Blog Posts Process Analysis

Mobilisation Plan

Blog: Biz-Performance, David Brown

Mobilisation Plan.png
The “Program Repository” is a significant program management support tool which serves as an “umbrella” document that houses all project planning materials (i.e. contains phase-by-phase descriptions of all activities undertaken during the BPI program). It takes the form of a “live” planning binder to which additional, more-detailed sections (e.g., Mobilisation, Migration and Implementation Plans) are added with each new phase of the BPI initiative.
The “Program Repository” provides a comprehensive account of all decisions relating both to the “what” and the “how” of the BPI initiative. It thus integrates the “technical” aspects of BPI (e.g. assessment and design deliverables) with the “relationship” aspects of achieving stakeholder commitment (e.g. partnership with the organisation, and employee-involvement strategies).
The “Program Repository” begins with the Mobilisation Plan, which relates primarily to the Envision, Focus and Design High Level phases, and is normally developed with the organisation as a result of a CEO and/or leadership team “arousing” process.  While additional planning details are added to the “Program Book” as the BPI program moves through its successive phases, there are two fundamental “shifts in emphasis” during the BPI program.
The first shift occurs while Design High-Level activities are being completed, when the organisation is beginning its migration towards adopting the new way of doing business.  At this point, the Mobilisation Plan is reassessed and updated (based on all current information) and the Migration Plan is developed.  Later, as the organisation completes Build activities, its focus shifts towards implementation activities.  At this point, the Migration Plan is revisited and revised, and Implementation Plans are developed.  As part of day-to-day project management, the three major plans are supplemented through the use of one or more project management techniques (e.g., Plateau Planning, Work Packages).
The diagram above illustrates how the BPI initiative begins with a Mobilisation Plan that is “fleshed out” in more detail as it evolves into the Migration and Implementation Plans.  This process of evolution  reflects the natural movement of major organizational change from an initial idea to concrete reality.


  • The Mobilisation Plan is the first section of the “Program Book”.  It contains a high-level outline of all phases, the anticipated milestones of the project, and an initial detailed description of the activities conducted in the early stages of the project.  The Mobilisation Plan also incorporates an initial employee involvement strategy (or “Change Leadership Model”) agreed by the CEO and the leadership team.

Organisation Value

  • A comprehensive Mobilisation Plan  assures the organisation that all important steps are being addressed.  It enables the organisation to gain consensus and share ownership of the overall project scope, the upcoming phases’ objectives and subsequent activities.
  • The decision on an initial employee involvement strategy, or change leadership model, prepares the leadership team for the challenges of guiding employees through a major change.
  • Omission of the Mobilisation Plan presents a significant liability to the organisation. Without this plan there is a serious risk that the project will not be completed on-time or within budget, or will not be completed at all.  If expectations are not clearly aligned within the organisation, both will fail.


  1. Review/validate the content of preceding proposals and/or discussions with the client.
    1. In some cases, project planning activities (or a subset of these activities) have been conducted as part of the proposal process.  Where a formal proposal process has not occurred, discussions will precede the development of the Mobilisation Plan.
  2. Discuss with the CEO and the leadership team alternative approaches and strategies for involving people and leading them through the change process.
    1. Visits to/from other organisations to discuss their experiences with large-scale change, and the negative and positive consequences of different degrees of employee involvement, are often highly beneficial.
  3. Facilitate consensus of the leadership team regarding the most appropriate strategy for employee and stakeholder participation.  This step has a direct impact on how the BPI initiative will be,and alerts the leadership team to the necessity of team cohesion and consistent communication.
  4. Create a draft project plan.
    1. For the entire project (end-to-end), elements include:
      1. project scope and overall objectives
      2. preliminary timeline showing all project phase.
    2. For the first phase (or immediate next phase) elements include:
      1. activity descriptions, duration and milestones
      2. specific resources required to complete activities
      3. dependencies (or required predecessor tasks) associated with each activity.
  5. Review plan with team members to ensure feasibility and obtain commitment.
  6. Review plan with the CEO and/or the leadership team, revise if required, and obtain sign-off to proceed.



  • Keep the project plan simple and crisp.  An overly-complicated plan may cause confusion and frustration for the project team and client organisation.  It should be user-friendly and easy to communicate.
  • If the organisation is unfamiliar with collaborative or participative employee involvement strategies, provide additional coaching and support on the implications of such strategies upon project plans.  As required, adopt different strategies for different parts of the organization.
  • Participative strategies, providing they are well-managed, have the highest likelihood of embedding change in the long term.
  • Use realistic time and resource estimates so that the project plan is a management tool rather than a “straight-jacket”.

Tactics/Helpful Hints

  • Start by identifying outputs on the timeline; then identify tasks and required resources.
  • Identify integration points with other related processes, departments or on-going projects and build relationships into the project plan.
  • Work as closely as possible with the organisation sponsor in establishing the project plan.
  • Use project plans from previous engagements in similar industries and/or companies of similar size.  These are valuable sources for information, standards, etc. during the course of project plan development.
  • The Mobilisation Plan provides an invaluable opportunity to build a robust relationship with the CEO and the leadership team.  It provides the framework and a mechanism for controlling how resources are deployed, and for accurately gauging and reporting on project progress to the client.


  • The Organisation Project Manager must spend significant time in developing the project plan to assure that it satisfies contractual requirements, includes all necessary steps, and deploys project staff effectively.
  • The Project Manager needs expertise in managing BPI engagements of organisations of similar size and industry.  It is critical that the manager have expertise in the methodology to such an extent that he/she clearly understands all of the intended outputs, requisite inputs and their interdependencies.

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