The Analytical Center has discussed the aggregated plans drafted by the agencies participating in the reform of the supervision and oversight function and found a number of problems with them.
"The Federal Project Management Office has outlined a strict sequence in which the stages of each project are to be implemented," Pavel Shestopalov, adviser to the Head of the Analytical Center reminded the participants in the meeting, "and each stage has its own type of document. For the initiation stage it is the project passport; for the preparation stage, it is the work plan; and for the implementation stage, it is the stage-by-stage implementation schedule specifying control points and measures aimed at achieving the desired outcomes." The issue of control points was the key one in the discussion. Mr. Shestopalov believes that the aggregated plans presented by the agencies have 2 problems: They have too many control points (more than 2-3 per month) and they confuse terms when they use specific measures or objectives as control points.
"Control points are specific things that can be measured," Mr. Shestopalov stressed. »It can be a specific target outcome, or a specific value for a performance indicators, approval of some key documents or transition to a new stage in the project." Holding a meeting, preparing a report or participation in work meetings on a project cannot be regarded as control points, the expert explained.
Obviously, the project based approach to work requires a change in the mindset of the government officials that are used to working in a completely different manner. Completion of a project stage does not have to happen at the end of a quarter or at the end of a calendar year. The project manager does not have to be an officer that holds a management position in the organization. Responsibility for implementing a project is personal rather than collective; it does not lie with some organizational unit as a whole.
The participants explained that the aggregated plans they had drawn up had been prepared on the basis of the plans prepared by the 4 ministries that have taken the lead in the reform, which had been rushed and thus could have problems of their own or fail to correlate with the plans of the agencies. In effect, the agencies do not have draft plans of their own; they all, within their competencies, participate in 8 projects of the reform, whose aggregated plans have already been approved by the ministries. All participants in the event, however, agreed with the idea that the aggregated plans of the ministries should be referred to as work-in-progress plans and that work on their implementation through the computer aided project management system should be carried out with that in mind.