Like project management, program management has a number of key processes and
principles. The MSP guide identifies six processes, or you might call them stages?
- Identifying a program
- - to structure and formalize the program based on the strategic initiatives
of the sponsoring organization.
- Defining a program
- - to develop a complete definition of the program such that the funding
requirements can be committed.
- Establishing a program
- - to set up the program environment in terms of personnel, working practices
- Managing the portfolio
- - to manage the Project Portfolio such that the required benefits are delivered.
- Delivering the benefits
- - to manage the benefits realization process and to provide a transition
to the new way of working, and
- Closing a program
- - to formally close down the program and confirm delivery of the Blueprint
and Vision Statement.
One of the key differences between a program and a project is that a project
has a clear start and end. Programs do not necessarily have a clear start and
end, although there are exceptions such as the Y2K program. This means that some
of the stages above may be somewhat hazy and become more refined as the program
progresses. Rather than sounding as clear cut as the MSP guide implies in the
process descriptions above, projects will come and go, and get completed as the
MSP also identifies eight principles, or you might call them processes? These
- Program management organization
- Program planning
- Benefits management
- - to identify, optimize and track the expected benefits from business
change to ensure that they are achieved
- Stakeholder management
- Issue and risk management
- Quality management
- Configuration management, and
Once again, details of these "processes and principles" can be found
in the MSP guide.