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10 Reasons to Use Programme Management

Integrating programme management in your organisation can have numerous benefits. If you’re unsure what programme management is, or the impacts it could have for your business, this blog is for you.

 What is programme management?

Programme management offers a strategic approach to managing multiple related projects. Often with a more flexible deadline and scope, the aim of programme management is to ensure the overseen projects meet business objectives and result in a return on investment (ROI), as opposed to only achieving project specific goals.

What does a programme manager do?

A programme manager plays a crucial role in overseeing and delivering a collection of related projects within an organisation. Their responsibilities centre around the coordination, integration, and alignment of multiple projects to ensure they achieve overarching strategic objectives. Their role requires strong leadership, communication, and organisational skills, as well as a deep understanding of project management principles and business strategy.

Learn more about our project and programme management training.

Programme management vs project management

A project is a unique and temporary organisation, designed to deliver a tangible output. It has a fixed timeframe that is generally, fairly short. Project management is the practice of planning, organising, and executing a given project to achieve specific goals within the given timeframe and budget. Being a project manager involves overseeing all aspects of the project from initiation to closure.

Programme management is the coordinated organisation of a number of related projects and other activities. The purpose of a programme is to deliver a strategic outcome and organisational benefit. Programmes are generally long term, and because the specific deliverables may not be fully defined at the start, a programme will often have a broad, adaptable scope.

In short, projects focus on outputs, while programmes focus on benefits.

Discover the responsibilities of a project manager.

Benefits of programme management

There are numerous benefits of programme management, including:

1. Business case management

Even if a project or programme has specialist support, the programme manager usually prepares the business case. Frameworks like Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) make better use of the business case, as they compare current business operations with more beneficial future operations. Building effective business cases provides a structured approach to decision-making and resource allocation for an organisation.

2. Bring business benefits

Programme management helps you reach the organisation’s overall strategic goals. With a formal process in place, you can exercise greater control over costs, standards and quality.

3. Share resources

You can use resources more efficiently through integration. For example, a programme manager can approve a software purchase for one project and then share it with other projects that could also use it. Without programme management, these projects could be isolated from each other, which risks missing a time and cost-efficient integration of resources.

4. Prioritise resources

With greater oversight, programme managers are in a better position to move people and resources to the projects where they are most needed. For example, if one project is starting to fall behind in time and/or budget the programme manager can move a few team members from a project which is doing better into the one that is struggling.

5. Control a complex range of activities

Programme management offers a broader oversight of what the organisation is going. This makes it easier to support managers and co-ordinate activities.

6. Define roles and responsibilities

This is one of the most useful ways programme managers co-ordinate activities. Every good project or programme methodology teaches defined roles and responsibilities, putting those certified in the best position to assign the right people to the right tasks.

7. Consistency

Programme managers can establish a consistent system of new or amended policies, standards, and work practices. With the right planning, delivery and by properly assuring any required changes, the organisation can run much more smoothly.

8. Change management

Programme managers are vital when an organisation wants effective change delivery. Senior management can also use programme management frameworks like MSP to direct the change process.

9. Transition management

Often, organisations want to change the way they work. When a programme manager is involved, every project can fall in line with new methods. Programme managers can deliver a smooth transition from the current to the future business operation.

10. Risk management

Programme managers are a useful part of any risk management strategy. They can share lessons learned and best practices with every project, reducing costs and delays.

Find out more about the risk management cycle.

How ILX can facilitate programme management in businesses

ILX provides e-learning, virtual, classroom and blended training in Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®). MSP is founded on best practice and comprises a set of principles and processes for programme managers. It is very flexible and designed to be adapted to meet the needs of local circumstances.

To find out more, see our full list of MSP courses. For questions or queries about this or any of our other courses, get in touch via our contact page.