Activity 3.1

Collaborative Planning MethodologyStep 3: Define and Plan

Activity 3.1: Formalize Collaborative Planning Team and Launch Planning

Step 3 begins with the formation of the collaborative planning team. The collaborative planning team is a working level body of individuals that represent and can make decisions on behalf of the key stakeholder groups. Additionally, the collaborative planning team includes planners themselves. The collaborative planning team is an important group, as these representatives will guide the development of the planning in Step 3. During this activity, the sponsor solicits key personnel from each affected stakeholder group to form the collaborative planning team that will remain as a standing body throughout the planning process. The formation of the collaborative planning team includes the development of the charter that bonds the team members into active and constructive participation throughout the planning process. The charter formalizes the team’s participation in developing the integrated plan in the context of the purpose statement crafted by the sponsor.

Lastly, this activity is intended to start the planning off on a solid project management foundation. This activity includes guidance for developing the project plan and communication strategy; both will be used throughout the planning process.

The following visual illustrates the tasks within this activity.



Identify Collaborative Planning Team Members

It is important to educate the sponsor on the role of the collaborative planning team. The collaborative planning team is the key group of working level resources that will help shape and develop the integrated plan to meet the prioritized needs. Overall, the collaborative planning team members should expect to contribute a significant amount of time thinking about and meeting on the formation of the integrated plan.

In most cases, the sponsor will appoint the collaborative planning team. The appointment of the team members usually involves an assessment of personnel to ensure that desired personnel are available and can contribute time to the development of the plan.

Once appointments have been determined, a formal outreach to the appointed individuals is a good way to bring those individuals into the planning process. Sometimes a one on one conversation with each appointed individual is better than a group introduction to the process and the role of a collaborative planning team member.

Although the communication strategy has not yet been developed, this task produces a communications item in the form of a collaborative planning team formation memorandum to communicate the existence of the collaborative planning team, its members, and its purpose.

Charter the Collaborative Planning Team

The collaborative planning team charter must include the role of the collaborative planning team members, roster of the team, decision-making structure for the team, purpose statement, and the scope of the planning.

Although the collaborative planning team charter is an important document, it must not take months to develop. Each of the team members must sign the charter, including the sponsor.

Develop the Project Plan for the Planning Activity

Although the planning team is just being formed, a project plan must be developed to detail the milestones and proposed dates for the development of the integrated plan. In this task, the project plan must be based on the outline of activities and tasks within Step 3. It may seem early in the process for developing the project plan however the collaborative planning team has the advantage of a documented purpose statement, scope, and other strategic information from Step 1.

There is always a risk of the planning becoming a prolonged analytical exercise. The project plan will help ensure that the integrated plan is developed within an acceptable time frame. This project plan will be revised later in Step 3 when more is known about the nature of the planning at hand.

Review and approve Collaborative Planning Team charter, project plan, and governance
It is important that the development of the integrated plan begin with common intentions and a common understanding of expectations. The collaborative planning team charter and project plan must be reviewed and approved by the sponsor and governance to ensure approval of how the team has been formed, the chartered intent of the team, and the project plan for how the team intends to develop the integrated plan.

Establish the communication strategy

Successful communication requires the development of a communication strategy. The communication strategy must identify relevant stakeholders in the context of the purpose statement and the collaborative planning team’s knowledge of the affected organizations. The communication strategy includes the necessary value-based messages for the respective types of stakeholders.

For effective communications and collaboration, the collaborative planning team must establish a web site to facilitate barrier-less information dissemination. The communication strategy must address the necessary targeting (stakeholder, timing, and delivery means) of the value messages that are important throughout the project. This targeting must be orchestrated with existing organizational and informational channels, behaviors, calendars, and events to optimize reach and usefulness.

Examples of key organizational events would be workshops, collaborative forums, communities of practice or interest (COP, COI), and the annual budget and CPIC cycles. The communication plan must identify the optimal formats and delivery channels (email, brochure, presentations, and web) to sustain effective communications.

First, it is important to consider what the collaborative planning team needs to accomplish with its communication strategy. A simple dialogue with the collaborative planning team can help determine objectives to be included in their communication efforts. The governance framework can also provide additional guidance as to the specific communication needs and requirements associated with key governance stakeholders. The effectiveness of communication efforts can be measured by the goals and objectives established.

Based on the vision, goals and objectives, and scope, a facilitated session with the collaborative planning team can help identify the audience groups to which communications must be directed. For each audience group, the communication strategy must capture the design themes and key messages that are relevant throughout the architecture development process.

The tactical communications vehicles must be determined based on the communication strategy. Since the collaborative planning team has already established the communication goals and objectives, audience groups, design themes and key messages, tactical communications vehicles can be selected more intelligently as appropriate. Common vehicle types include print, web and multimedia. Within those vehicle types are tactical communications vehicles such as brochures (print), slick sheets (print), website (web), collaboration forums (web), videos (multimedia), microblogs (internet), blogs (web), and social media (internet).

Since there are many documents that will be formulated and reviewed during the planning process, a collaborative website improves communication and consensus building. Project websites are an ideal way of keeping collaborative planning team members and even audience groups abreast of meetings, presentations, decisions, and the overall planning progress.

Activity Outputs:

Output Core FEA Layers
Collaborative Planning Team Roster N n/a
Collaborative Planning Team Formation Memorandum N n/a
Collaborative Planning Team Charter N n/a
Project Plan N n/a
Communication Strategy N n/a

Key to FEA Layers: S = Strategy, B = Business, D = Data, A = Application, I = Infrastructure, SP = Security

Collaborative Planning MethodologyActivity 3-2

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