The Regions Actively Use Project Management to Implement State Programs

16 january 2018 | Bujet

Russian regions are ahead of the federal center when it comes to introducing project management. "While at the federal level project management is only just beginning to get integrated into state programs, a number of regions have already been using project management for several years and they have a lot to learn from them," Analytical Center expert Tatiana Gorovaya told the Budget magazine.

Tatiana Gorovaya
Tatiana Gorovaya
Department for State-Run Programs and Budgeting

According to the expert, public authorities began introducing project management in earnest after the issuance of Russian government resolution No. 1050 dated October 15, 2016 on the Organization of Project Management in the Government of the Russian Federation, as well as after the development and launch of the priority projects. From the very start the issue was raised of how to link the priority projects and state programs.

State programs are now divided into two parts each: the project part and the process part, which, in turn, comprises agency and ministry specific target programs, according to Ms. Gorovaya. And while at the federal levels projects are only beginning to get integrated into state programs, 27 Russian regions are already either including projects in state programs as structural elements (sub-programs, key activities or ordinary activities), or specifying at the analytical level that relevant projects are being implemented and financed as part of state programs.

Ms. Gorovaya believes that the subsequent adoption of resolution No. 1242 is a major step towards ensuring that state programs become a real state governance mechanism. The resolution spells out requirements for the goals of a state program (now there are going to be no more than five and all of them are going to be specific so that it should be easy to focus on achieving them). A new requirement was introduced that projects and ministerial target programs must be ranked so that really effective implementation tools can be selected, as well as other requirements aimed at making state program management more flexible. However, unfortunately, the provisions of this resolution fail to offer comprehensive solutions to a number of important issues, such as the introduction of s simplified procedure for approving pilot programs, coordinating regional and federal state programs, expanding the authority of government officials in charge and others, according to the expert.

Solutions to these issues are being sought at the federal level, Ms. Gorovaya noted. Otherwise, there is a risk that the new format of state programs will become a mere formality with the federal executive bodies simply going through the motions of preparing the program document and only consulting it when they have to prepare a report that will also be treated as little more than another formality devoid of any real meaning.

In the meantime, regional governments have been actively applying the principles and methods of project management when implementing state programs. Ms. Gorovaya cited specific examples for the Budget magazine. For example, the experience of the Moscow region, where a special planning and monitoring method has been in use for the implementation of state program activities: the method involves creating a road map for the implementation of all key activities, meaning that a step-by-step implementation manual is developed for each activity, detailing what needs to be done and how to go about doing it. This naturally increases the transparency and improves the quality of both the planning and implementation of state program activities.

Ms. Gorovaya also believes that the multi-stage structure of state programs used in the Magadan region is also worth noting. For each main activity sub-activities and control events are defined. In the Belgorod region, one of the leaders with regards to introducing project management uses project implementation as a criterion for assessing the effectiveness of the implementation of state programs.

Source: Budget

Photo: from open sources