Without effective project management, some of humanity’s greatest feats would never have been accomplished. It is the driving force behind the scenes, ensuring that deliverables are achieved and that the project comes to a successful end. You must have an idea of what a project is in this context, but what about a programme? Are they the same thing? This article will differentiate between the two, unveil a few types of programmes, and explain why programmes are important to successful project management:
Programme Vs. Project
A project is a campaign of activities geared towards achieving one goal, whereas a programme is a campaign of projects achieving multiple programme goals. For example, a start-up business could require the launching of social media accounts, setting up bulk emails, developing a website, etc. These activities are projects, each falling under a programme intended to ensure the successful launch of the brand into the market.
Why Programmes Are Important
The central purpose of a programme is to tie together related work or projects within the organisation. Programmes are established to ensure that the ‘big picture’ isn’t lost on the project level. These programmes contribute directly to the organisation’s strategic aims and make it much easier to manage resources and expenses across the spectrum of activities.
Different Types Of Programmes
There are three main types of programmes prevalent in the project management field, each with their particular processes and best-practices. These are:
Not all programmes are established for marketing and advertising. Mandatory programmes arise when the organisation encounters change that they are forced to respond to. For instance, the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Outcomes of projects within mandatory programmes are usually amendments to company policies, terms and conditions, etc.
These programmes are transformational and are usually instigated by senior organisational leaders. A visionary programme can cause changes in company culture and can have an impact on fundamental business activities. The programme becomes the practical manner in which the company gets to where the leaders see it going.
You can call this variety of programme a grow-as-we-go sort, where the programme kind of comes together out of necessity. This often happens when a few loosely-related projects are ongoing, and overlaps start to emerge. Better coordination and leadership can be instilled when these projects come together under the structure of one programme.
Project management occurs on all levels of the corporate structure, and different departments will require different approaches.
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