An organization’s activities are critical to meeting business goals and objectives. It should be no surprise that 85% of organizations have introduced a project/program management process within their structure. According to a PwC study, 97% of organizations, in general, attribute the success of their business undertakings towards program management solutions in any capacity.
These statistics explain a need for understanding, streamlining, and cyclical bettering of corporate practices. Program management offers a bird’s eye view of organization methods. Program managers create complex, long term plans that are simple to follow and achieve long term positive results. Introducing a program management structure to a business entity enhances the ability to meet both stakeholder and business objectives at any scale.
What is Program Management?
In brief, program management explains the business process used to co-ordinate the multiple business undertakings by an organization. It reveals interdependencies between projects allowing you to prioritize resource allocation and activity completion based on maximizing benefits.
Program managers are expected to build frameworks that ease the process of business activities. They factor in a crystalline view of the organization’s desired goals and objectives and how much of a risk they can take to achieve the same. They channel this information into a detailed document that offers robust strategies to achieve mission and vision success.
Program Management Process
To institute program management practices, the program manager assesses two frameworks: The Program Management Lifecycle and the Program Management Plan (PMP). They work hand in hand to create a timeline of all activities and undertakings. The life cycle describes an overview of the project management process from implementation to conclusion. The PMP offers a detailed perspective on practices, regulations, and processes to be implemented to achieve the goals set by the project manager.
The Project Management Lifecycle consists of five elements listed below.
This is where the elements of the plan come together. The entire team and program manager come together to establish the objectives and the strategies to be implemented. A simple blueprint is created to establish stakeholder interests and to align execution and business goals simultaneously.
In the next step, the project managers take the time to understand how the organization operates. They build a case study to establish all structures and procedures that contribute to business activities. This process creates more details. These details are used to make more educated decisions and assess if the current strategies need to be adjusted.
After the plan is drafted in extensive detail, the time for implementation arrives. The deployment stage is where the transition happens. The organization migrates from older, conventional business practices to new, more efficient, and effective replacements. Information provided by the program management plan introduces strategies to ensure minimal wastage during this time.
Post-implementation, the program manager is tasked to assess the entire process from objectives to the deliverables. The success of a program management process depends on the ability to deliver the promised business results. Program management tools are utilized, and plans are made to ensure business and stakeholder objectives are met. If these goals are not met, then further improvements and changes are implemented. Post appraisal, if objectives are not met, the plan returns to the formulation stage. Strategies are adjusted, and redeployment occurs till this process produces the desired results.
The final stage within the lifecycle is the closing of the program management process. After achieving the desired results, the terms for concluding the contract can be assessed. Concluding processes are implemented along with a long-standing change in business practice. Implementing the program management plan offers insight into long term benefits that stay in place even after the process is concluded.
The program management plan document, on its own, is a comprehensive compilation of insight from all stakeholders. This repository is streamlined by strategies introduced by the program manager. While the structures of plans can be standardized, the information under every subheading is customized by the organization.
Importance of Program Management
Program management offers a streamlined approach to managing the complex interconnectivity of business undertakings. Within enterprises, projects are covered within large geographical spaces, touched by multiple individuals, and often shared within small circles and may not get to where they were intended.
Program managers introduce a compound solution and best practices to manage multiple projects. This minimizes or even better eliminates problems that occur because of inefficient business methods such as communication breakdowns and inaccurate information that creates undesirable results. Benefits of implementing a program management process into an organization include:
- Improved visibility of timelines, milestones, and interdependencies. This allows for better, more educated decision making processes
- The well-defined framework reduces the time spent on assessing the success of past/present/future business strategies and the possibility of implementation
- With suppliers, partners, and other stakeholders more actively participating, information flows are clearer and more concise
- All data is acquired through more accurate processes making it easier to communicate more authentic, real-time information
- Communication between stakeholders and decision-makers is detailed and clear
Program management, when executed correctly, could be a revolutionary tool for an organization. The multitude of long term benefits, even post conclusion, of a detailed program management plan offers satisfaction to all stakeholders alike. The process itself requires an individual with the ability to consume large amounts of data, clear communication skills, and an adaptable foundation. This works to create a bespoke plan of attack to ensure minimal waste and maximum benefits from all business activities.
Introducing a system of organization for all the seemingly smaller-scale activities creates a pattern for long term benefits. Consider introducing a program management process into your current system of business practices.
Certifications in program management and project management are available for qualified professionals to upskill themselves and improve their knowledge and expertise. Some of the popular project management certification courses that individuals and enterprise team members can take up are: