Programme management is a means by which an organisation's portfolio of programmes can be managed and controlled to achieve the strategic goals and objectives expressed in its corporate plan. Therefore, programme management links corporate and programme planning to ensure that the corporate objectives in the corporate plan (or their successors) are achieved through the delivery of key programmes; and translates those programmes back into objectives at a more detailed level for operational managers.
Programme management is about ensuring that all your programs deliver value. It doesn't replace control but enhances it because you can decide what you want to control and how much detail you need to go into for each program. You have better visibility on what's going on across your organisation because of this link between each individual manageable piece of work or an individual project and the overall program it contributes towards. This also lets you clearly see exactly where a problem is if it crops up in one area of the programme.
Moreover, programme management is a strategic and systematic approach to the coordinated management of multiple projects or programmes within an organisation so that they contribute to the organisation's overall goals and objectives. It includes planning, organising, staffing, directing, and controlling the efforts of project team members to ensure that the projects are completed on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards. Programme management also ensures that each project is integrated with other related projects so that the overall programme is coherent and achieves its objectives.
A program is a temporary, flexible grouping of related projects that are managed together to achieve certain objectives. Programs can be created for a number of reasons, such as to improve efficiencies across the organisation, to respond to changes in the business environment, or to meet new strategic objectives.
The key characteristics of programs in project management are:
The benefits of using programs in project management suggested by our five-star ratedmanagement assignment helpproviders are:
Projects that contribute to an organisation's overall goals and objectives can be grouped together into a program. The projects contribute towards the achievement of the overall goal, but each project still has its own objectives that it must achieve. Programme management is the coordinated management of these projects so that they work together towards a common goal.
A company that wants to improve its competitive advantage might implement a marketing plan that involves launching several new products. The implementation of the marketing plan would be the program, and each individual project would include developing one of the new products. A company that wants to start doing business in an international market might decide to develop customer relationship management (CRM) systems to support its sales force.
This implementation would be considered an overall program, but CRMs for specific customers might also be implemented as individual projects within this program. An organisation attempting to meet new strategic objectives might implement a customer service initiative through which it aims to enhance its relationships with customers by providing exceptional service levels across all areas of the customer experience. This customer service initiative would be the program, and each individual project within the program might involve a different tactic or strategy to improve customer service (e.g., developing a new customer service policy, enhancing training for customer service representatives, introducing a new customer feedback survey).
A company experiencing rapid growth might implement a project management office (PMO) to improve its overall project management capabilities. The PMO would be the program, and each individual project within the PMO would involve implementing specific changes or improvements to the organisation's project management processes.
Project managers manage programs in project management. Programme management falls under the auspices of the organisation's senior leadership team, but tactical program decisions are typically made at a lower level by individual project managers and/or program managers who oversee the projects within the overall program (the "clients" for these projects). The ultimate goal is to manage programs in such a way that they contribute to meeting strategic goals and objectives set forth by senior leadership, but day-to-day decisions can be deferred to those with more specific knowledge about the individual projects. A major challenge of successful program management is finding this balance between centralisation (senior leaders setting overall guidelines) and decentralisation (individual clients taking care of their own projects within broad guidelines).
Programme management can be compared to a symphony orchestra: senior leaders and the board of directors set the overall tone and direction for the entire organisation, and that tune is interpreted through daily decisions made by individual musicians (i.e., project managers) who play their own instruments (i.e., projects). If each musician plays exactly what they hear from the conductor, the resulting music will be beautiful; however, if one or more musicians tries to improvise (i.e., deviates from what was heard), there will likely be discordant notes throughout the song.
Successful programme management requires effective coordination and communication among all stakeholders and a clear understanding of the organisation's strategic objectives. Project managers play a key role in ensuring that programmes are effectively managed and contribute to meeting organisational goals.
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