Five key benefits of using a programme management approach:
- Programme management allows businesses to have multiple projects running simultaneously. This is an efficient way of working as it means a lot of work can be undertaken and completed at once. It also allows for a useful interaction with business as usual, for example, HR or IT support to help the smooth running of the programme. For example when implementing a new IT system then the HR project can be managed as part of the overall programme.
- Programme management is strategic in nature. Instead of focusing on the details of a single project, they are able to oversee the cumulative benefits of several projects. Conversely they can see cumulative risk and resource availability allowing for more sophisticated planning. This means that we can think about how different projects can be combined to give an overall benefit to the organisation.
- Programme management can align with an organisation’s vision or mission statement. This means the type of projects undertaken, when looked at as a collective, contribute to what the organisation as a whole is trying to achieve. So for example in our IT programme example then the objectives of the programme can be aligned with the objectives of the organisation.
- Programme management has a top down approach which is beneficial to everyone in the chain as they are aware of their responsibilities and thus can work to full capacity. In practice this means that the programme can achieve better utilisation of resources when compared to isolated projects. For example we could divert resources from one project to another in order to maintain a delivery schedule.
- Finally, programme management is more comfortable with risk than project management. This can be advantageous as it allows the risk to be spread strategically rather than on any individual project, thus reducing the potential for direct negative impact. It may be possible that a common cause risks applies to several projects and this risk is better managed at a programme level. So for example in our IT example it could be stakeholder resistance to change. The programme manager may have more influence over these types of risk.