Programme management enables the organisation to take a systems approach to managing transformational change within the boundaries set for the programme. It gives you a structure in by which the organisation can do the right projects and business activities at the right time, reducing waist and increasing effective delivery of change.
One of the key benefits of using a programme organisation is to avoid implementing projects and activities that overlap or contradict each other by ensuring that all projects and activities work towards a common goal delivering the right capability to enable the business / operational organisations to achieve the needed outcomes and benefits.
You should only use programme management when it gives added value over running two or more projects independently, and the projects are designed to contribute to a common goal or vision. Use portfolio management structures for delivering multiple independent projects that are not focused on achieving the same vision but will utilise a common resource pool.
Programme planning to deliver added value?
By clearly defining the end state in the form of a vision statement, it is possible to define a goal for the programme then breakdown and logically analyse the component parts that will be most effective in delivering the vision. Using the vision statement / goal the next step is to identify the necessary conditions and critical success factors that need to be fulfilled in order to achieve the vision.
As a general guide the critical success factors and the higher level necessary conditions will represent strategic objectives. The necessary conditions below this will represent benefits and intermediate benefits. Once you are clear about the benefits we are aiming to realise, it is possible to logically plan which capabilities are needed to deliver specific benefits.
Then you can go one step further and determine what projects are needed to deliver the output for the capability and what activities are needed to enable the operational units to embed and use the new capability. This process is made easier by using a benefits map that visually displays the logical connection between the expected benefits and the projects need to deliver the capability
By using this concept it is relatively easy to ensure that there is no duplication of work at the project level and that each project is complimentary to the other projects in achieving the ultimate goal.