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Program Management consists of running an interrelated group of projects, called a program. Generally, programs are created with the intent of improving the organization’s current processes and policies or implementing change management. Additionally, Program Management can be used for technological innovations. The responsibilities of Program Management encompass selecting the projects most aligned with the overall objective, defining each project’s role in reaching the larger goal, creating an environment where all projects can be accomplished and handling conflicts between the projects. Further, managing the larger program requires that the program manager proportionally distribute organizational resources to each project, manage the interconnections between the projects, mitigate the overall risks of the program and oversee the budget. Notably, individual projects within the program can provide benefits to the organization as the program is executed but the overall goal of the program should produce a larger change.
Project management software comes in all shapes and sizes. SaaS platforms which empower business leaders and project managers to more easily manage projects virtually include platforms like Monday.com, Wrike and ProjectManager.com.
Description of Program Management
The major characteristics of Program Management include:
- Governance: Developing a set of measures to gauge the progress of each project and ensure that each project is meeting its objectives.
- Alignment: Ensuring that the larger program is in line with the overall goal and vision of the organization.
- Assurance: Continuously communicating the value of the program to relevant parties and how the program aligns with the larger business goals
- Management: Meeting with project managers frequently to ensure they are accomplishing their project targets, overseeing the distribution of resources and meeting with program stakeholders
- Integration: Making sure that each individual project contributes to one cohesive goal and add additional projects if necessary.
- Finances: Monitoring the costs associated with each individual project and the larger program, as successful programs should aim to be done on time and on budget.
- Infrastructure: Keeping track of which projects require additional office space, IT or other organizational facilities.
- Planning: Generating a strategy for connecting each individual project to the larger program and creating a timeline with a start and end date for the program.
- Improvement: With the information garnered from your program progress measures, developing strategies for improving the pace and efficiency of the program.
More specifically, these characteristics can be organized into five steps:
Step 1: Create a Program Management Charter– this charter should indicate the purview, goal and budget for the program.
Step 2: Develop a Governance Plan-broadly consider the plan for executing the program and which individuals will be in charge of each project
Step 3: Generate a Program Communication Plan-decide how the program will be advertised to those inside and outside of the organization. The plan can include social media, news outlets, organization newsletters, etc. Additionally, consider how frequency program-related information will be shared
Step 4: Complete a Program Stakeholder Analysis-identify the individuals’ internal and external to the organization who have a vested interest in the program. Additionally, determine how regularly to update them on the progress of the program.
Step 5: Produce a Program Plan-develop an all-inclusive playbook for the program. This ledger should include a complete list of projects, who is responsible for each, how much money is allocated toward each one, etc.
Praxie's Online Program Management Tools & Templates
To create a Program Management plan, you can use documents, presentation software or other tools to generate lists and charts of stakeholders, projects, budgets, project managers etc. Alternatively, a comprehensive chart can be created in tools like spreadsheets for each element of the program plan. Get started with our Program Management template.
How to use it:
- Review the template and insert your program’s basic information.
- List your project title and subsequent tasks.
- Complete the rest of the template accordingly.
- Periodically review the progress made based on the timeline.
- Create an action plan for improvements.
Unlike most traditional Program Management techniques, Praxie’s online Program Management collaboration tools allow any team or organization to instantly begin working with our web templates and input forms. Our digital platform goes far beyond other software tools by including progress dashboards, data integration from existing documents or other SaaS software, elegant intuitive designs, and full access on any desktop or mobile device.