Organisations are also striving to achieve benefits from improving existing practices, to achieve business excellence, to be better prepared for the future, to enable innovation and to encourage new ways of thinking about doing business.
Where there is major change there will be complexity and risk. There will be many inter-dependencies and conflicting priorities to resolve. Programme Management provides a framework for managing this challenging environment.
Programme Management, like project management, is a management tool for bringing together people, activities and information to achieve something. Programme Management is a way of approaching the setting up and running of a programme. So, what is a programme? A programme is made up of a specific set of projects identified by an organisation that together will deliver some defined objective, or set of objectives, for the organisation. The objectives, or goals, of the programme are typically at a strategic level such that the organisation can achieve benefits and improvements in its business operation.
There is a close link between Programme Management and project management because the programme is made up of projects and can only succeed if the projects within it succeed. The concept of a programme is that it should be more than the ‘sum of its parts’. In other words, without Programme Management, the projects would probably still be able to deliver their particular outcomes but these would not be co-ordinated or integrated into the achievement of a strategic goal.
The Principles in Managing Successful Programmes advise how to:
- manage a business case for the programme
- organise people to ensure responsibilities and lines of communication are clear
- plan the work in a way which achieves results
- ensure that the organisation does benefit from undertaking the programme
- ensure that all interested parties (the stakeholders) are involved
- resolve issues which arise
- identify and manage risks
- ensure quality
- keep up to date information which tracks the continually changing environment
- audit a programme to ensure standards are being followed
The Processes in Managing Successful Programmes describe how to:
- identify the aim of the programme and envisaged benefits to the organisation
- define the programme, and specify how the organisation will be different afterwards
- define and implement the governance requirements for the programme
- monitor and coordinate the projects within a programme to a successful conclusion
- manage the transition between the ‘old’ and ‘new’ ways of working, ensuring benefit
- close the programme and ensure the ‘end goal’ has been achieved