What is Programme Management?

Programme management is the name generally#1 given to the management and control of multiple related projects; for example if you imagine the building of a new terminal for an airport and you’ll be looking at a programme.

In this scenario; one project may concentrate on the site clearing and foundation works; another, the construction of the building; another, the terminal fit-out inside; and another, the building of shops and other services. The programme may also have change management and service transition streams.

Programmes are ultimately a way of controlling complex initiateives; it being much easier to manage such large endeavours if the works are split into logical projects and then managed and controlled under the programme umbrella. The Programme Manager is the title given to the person who takes overall responsibility for the delivery.

Like projects, the formal structure of a programme may well vary in terms of the structure and the actual methods employed. Likewise they may deploy a Project Controls function or PMO to support the control and compliance of the groups of projects.

The Association for Project Management defines programme management as;

“Programme management is the co-ordinated management of related projects, which may include related business-as-usual activities that together achieve a beneficial change of a strategic nature for an organisation. What constitutes a programme will vary across industries and business sectors but there are core programme management processes.”

Due to the complexities in managing programmes, the role of Programme Manager is considered to be a role more senior to that of the Project Manager. It also does not necessarily follow that a good project manager would make a good programme manager as the skills and knowledge required are different. Programme management also has some techniques and processes that may be applied such as “Managing Successful Programmes (MSP)

#1 – To further confuse, in some sectors and domains the term Programme is used to describe what would be generally recognised as a Project  and hence a Programme Manager in that scenario is more generally recognised in the market as a Project Manager. In other sectors the opposite is true with a programme being called a project! Another key factor to recognise when recruiting for any role in the project management family of roles and one that Arras People can help you to understand.



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