Alan Harpham, Chairman of the APM Group, UK
An update of a paper originally presented at The 16th International Project
Management Association's World Congress in Berlin, 2002.
Copyright Alan Harpham.
What is Program Management?
Program management is the way that a program of projects is managed. Similar
to project management, there is the notion of good practice, a body of knowledge
born from experience of those who have managed programs, and now a UK guide entitled
"Managing Successful Programs" (MSP) to record some of that
good practice. As with project management, this includes key roles and responsibilities
together with the key processes.
The MSP guide describes program management as:
"A structured framework for defining and implementing change
within an organization. The framework covers organization, processes, outputs
and ways of thinking that focus on delivering new capabilities and realizing
benefits from these capabilities ... The program [management] selects or commissions
projects, providing the overall coordination, control and integration of the
projects' delivery. Program management includes the process of managing benefits
from their initial identification and definition through to the eventual realization
and achievement of measurable improvements. The key driver for a program
is the on-going viability and relevance of the program's Business Case and the
justification of benefit against costs."