Published on Friday, April 03, 2009
One problem that programme managers come up against is the terminology. If you are working on a programme but your stakeholders still insist on using the word ‘project’, what can you do to ensure the message gets across that it is bigger than just one piece of work?
One needs to “drip feed” the notion that what they are working on is really a programme of interconnected projects rather than a project itself. One way to do this is to make sure that, as a programme manager, one is meeting with all project managers on a regular basis as a group. As each project manager is providing status and discussing his or her contribution to the greater whole, it will become evident that the work to be done is much broader and more comprehensive than a single project. That said, there are many companies that have their own vernacular which may be very difficult to change so one should not buck the “system” too much as it simply isn’t worth the political capital. Focusing on the work to be done, more than the way it is described, will mean success for the programme manager.
That’s great advice, thanks! Do you have another top tip for effective programme management?
Always keep in mind the stated benefits for launching the programme in the first place. For example, we are now implementing a content management system in the company. The reason we are doing this, broadly speaking, is to enable ESI to develop courses faster, better, and with less cost. The CMS program consists of multiple projects, from organizing our vast library of materials, to technical implementation, training, and other things. As a programme manager, our VP for Product Development, while needing to ensure that each project is completed, needs to ensure that the sum total of all the projects will meet our overall business goal of facilitating our product development process. In many programmes, there is a position called “benefits realization manager” simply to ensure that the business benefits are always front and center.
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