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Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work (Aristote)

Projects versus Programs

Posted on 2016-08-15 21:17:00 from Vincent in Project Management

Let me share with you my idea of the delta between Programs and Projects


What is Program and Project management ?

Lot of texts exist listing the distinction between projects and programs. But let me summurize it in simple words.

Key elements of a Project

A project delivers, most of the time, a single product or deliverable where the objectives are easy to identify.


The scope is clear and should not be subject to changes. If any, changes shouls be limited in scope and duration.



The duration is pre-defined and clear.



Risks are quite easy to define and with a limited impact.



The stakeholders and the required resources can be pre-defined.

keys elements of a Program

There is no clear scope, but a global objective (increase P&L, decrease the costs, improve the customer satisfaction, ...) that brings values for a divsion or a company.



There is no defined duration. There is no moment is time which, defacto, defines that we have reached the goals. A program is a "never ending story". Thus programs must be stopped by the management.



A Program will trigger creation of several projects. It can even stop running projects or re-orient some others (change the scope of a project).



Resources and stakeholders are not so easy to pre-define and can change during the life of the program.



Programs are closely linked to Business's objectives. Follow-up of costs and revenues is key.



Programs are often follwed directly by the Top-Managers and Financial's expets

Conclusion

Programs are much more that just a collection of Projects. Often Programs have global objectives with a vague duedate. Programs are closely followed by Top-Managers and/or Financial's experts.



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