Island of stability

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The 1994 version of the Guide to Programme Management (MSP) separated tranches of projects with islands of stability. These were designed to be periods of inactivity during a programme where the benefits of one tranche were consolidated and the next tranche was planned. Reflecting the business need to implement change rapidly, the 1999 and later versions of MSP removed this concept.

Many people subjected to change complain that new changes are implemented before previous ones have time to take effect and maybe islands of stability were a good idea after all.

The reason the idea of islands of stability was dropped was because it was impractical to insert a period of inactivity into the programme life cycle. However, it should be possible to have a period of stability in a business area that is subject to change.

If a programme is implementing multiple changes in one business area, the programme team should consider planning the schedule so that there are periods of consolidation after major change. The programme should do this by rotating its focus from one area to another and not implementing all the changes to a particular business area at once.

In effect, the idea of the island of stability is shifted from the programme life cycle to the business area change cycle.

 

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11th August 2014Link to Italian translation added

Island of stability

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