Glen Alleman is Vice-President, Program, Planning and Controls at Lewis & Fowler.
Glen has 25 years of experience in Project Management and he was instrumental in the creation and application of Lewis & Fowler’s Deliverables Based Planning (sm), which is used for aerospace, defense and commercial enterprise projects.
Glen has an excellent blog at http://herdingcats.typepad.com.
Josh: How did your project management career begin?
Glen: My career began as a software engineer in radar/sonar. As a graduate student in Physics, I moved my skills in digital signal processing from particle accelerators to radar system. I worked on pattern recognition and digital filters. I moved to realtime control systems that controlled vehicles with radar onboard.
Over time, I became interested in the business aspect of these programs and began to?manage? them. I managed larger programs’ work packages. In the early 1980’s, the aerospace industry was in trouble. I switched to commercial software development. I managed a number of developers working on a variety products. The traditional way of managing requirements, budget, deliverables and staffing was used for planning, budget, staffing, and delivery. As the market matured, agile processes were used more often and project management became more important for business.
In the early 1990’s, I returned to aerospace and defense as a Program Manager for a large Department of Defense initiative in Denver. I had Project Managers looking after multiple decommissioning activities. Since then, I have been working with a Program Management company developing business and processes in the aerospace and defense sectors.
Josh: Who are you most inspired by and from whom have you learned a lot about project management?
Glen: Kaiser-Hill’s President (a joint venture between ICF Kaiser & CH2MHill), created an environment in which the Plan of the Week, and eventually the Plan of the Day, was our paradigm to get to closure on time and within budget. Paul Solomon, who retired from Northrop after that period, was my mentor. Paul’s book Performance Based Earned Valuable Value influenced me in my conception of measuring physical percent complete. Nick Pisano also provided us with valuable advice on WinSight (then C/S solutions), to integrate multiple concurrent projects into one Performance Measurement Baseline. Nick is the current president of Safran. He was previously the Program Executive Office (PEO) for several Navy flight program. an integrated program management system.
My boss at Rocky Flats gave me the best advice. Rocky Flats boss was a great example of collegiality and allowed us to try new ideas in program management. How to improve the process before we faced the real challenges of decommissioning a nuclear weapons plant.
Josh: How can you keep your eyes on the MACRO project goals and not get distracted by MICRO?
Glen: I will stick to the Integrated Master Plan / Integrated Master Schedule paradigm. This approach defined what was?done? What it looks like in the Significant Accomplishments (exit criteria) and the Accomplishment Criteria for the Work Packages that contain the individual work activities. This approach can be applied to IT, construction, DoD/NASA programs. The Outcomes must be delivered by the Work Package owners. The Program Manager (me), is responsible for removing any obstacles to the work package’s progress.
This means that everyone must understand that if the Work Package manager is not up to the task, another person will be assigned. This prevents anyone from attempting to get into the activities “inside”. The Work Package. The Master Plan and the Work Package schedule have a clear boundary. This boundary is identified in a Responsibility Assignment Matrix, (RAM), which marks the intersection of the Organization with the Work Packages.
Interview with Glen Alleman