Programme management is a discipline that is often misinterpreted. Many understand it as project managing a group of projects that may or may not be interrelated.

While this is one interpretation, it does not do justice to the discipline. Worse, it may result in a business selecting the wrong capabilities for leading the programme. A competent Programme Manager or Director is not necessarily a good Project Manager. The skills and capabilities for each role are different.

Typically, but not always, a programme is built around a set of interrelated projects supporting a business domain, for example, Supply Chain or Merchandise. The programme will have a supporting business case and, in all likelihood, will result in Business and IT transformation.

Key features of a programme that require programme management include:

  1. Scale – Commercial, Business benefits and size of resources managed.
  2. Transformation – IT and Business will require changing their ways of working, structures and methods of supporting the new systems.
  3. Interrelated projects – A project ecosystem with dependencies that impact the sequence of delivery. This drives complexity in planning and managing the delivery of the programme.
  4. Governance – Scale and impact will require an understanding and skillset that is capable of dealing with C-Suite stakeholders as well as project team worker
  5. Communication – Large-scale transformations will require careful communication to diverse audiences from both Business and Support functions such as Finance, Human Resources and IT.
  6. Change Management – Transformation requires changes to ways of working and behaviours at all levels within the affected functions.

Programme Management is the discipline that assembles these features of a programme into a framework that enables delivery of transformation. This includes:

  • Governance
  • Stakeholder management
  • Commercial management
  • Risk and issue management
  • Deployment methodology
  • Resource management
  • Change management
  • Benefits realisation

Why is it important for your business?

If you are embarking on a transformation, it is essential that you have an understanding of what managing a programme of work entails. Setting your programme up correctly and having the relevant experience and capabilities to hand will mitigate many of the risks associated with delivering large Business and IT transformations. CMG can help. Get in touch with the team today by emailing [email protected].