Program Management – what is program management?

What is Program Management?

Overview of program management

Program management is managing a program which consists of several related projects, and often where the completion of the projects achieves an overall program aim.

Programs may spread across several disciplines for example when developing a new product, which may involve engineering, logistics, marketing, supply chain, manufacturing and others.

It is advised to group projects into a program when some of the following conditions are met:

  • together a group of projects are part of an overall strategy
  • there are advantages to grouping the projects together
  • direction by senior management would be advantageous
  • where the nature of the projects is that there is advantage to managing them as a program

Programs can be diven by strategy, vision, compliance or the need for rationalisation of project management.

Soome methodologies for program management state that there are seven principles of programs as follows:

Alignment with organisational strategy

The program should be aligned with the strategy of the organisation

Strategic purpose

The program should have a staregic purpose which requires high level management

Supporting a vision

Programs are well suited to supporting major change guided by a vision. This may involve activities such as preparation, planning, reorganisation, communication and alteration of the thinking of employees

Focus on benefits of realisation of program

The program enables an overall focus on the various activities within it and their benefits to the organisation

Cross activity coherence

The program may feature a number of projects where cros project consistency is required

Leveraging the organisational knowledge base

Staff working within the program may have complimentry skills which can assist in overall delivery

Adding organisational value

The program may be able to reduce overall costs by grouping together projects which have similarities and where there might be overlap, or or where one set of staff expertise could ssrve several programs