How and Where do Programs Fit into the Business Organization?
In Part 1 of this paper I identified a number
of different types of programs and noted that my preferred definition of a program
"A set of related projects with a common strategic goal or aim".
I also introduced the guide "Managing Successful Programs" (MSP),
the most definitive work on the subject in the UK. The MSP guide
describes program management as a pragmatic, robust management approach.
It helps organizations to deliver and realize the required benefits,
innovation, and new ways of working that will ensure success with
major projects and programs of business change.
In this Part 2, I should like to discuss the MSP guide in
more detail, together with some of its related issues.
So, where do programs fit into the business of an organization? As I described
in Part 1, programs are a part of the way for making change happen. Thus, program
management fits between the strategic direction of the business or organization
and the projects level as shown in Figure 6. Figure
6 also shows how objectives are narrowed down to become very specific at
project and task level, as we move down the hierarchy.
Figure 6. Business strategy drives programs, which drive projects and tasks
The MSP guide agrees that programs lie between strategies and projects in what
it calls the "program management environment", see Figure
7. It also adds in the concept of a "blueprint"
achieved, i.e. the vision, emanating from the completion of the projects, linking
to the operation of the business. I will discuss the merit and drawbacks of the
"blueprint" later in this paper.
Figure 7. The program management environment
Successful Programs, published by The Stationary Office in 1999, ISBN 0 11 330016
6, produced by the CCTA, now the OGC (office of Government Commerce) in the UK
Figure 2, p10