up-to-the-minute facts about projects, and the overall programs. This way project/program mangers can ensure that they can continually improve the project / program to adjust to the changing needs of the organization (Ciliberti, 2005l).
This paper will analyze the situation, opportunities and challenges of Foundation Schools identifying the underlying problems with the schools' program management practices using the 9-step problem solving model. The end-state goals and the proposed alternatives will help Foundation Schools to improve its program management practices, giving the school a sustained ability to mange its planned growth.

Describe the Situation

Issue and Opportunity Identification

Foundation Schools is the largest provider of special needs education in the United States, but the organization is currently faced with some issues that challenge its further growth. The school has the opportunity to implement a new strategy that uses business development as the model to increase funding sources and revenues. The three-year strategic program plan includes a number of new projects to help realize this new vision. The first year of the plan has just been completed and is slated for Board review. The issues are that Foundation Schools board needs to define scope of the program, be certain that it has the support of the entire organization behind the program, and have a good project management structure that balances the needs of Foundation Schools and the project by defining the boundaries between the project and the school in terms of authority, allocation of resources, and eventual integration of project results into mainstream operations. Furthermore the board needs to establish project priorities and make certain that each level of the organization has the amount of detail it needs to make the program a successful one (Gray & Larson, 2006).

Table 1
Issue and Opportunity Identification
Issue Opportunity Reference to Specific
Course Concept
(Include citation) Concept
Foundation Schools' board needs a comprehensive analysis of the status and impact of their projects. Through defining their programs' scope Foundation Schools' board can ensure the projects are providing Foundation Schools with the benefits in their program plan and that said benefits are in their financial and operating forecasts. The main aim in defining the program's scope is to define as clearly as possible the deliverable(s) for the end user and to focus project plans. Studies indicate a strong link between clear scope definition and program success. The scope document helps focus efforts on the project/program's purpose throughout its duration for the customer and project participants.
(Gray & Larson, 2006, Chapter 4, pg # 100) Defining the Project Scope
The Board needs to develop a process flow for Foundation Schools' Strategic Program Process, and a revised Program Status Report Through developing a sound project management system Foundations Schools' board can gain new clarity on how the organization will manage its strategic program plan. A project management system supplies a structure for the introduction and implementation of project actions in an organization. A good system balances the needs of both the organization and the project/program appropriately through defining the line of demarcation between the project/program and the organization in terms of authority, distribution of resources, and ultimate integration of project/program results into mainstream operations (Gray & Larson, 2006, Chapter 3, pg # 55) Project Management Structures
Some of the board's program initiatives such as the proposal to adopt a performance-based incentive pay plan run somewhat contrary to the school's entrenched culture, which is more focused on service to the community, contrary to the new business-focused board initiatives.
The newer board members have the opportunity to become more familiar with Foundation Schools' culture so they can get past cultural resistance and implement the performance based pay system and other program objectives. Organizational culture defines the rules for getting along and getting ahead in an organization. Project managers must be sensitive to the organization's culture so they can introduce strategies and responses such as rewards and incentives that stakeholders can understand and readily accept. Sensitivity to the organization's culture also helps project mangers avoid breaking key norms that could endanger their effectiveness in the organization (Gray & Larson, 2006, Chapter 3, pg # 80) Implications of Organizational Culture for Organizing Projects
Foundation Schools' program manager has not established priorities for the new board program. Foundation Schools' program manager has the opportunity to put the program back on track by prioritizing the program's key elements: scope (scale back the revenue expectations); budget (scale back expectations of lowering facilities costs); time (make it a five-year plan instead of a three-year one). To achieve success, a project manager must make compromises among the budget, schedule, and scope of the project. To establish project priorities "project managers must define and understand the nature of the priorities of the project. They need to have a candid discussion with the project customer and upper management to establish the relative importance of each criterion (Gray & Larson, 2006, Chapter 4, pg # 103)." Establishing Project Priorities
The level of detail in the program manager's report for the Foundation Schools board meeting fell short of what the board members needed to know about the progress of the strategic program plan. The program manager has opportunity to provide each level of the organization with the amount of detail required to make the program a successful one. A ...

Solution Summary

This is a description of Strategic Program Management Concepts in relation to a 9-step problem solution for Foundation Schools, a fictitious organization.