What is Programme Management?

What is Programme Management

Programme management is a process that organisations use to achieve strategic goals and objectives through the management of multiple related projects and activities.

 In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing business environment, managing successful programmes is important for achieving your goals and objectives. Without the right tools and processes in place, it can result in missed deadlines, budget overruns, and low-quality deliverables. 

However, with an effective programme management framework, organisations can achieve the desired outcomes by maximising resources, optimising workflows, and minimising risks. This article will explore the key concepts of programme management, its benefits, and how it can help organisations to successfully deliver their strategic initiatives.

What is Programme Management?

Programme management is the process of managing multiple related projects and activities, to achieve specific strategic goals and objectives. A program is a collection of interrelated projects and other activities that are coordinated and managed together to achieve a specific set of outcomes.

Programme management involves planning, coordinating, and controlling a group of related projects and activities to achieve the overall objectives of the program. Often this process is used in complex and large organisations that have multiple ongoing projects. This includes identifying the scope, objectives, and benefits of the program, developing a program plan, managing the program’s resources, monitoring progress, and making necessary adjustments along the way.

As mentioned in the programme management definition above, programme management is often used in complex businesses that have multiple projects running simultaneously, with interdependencies between them. It provides a way to manage these projects in a coordinated and efficient manner to achieve maximum benefits and minimise risks.

The difference between a large project and a programme

A large project and a programme are both types of projects, but there are some key differences between them.

A large project typically involves a single objective or deliverable that requires a significant amount of resources, time, and effort to complete. It has a defined scope and a clear beginning and end. A large project can involve multiple teams, but these teams work together to achieve a single objective. The project manager is responsible for planning, executing, and closing the project, and is accountable for its success or failure.

A programme, on the other hand, involves managing multiple related projects and activities that are coordinated and managed together to achieve a specific set of outcomes. A programme has a broader scope than a single project and is designed to deliver strategic objectives that cannot be achieved through individual projects. A programme can involve a large number of projects, and these projects may have interdependencies and need to be managed as a group. Programme management involves coordinating and integrating the projects within the programme to ensure that they are aligned with the overall objectives of the programme.

So the difference between a large project and a programme is that a large project has a single objective or deliverable, while a programme involves managing multiple related projects to achieve a specific set of outcomes. 

What is Programme Governance

Programme governance refers to the system of policies, procedures, and practices that are put in place to ensure that a programme is effectively managed and delivers its intended outcomes. Governance provides a framework for decision-making, risk management, and oversight of the programme.

Programme governance involves defining roles and responsibilities, setting up decision-making structures, and establishing processes for monitoring and reporting progress. This includes defining the objectives and scope of the programme, identifying stakeholders, and establishing a governance structure that includes a steering committee or board to oversee the programme.

Effective programme governance helps ensure that the programme is aligned with organisational goals and that risks are identified and managed appropriately. It also ensures that the programme remains on track and that resources are used efficiently.

Programme governance typically involves regular reporting to the steering committee or board on programme progress, risks, and issues, and making decisions on programme changes or adjustments as needed. It also includes ensuring that there are appropriate controls in place to manage risks and that there is ongoing communication with stakeholders.

7 Benefits of Programme Management

Programme management provides a range of benefits to organisations that undertake it. Here are some of the key benefits of programme management:

  1. Alignment with organisational goals: Programme management ensures that the programme is aligned with the organisation’s strategic goals and objectives, which helps to ensure that resources are being used in the most efficient way possible.
  2. Improved efficiency: Programme management allows for the coordination of multiple projects, which helps to optimise resources and avoid duplication of effort.
  3. Better risk management: Programme management helps to identify and manage risks across the programme, which helps to minimise their impact on individual projects and the overall programme.
  4. Enhanced stakeholder engagement: Programme management helps to ensure that stakeholders are engaged throughout the programme, which helps to manage expectations and build support for the programme.
  5. Greater accountability: Programme management provides clear lines of accountability for the programme, which helps to ensure that everyone involved understands their roles and responsibilities.
  6. Improved communication: Programme management involves regular communication with stakeholders, which helps to ensure that everyone is aware of progress, risks, and issues.
  7. Enhanced project outcomes: Programme management provides a framework for integrating and coordinating projects, which helps to ensure that the programme delivers its intended outcomes.

Programme Management Techniques and Tips for Delivering an effective programme

Managing successful programmes needs careful and attentive project management principles and effective leadership skills. Other techniques needed to implement a programme include:

  • Identifying the vision, outcomes, and objectives of the projects in the programme
  • Structure the programme including governance and the projects required to deliver the intended outcomes
  • Be specific about the financial requirements and resources required
  • Be flexible, controlled, and responsive to any changes
  • Understand priorities and identify (and manage) benefits
  • Identify stakeholders then ensure that you effectively communicate and engage them along the process where necessary
  • Set controls and tolerances for effective delegating throughout the team
  • Identify, control and manage risks and issues within the programme
  • Coordinate dependencies between projects within the programme
  • Oversee the delivery of the projects and report at the programme level
  • When closing down the programme, manage the programmes outputs and benefits to business as usual

One of the key takeaways is the ability of a programme manager to effectively manage a team of project managers to deliver the programme successfully. This requires team leadership and the ability to delegate correctly without micromanaging. 

How to learn more about Programme Management

Provek is accredited to offer face-to-face and virtual classroom MSP® Foundation and Practitioner qualification-based courses. Successfully completing an MSP® examination enables the individual to achieve an internationally recognised qualification. 

Programme managers may also be interested in our specialist support to become chartered (ChPP) project professionals.

Whatever your experience, Provek is a project management training specialist that supports project professionals to achieve career progression, and support organisations through skills assessments and our bespoke training programmes to maximise the impact on your investment.  

Contact us today to find out more. 

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