What is Programme Management and why is it important?

By Steve Twine, Director, Focus-on-Training
programme management, planning, co-ordination and control
Organizations are complex and they are constantly evolving to adapt to advances in technology and the changing needs of their market. In the battle to stay ahead, larger organizations are constantly evolving and changing the way they operate. This, however, impacts massively on the finances, infrastructure and resources the organization has available.

In order to achieve the required business change it is likely there are numerous inter-connected large-scale projects on the go at any one time. How does an organization allocate resources efficiently across these projects? How can they be sure that collectively these projects will provide the desired business outcomes?

This need for visibility and control over several projects is where programme management comes into play.

While it is true that each of the individual projects mentioned above will be run by a project manager, it is likely that they will be primarily concerned with the progress and success of their individual project with less concern for the overall objective of a group of projects

At a higher level the organization needs individual projects to come together seamlessly and integrate with each other in order to provide the required business change in the desired timescale. To ensure this happens and in order to make the necessary adjustments when projects deviate from the business objective, organizations will often look for a point of accountability over-arching the various projects – namely the Programme Manager.
A programme is specific set of projects that when combined achieve a specific business objective.
It is the role of the Programme Manager to ensure that delivery of the projects achieves greater business benefit than the individual project output. The programme manager is responsible for ensuring a smooth transition from the current business operations to the future approach.

Simply put,
programme management is the structured framework that enables organizations to run multiple, related projects at the same time to achieve a common aim.
The role of programme management, and indeed the programme manager, is vitally important to organizations that value the need for greater leadership and awareness of business risk in delivering business-critical and other large-scale projects.

About the author

programme management, planning, co-ordination and control
Steve Twine is a director at project management training specialists, Focus-on-Training. Steve Twine started Focus on Training following an international career in project management in first tier suppliers to the automotive industry. Focus runs a regular schedule of project management courses, including MSP Programme Management and PRINCE2.

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