Building the PMOExecution ExcellenceProject Management Office

How to Succeed in Program Management: 8 Ways

Program management means the management of a cluster of programs. Each program has several projects that are similar in nature and in some way interlinked. They need to achieve a particular goal for the program. In this article at the Project Group, Johann Strasser shares how you could succeed in program management in 8 ways.

8 Program Management Tips

For program management, you must include the following tasks in your task list:

  • Explain how the interfaces should look.
  • Update the schedules for the tasks.
  • Collaborate with the available project resources.
  • Supervise the risk management process.
  • Coordinate with the other management regarding change control.

Following are the 8 ways you can accomplish program management successfully:

  1. Form a Program Office: Since the projects can be too complicated, program management requires a body of influencers along with the program manager. They perform responsibilities like establishing the objectives, and training and supporting the managers. Additionally, they must monitor the project quality, generate reports, create risk scenarios, and run status calls.
  2. Establish the Control Procedures: Monitor your programs closely. You need to process a lot of information that is critical for the steering committee meetings. So, schedule the meetings at regular intervals to discuss the information optimally.
  3. Project the Program Specifications: Though you have an established PMO, every program has its own rules. It applies to programs that deal with external stakeholders. To have all the project managers on the same page, inform the differentiating rules and ensure they follow those.
  4. Work Breakdown Structure for Projects: Creating WBS among projects in a program will help you understand the task dependencies. Schedule their deadlines accordingly. You can create a master project with all the control details. The steering committee just has to open one project plan to get the gist.
  5. Explain the Project Interfaces: The steering committee creates deadlines that the project managers must implement. These further filters down to the team level. The team, on the other hand, needs to convey the actual completion dates. The difference between the planned and the current dates must be controlled by the program management body.
  6. A Suitable Management System: To get things done efficiently, you need a suitable program management system. The solution should include the external deadlines on your timeline. This will help you prioritize things when necessary. It should also show customized tasks and have previous versions available for comparison.
  7. Automatic Scheduling: With a good solution, you do not have to manually update everything. If the deadlines are different from the planned dates, it should automatically update the information without intervention. This allows you to concentrate on your program management.
  8. Create an Early Warning System: Instead of manually calculating the interface schedule, use the Milestone Trend Analysis (MTA). If you are lagging in deliverables and interfaces, you will get an early warning sign. If the deadline dates are changed too frequently, you will get a notification.

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