What We Liked
The structure of this 2003 version of Managing Successful Programs (MSP) is much better organized, more explicit and, in our view, more relevant to the subject as defined earlier than was the 1999 version. In Figure 1 we have constructed from our understanding of the text and illustrations a simplified flow diagram to illustrate the methodology. This spans from the initial vision to the successful realization of benefits and includes the range of types of program contemplated.
Figure 1: MSP flow chart
As indicated in the diagram, MSP uses a number of terms that require explanation:
Program - A portfolio of projects and activities that are coordinated and managed as a unit such that they achieve outcomes and realize benefits.
Outcome - The result of change, normally affecting real-world behavior and/or circumstances. Outcomes are desired when a change is conceived. Outcomes are achieved as a result of the activities undertaken to effect change.
Benefit - The quantifiable and measurable improvement resulting from an outcome that is perceived as positive by stakeholders and that will normally have tangible value expressed in monetary or resource terms. Benefits are realized as a result of activities undertaken to effect change.
Program Mandate - The trigger for the program from senior management who are sponsoring the program.
Vision Statement - An outward-facing description of the new capabilities that result from program delivery.
Blueprint - A model of the business or organization, its working practices and processes, the information it requires and the technology that will be needed to deliver the capability described in the Vision Statement.
Tranche - A group of projects structured around distinct step changes in capability and benefit delivery.
In addition, MSP also uses the following terms:
Senior Responsible Owner - The individual who is ultimately accountable for successful delivery. This title is apparently used extensively within the UK public sector for both programs and projects. Also known as "Program Director", this person is effectively the program or project champion.
Program Manager - The role responsible for the setup, management and operation of the program. Typically allocated to a single individual.
Business Change Manager - The role responsible for benefits management, from identification through to delivery, and ensuring the implementation and embedding of the new capabilities delivered by the projects. Typically allocated to more than one individual covering all the business areas concerned. Also known as "Change Agent".
In our view, the flow of the whole concept, process and hence the whole book is logical and complete. Where necessary, further detail is provided in the Appendices, including the required contents for the main documents generated and referenced through the process.
9. Glossary, Managing Successful Programmes, pp125-128
10. Managing Successful Programmes, p5