Alan Harpham, Chairman of the APM Group, UK

An update of a paper originally presented at The 16th International Project Management Association's World Congress in Berlin, 2002.

Copyright Alan Harpham.
Published here March 2003.

PART 1 | How and Where | How does Program Management Fit
Program Management | Framework | Reflections
Business Change Manager | Key Processes | Accreditation | Conclusions

What is Program Management?

Program management is the way that a program of projects is managed. Similar to project management, there is the notion of good practice, a body of knowledge born from experience of those who have managed programs, and now a UK guide entitled "Managing Successful Programs" (MSP) to record some of that good practice. As with project management, this includes key roles and responsibilities together with the key processes.

The MSP guide describes program management as:

"A structured framework for defining and implementing change within an organization. The framework covers organization, processes, outputs and ways of thinking that focus on delivering new capabilities and realizing benefits from these capabilities ... The program [management] selects or commissions projects, providing the overall coordination, control and integration of the projects' delivery. Program management includes the process of managing benefits from their initial identification and definition through to the eventual realization and achievement of measurable improvements. The key driver for a program is the on-going viability and relevance of the program's Business Case and the justification of benefit against costs."

How does Program Management Fit with Change Management  How does Program Management Fit with Change Management

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