Learn what a program is and about the basic components of program management.
- Imagine you have to install a new accounting system in a number of countries. This can be very complex. Each country will have different requirements, and, as always, resources are limited. Program management to the rescue. So you've heard a lot about program management but are not quite sure what it's all about. I'll define program management and explain why it's important to organizations. But before I define program management, it's important to define a project.
A project is a temporary endeavor that drives change. Program management groups two or more projects together that aim to achieve the same deliverables. A deliverable is basically the benefits that you expect at the end of the exercise. We use programs to either better manage our cost, maintain overall coordination, successfully preside over conflicts, or maybe all of the above. A number of years ago I was working for an organization that was formed through mergers and acquisitions.
The goal was growth, but that led to all the countries having different systems that didn't talk to each other. Also, each country had their own standard, adding complexity to the situation. We needed to have one common system for the different areas of our business: where the sale takes place, where the invoice happens, and where we keep track of our customer information. Three big projects that clearly needed to be coordinated. This is where program management brings value.
Connecting diverse groups within an organization around shared processes and goals.
- What is program management?
- Who are program managers?
- Program versus project
- Program life-cycle phases
- Aligning programs to an organization's strategies
- Analyzing needs and planning programs
- Delivering and sustaining benefits from programs
- Working with program stakeholders
- Supporting program governance activities
- Managing program finances and resources
- Scheduling programs
- Managing program scope and quality