Program Management
The Challenge

Program management is about the marriage of vision and strategy with seamless rivet-by-rivet execution, and a little damage control on the side. Whether you simply need to reduce your wireless telecommunications costs without wholesale change, need to add capacity or new capabilities and features, or need to build something from the ground up, Sur Solutions has the deep experience and broad skill set to keep you sleeping at night.

And there are plenty of insomnia-inducing things to consider:
  • Program management is the art and science of managing multiple projects, sometimes across multiple organizations and even businesses. This can be quite complex when many of the variables and dependencies involve the technologies of wireless telecommunications. A single program can involve network upgrades, changes to SLAs (service level agreements) and other services, network baselining and performance measurements, managing vendor relationships, resolving conflicts…you get the idea. You need to focus on your customers, not on your infrastructure.
  • Realistically, a sizeable percentage of large program initiatives fail to meet objectives, are delivered late, or are over-budget. The reasons are always a complex mix of communications problems, inadequate program management skills, and underestimating program complexity. Add to this a lack of integrated planning and resources, no clearly defined success metrics, and mismanaged expectations, and you can see that there is a veritable mine field of failure opportunities. You cannot take this lightly.
  • What is needed is a turn-key solution – top to bottom. The challenge is finding the personnel with the breadth and depth of experience to handle everything from contract negotiations and mergers / acquisitions, to RFP, RFI, and RFA creation and response, and even to performance and expense management. The significant challenge is finding someone skilled enough to be a single point of contact, to take your essential wireless telecommunications programs from the initial idea and concept, through development and implementation, to post-deployment maintenance.
The Expertise You Need

Look at any professional athlete when she is getting ready to compete. There is a narrowing of focus, a fine-tuning of purpose – a look in the eyes that says, “It’s on”. This kind of intensity, when applied to keeping your key communications programs on track, guarantees precision planning, the ensures the ability to adapt and change, and drives relentless execution. Sur Solutions knows this feeling – we live it.

We are the people you call to be assured that your wireless telecommunications needs are handled with the exact care they require – no more, no less. This is how costs and schedules are controlled. We have the experience, training, and the important intangible, intuition, to manage both simple and highly complex programs.
  • Program management is not just project management at scale, not just a matter of using the same skills on extra-large projects. As program managers, we at Sur Solutions know how to juggle risk, performance, and communication, while at the same time keeping the stakeholder and organizational plates spinning. With our deep wireless telecommunications knowledge, we are uniquely poised to make sure all individual projects are properly coordinated at both a business and technical level.
  • We know the difference between strategic program management and tactical project management. For example, as executive-level program managers, we know how to deal with change, particularly as business goals and market conditions change. We know that programs are usually tied to an organization’s strategic and financial calendars, more so than individual projects, and programs require a distinctly different kind of governance and adherence to process (or non-process!) than do individual projects. In addition, what we do as program managers will have a positive effect on your organization’s financial results.
  • [look up “ITIL Phases and Processes”]
    [ensure that IT Services are provided in a focused, client-friendly and cost-optimized manner] [exposing the correct strategy] [content] [push on the customer-centric approach – not one-size-fits-all, custom approach] [The Right Technique for the Situation – [content] [total quality management, six sigma, and something, oh my] [red and green, or detailed task tracking, reporting, anticipating problems before they become problems, what else?] [organization over process] [organizational flexibility is the key] [These include the application of the *systems engineering discipline*:
    Interface Control Documentation
    manage the scope interfaces between sub-projects
    Milestone Alignment charts for schedule integration between projects
    Staffing Management Plan for personnel resource alignment
    Program Management Reviews for program control.
  • When it comes to program management, not only is it essential that an intelligent strategy be followed from the top down, but, as they say, the devil is also in the details from the bottom up. Finding personnel with management skills ranging from the preparation of, and the response to, RFPs / RFAs / RFQs / RFIs, to [request for quotation (RFQ),, request for information (RFI)] [these are incredibly time consuming and require special treatment to ensure success – customers need someone to handle these tasks] know more about RFP, RFQ, and RFA activities] [Most experience is the “response” side of the equation – helping the customer respond appropriate – [turn key solution] [need a turn-key solution as we evolve our network] [describes the value of having a top to bottom solution – integrated with other systems, single point of contact, etc.] [cradle to grave – see quote from older web content or the presentation]
    [depth of experience] [nothing beats the hard won experience of being on the front lines of a critical project or program] [put managing costs, schedules, and rollouts in this section]
How it Works

It works because we know how to make it work. At Sur Solutions, we manage with initiative, we manage at the boundaries between projects, we influence and build the consensus as needed, leading by the implicit authority of hard-won experience and skill.

Symptom

Sometimes the need for coordinated program management starts with a symptom – something not right in your organization’s performance. For example, we recently worked with a client who’s customer was withholding payment on telecommunications products and services rendered. An initial examination revealed cost overruns and schedules not met.

It was clear that these symptoms spanned more than a single business unit within our client’s organization. Indeed, it was clear that the symptoms crossed company lines.

Analysis and Collaboration

We immediately began a root-cause analysis – focused, but open to the obvious as well as the undercurrents of cause and effect. Several techniques were employed including interviews with key personnel, and an in-depth policy and contract review. We gathered information across organizational and company boundaries. We provided reports and again elicited as much feedback as possible. Customer-centric, taking everything into account.

A part of the analysis that cannot be understated is the analysis surrounding the wireless telecommunications performance and infrastructure. Very often it is necessary to perform system baselines, monitor performance, and even conduct a deep-packet analysis to ensure that the telecommunications part of your program is managed appropriately.

Resolution

Once the collaborative analysis was finished, we proposed a multi-project program that resulted in the following resolutions:

• [Fixed process issues, implemented some change across business units]
• [essentially implemented a closed loop corrective action kind of thing]
• [staff training]
• [even some organizational changes in how the Bus interact]

But it did not stop there. [validate systems and implement functionality]. [A key part of any network or functional rollout is system validation / functional validation.]

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