What is MSP?
Programme Management, like project management, is a management tool for bringing together people, activities and information to achieve something. Programme Management is a way of approaching the setting up and running of a programme. So, what is a programme? A programme is made up of a specific set of projects identified by an organisation that together will deliver some defined objective, or set of objectives, for the organisation. The objectives, or goals, of the programme are typically at a strategic level such that the organisation can achieve benefits and improvements in its business operation.
There is a close link between Programme Management and project management because the programme is made up of projects and can only succeed if the projects within it succeed. The concept of a programme is that it should be more than the ‘sum of its parts’. In other words, without Programme Management, the projects would probably still be able to deliver their particular outcomes but these would not be co-ordinated or integrated into the achievement of a strategic goal.
OGC has developed a best practice guide on Programme Management called “Managing Successful Programmes”The guide comprises a set of Principles and a set of Processes for use when managing a programme.
The Principles in “Managing Successful Programmes” advise how to:
- Organise people to ensure responsibilities and lines of communication are clear
- Plan the work in a way which achieves results
- Ensure that the organization does benefit from undertaking the programme
- Ensure that all interested parties (the stakeholders) are involved
- Resolve issues which arise
- Identify and manage risks
- Ensure quality
- Keep up to date information which tracks the continually changing environment
- Audit a programme to ensure standards are being followed
The Processes in “Managing Successful Programmes” describe how to:
- Identify the aim of the programme and envisaged benefits to the organization
- Define the programme, and specify how the organization will be different afterwards
- Establish the programme
- Monitor and co-ordinate the projects within a programme to a successful conclusion
- Manage the transition between the ‘old’ and ‘new’ ways of working, ensuring benefit
- Close the programme and ensure the ‘end goal’ has been achieved