7/11/13Advanced Program Managementwww.devryu.net/re/DotNextLaunch.asp?courseid=8140242&userid=12817512&sessionid=48c0813ad8&tabid=1Br0vO6VOTbjEKzhZ9bqCCZFECCignL+u2Kzfc…1/2
Week 3: Strategic Decision Management - Lecture
Program Management|Program Manager |Project Cost
For the past 2 weeks we have looked at strategic business management of multiple projects, we have examinedcorporate strategy and its relationship to project strategy, and last but not least we have linked projects to thestrategic goals of the organization. This week we are studying program management. We cannot understandprogram management unless we understand its relationship to portfolio management.
Let's look at a portfolio as an umbrella that covers multiple projects or programs. Now, these projects and/or programs may not be related and they may not be dependent on each other. These projects or programs do have acommon thread—they are supporting a common strategic plan or goal of the organization. Portfolio management isthe process of managing these projects through the use of identification, prioritization, authorization, managing,and so on. As we study portfolios and portfolio management, it becomes clear that the portfolio's main objective isto achieve the organization's strategic goals.The program differs from a portfolio in that the program is made up of projects that are related. This group of projects benefit in some way by being managed in a coordinated effort. The goal of the program is to ensure thatthe projects meet the strategic objectives of the program. Not only is program management responsible for changes directed by the portfolio and changes within the projects, but it is also responsible for the planning,managing, monitoring, and success of the projects within the program. The success of the program is measuredby the degree to which it satisfies its goals and objectives. The program management office is responsible for coordinating project interdependencies by resolving resource issues between projects, handling changemanagement, and ensuring that the program goals and objectives stay aligned with the organization's strategicdirection. Table 1.1 in PMBOK gives an excellent overview comparing projects, programs, and portfoliomanagement characteristics.Program management is similar to project management, although the skills, while similar, are slightly different.What does this mean? The program manager needs the same skills used by the project manager, as well as thesame tools, which include earned value, risk management, Pareto, CPM, and PERT, among others. The differenceis the level at which the program manager manages.
The program manager is looking at a program that is a coupling of projects that lead to a larger end product. For example, take an aircraft. The program manager ensures that the final product is a plane that is within budget,schedule, and scope (quality). Within the airplane program, there are numerous projects, including aircraft engines,landing gear, wings, electronics, and so on. The project manager responsible for aircraft engines, in theory, doesnot care about any other area of the program. The program manager must constantly assess what each individualproject is doing and how it affects the rest of the parts.For example, say that the aircraft engine's original design specified that the engines must weigh no more than 200pounds. However, once the detailed designs were accomplished and the parts ordered, it was realized that eachengine would now weight 202 pounds. On its own, this is not a big deal. However, for the overall program it may be.