The views expressed in this article are strictly those of Max Wideman.
The contents of the book under review are the copyright property of the author.
Published here May 2021

Introduction | A Primer on Program Management | What the Program Manager Does
Main Tasks for the Program Manager | The Program Manager's Tools
Time and Cost Control | Project Management Information Control
Contract Change Management | Conclusion


While this is effectively a continuation of the book review of How the Great Pyramid was Built that we published last month, we also came across an excellent Primer on Program Management that author Craig B. Smith provides as an Appendix. In our view, it is so good that we decided to feature it this month specifically as a learning tool for our readers. It is for all those who are not at all clear on what Program Management is strictly all about, and how much work it should involve.

True, the following description is based on conducting a very large infrastructure project, such as the Great Pyramid of Egypt. Nevertheless, with appropriate adjustments to technical language, Craig's advice can be used to develop appropriate processes for any colossal assignment that involves a large number if interrelated projects each conducted by separate parties. Therefore, if you are responsible for overseeing a number of related projects, then you are not only undertaking a Program, you are also acting as a Program Manager.

Happily, Craig starts out his Primer on Program Management with a definition of program management so there can be no misunderstanding of what it is all about. Read carefully through the following pages — you will find it highly instructive and a valuable reference. Remember, much of the description that follows must have been used 4,500 years ago. It's an excellent lesson, so here it is.


1. Regarding copyright: Unfortunately we were unable to contact either the author or the book's publisher. However, the copyright statement on p4 does permit extracting quotations for purposes of reviewing this book.
2. Craig B. Smith, How the Great Pyramid was Built, 2006, Smithsonian Books, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, Appendix 4, A Primer on Program Management, p252.
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