“Programme management is the coordinated management of projects and business-as-usual activities to achieve beneficial change. A programme is a unique and transient strategic endeavour undertaken to achieve a beneficial change and incorporating a group of related projects and business-as-usual activities.”
This thorough description doesn’t really emphasise the importance of bringing in experts to deliver your programmes; programmes are meant to bring beneficial change, but this can only be achieved through a coordinated focus on people, communication and continuous learning. Your programme should be resourced by people who can deliver value quickly and provide a level of certainty – difficult to achieve without engaging experienced practitioners.
For organisations looking to bring in some form of programme management capability they should demand of their suppliers high quality and predictable outcomes, assistance in providing clarity to your organisational change initiatives and a strong risk management approach.
While delivering programmes across many different sized organisations and across many different sectors we have found a few key things that are consistent across all successful programmes:
Client needs differ greatly when engaging consultancies for programme management. Sometimes its focused on managing benefits effectively, other times making sure budgets and time frames are realistic given scope and organisation maturity. Overall though we have distilled most of the reasons to three:
Activities that many clients ask for range from standardised programme management (utilising MSP type approaches) through to stakeholder engagement and communications. In some instances they have a portfolio of programmes that need prioritisation, financial audit and dependency mapping – in this case, we will work closely with PMO functions and Programme Directors to create a transparent and clear portfolio roadmap and put in place effective measurement and tracking processes to actively manage risks.
We use the globally recognised MSP framework to determine how best to manage, organise and execute programmes. The MSP framework has been proven to be best suited to complex transformational change and focuses on the development of key leadership roles within a programme to enable success.
Using this framework consultants should be able to develop and track business cases and benefits realisation, they should be able to deliver change management enabling the workforce to understand their responsibilities and ensure effective communication channels are in place. Additionally, the active management of risks and issues, design decisions, prioritisation and dependency management should ensure timescales and budgets are effectively controlled.
We provide several programme management services: