Program Management Best Practices - Invensis Learning

Organization methods offer businesses an opportunity to observe practices and activities from a granular level. Understanding where to allocate time and resources based on priority can help a business operate more efficiently and effectively. With 73% of employees reporting the feeling of burning out, 20% of these employees attribute overwhelming workloads to the cause. Reorganizing workflows can positively impact not only businesses but the employees as well. 

In today’s corporate environment, a plethora of tools and techniques are easily available and even easier to implement. It is up to the business to understand where their shortcomings are and what method/s would be a worthy addition. Program management is extremely beneficial to entities that run multiple simultaneous projects and should be considered by larger organizations and those looking to expand alike. 

Program Management: A Brief Overview

Program management encourages organizations to look at how their projects are being executed, their interconnectivity, and re-evaluate their allocated resources. The system offers an aerial perspective to business activities. This allows all stakeholders to understand every nuance and deduce, whether better execution methods can be or need to be installed.

Two basic principles are employed to understand how the program management system needs to be structured:

  • Program managers need to have a clear understanding of business goals and objectives. Once they’ve adequately understood where an organization wants to be in the future, they will be able to create “program visions.”
  • Additionally, they need to be cognizant of the risk appetite of stakeholders. Understanding how much of a risk a company is willing to undertake in order to meet the “program vision” is essential to planning

Once this information is established, it can be used to form a framework for streamlining and planning mechanisms. This framework is normally referred to as a blueprint. The blueprint offers information regarding four key aspects:

  • Governing Principles – The program details roles, responsibilities, business activities, and methods to assess progress
  • Management Principles – The overall organization of projects is the main objective. This is achieved through frequent feedback from employees within project teams and understanding how to keep stakeholders satisfied. 
  • Financial Management Principles – Finances are one of the organization’s most critical resources. All monetary transactions need to be monitored as well as controlled to ensure expenditure only occurs when needed
  • Infrastructural Principles – The work environment needs to facilitate more efficient and effective activities in order for employees to be active and engaging. Incorporating unique projects, timeframes, and resources allow for flexibility. This flexibility could be the difference between successful execution and failure. 

Program managers possess a malleable set of skills that can be adapted to different business environments long term. They usually offer firm strategic advice to ensure interdependent projects can be successfully executed and project goals are achieved. With extensive knowledge banks, the practices they decide to execute determine blueprint and overall program management’s success. 

Program Management Best Practices 

Rapidly developing technology offers ever-growing frameworks that can be incorporated into business practices. With the best program management practices, you will be able to adapt to unexpected changes and developments. Two core management methods that produce positive results are;

Applying an Agile Approach

Introducing further flexibility into the work environment will assist with development and adaptation. Agile methods offer program managers an opportunity to increase the value deduction from their decisions. This happens through:

  • Continuous result delivery in smaller pieces – Sharing feedback and insight ensures consistent feedback allowing for problems to be sifted out as soon as they arise. This also allows for causes of problems to be detected with pinpoint accuracy and addressed without having to use failed results as a measure
  • Introducing more frequent and regular meetings – Consistent communication patterns allow for ideas to be exchanged and developed. Employees and stakeholders alike can offer their perspective towards business activities, and new ideas could be exactly what the organization needs.
  • Preparation for changes that occur unexpectedly – Flexibility is the core of agile methods. Prior planning for best case, worst case, and or any other case in between allow organizations to adapt as needed. Introducing many adaptation methods prevents last-minute decision-making that could implode budgets, resources, timeframes, and stakeholders’ expectations. 

Introducing the More Technologically Advanced Software and Tools

Program management has become a point of concern for all organizations. Introducing software management solutions should be a priority for companies looking for more diverse yet accurate data and understandings. With the market being saturated with document sharing tools such as Dropbox, editing tools such as Google Docs, task management software like Trello, and communication apps such as Zoom, picking the right cocktail of software is the key.

Project managers need to spend time assessing their organization’s requirements. Asking what real-time collaboration requirements are, if or not any project management or task management tools are required, and the extent to which communication features need to be developed is essential. After this, a testing period is implemented to assess the success of the decision and, finally, the introduction of training as required. 

Final Thoughts

Program management offers a multitude of benefits to organizations that focus on streamlined, smooth operations. Introducing strong program management principles allows organizations to capitalize on their existing resources and improve delivery times and overall execution processes. It would be beneficial to any organization to assess, implement, and test methods before introducing them as a solid system to address changes or issues. 

Program managers offer companies an opportunity to learn how they operate and make the changes they require to meet business objectives based on their internal and external environments. This opportunity could translate into better overall returns for an organization.

Program management explores how organizations can handle multiple project undertakings with maximum returns and minimum waste. Implementing the best practices adopted in an organization’s industry and internal environment are crucial to program management success. Understanding how to implement the best program management practices and keeping up with technological advancements could elevate a business from keeping afloat to thriving. 

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Lucy Brown has many years of experience in the project management domain and has helped many organizations across the Asia Pacific region. Her excellent coordinating capabilities, both inside and outside the organization, ensures that all projects are completed on time, adhering to clients' requirements. She possesses extensive expertise in developing project scope, objectives, and coordinating efforts with other teams in completing a project. As a project management practitioner, she also possesses domain proficiency in Project Management best practices in PMP and Change Management. Lucy is involved in creating a robust project plan and keep tabs on the project throughout its lifecycle. She provides unmatched value and customized services to clients and has helped them to achieve tremendous ROI.

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