The Main Components of Program Management

In this article we will examine the main constituent parts which make up program management as carried out by a program manager. Firstly, let’s define what it allows you to do: it allows organizations to manage complex bodies of work that combine software elements, hardware elements, new or changed business models, and changes to organizational structure and capabilities as a whole. It allows us to do this in a way so that the organization realizes benefits that it could not achieve if the program’s constituent projects were run separately.Now let’s examine the main components of program management:GovernanceThis aspect is concerned with defining the structure so that the program can be guided, both by the program manager and by senior managers. It is during this phase that roles and responsibilities will be defined. While the structure for managing projects is normally quite simple, the structure for managing programs will typically be much more complex, spanning multiple divisions within the organization.ManagementThis aspect relates to the planning and running of both the projects which make up the program and the overall program itself. They are accountable for every aspect of quality, schedule, and budget. They will approve the project plans and provide guidance to the project teams also.FinanceThis aspect is concerned with the financial policies and practices governing the program execution. Because programs are much larger than projects, there will typically be, not just a greater cost incurred in running a program, but also a greater variety of costs incurred.InfrastructureIf anything, this is the aspect of the role that most resembles project management. By Infrastructure we are referring to a variety of different things. Making sure issues are managed. Making sure that risks are managed. Ensuring that resources are coordinated. It also encompasses making sure that all communication is well thought out and well coordinated.PlanningProgram management is also concerned greatly with planning. This is not planning how you might think of it within a project management context. Project plans are concerned with deliverables and work packages. Program plans are an integrated visualization of the key deliverables of the program, and they will be structured such so as to best realize benefits to the organization.All of the above categories may seem similar in essence to project management, but they are not. In program management these activities are much broader in their scope and concerned with benefits rather than deliverables. I hope this article has give you a good overview of the key aspects of program management.

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