1) Programmes are strategic in nature
Programmes are usually part of a larger vision of an organisation and will initiate, define or accelerate projects in order to meet/contribute to this vision. Programmes also has the authority to terminate a project if it no longer form part of the vision.
2) Improved management of interdependencies
A programme management approach has the benefit of linking projects with each other and where there are dependencies e.g. the timing of the delivery of a product can be communicated to stakeholders and the risk associated with the dependency can be managed accordingly.
3) Management of resource availability
A programme management approach has the ability to prioritise individual resources and move them from one project to another project within the programme in line with changing priorities of a project. An example of this will be where there is two construction projects at different sites and if one has a delay it may be possible to utilise the resources on the other project to improve time to completion.
4) Ability to manage risks, issues and changes
A programme management approach enables risks, issues and changes on the projects to be communicated and coordinated across the programme via programme governance. An example of this is introducing a new IT system at the same time that the organisation is disposing of part of the business with a clear risk of HR issues that could impact the IT system project.
5) Focus on the definition and management of strategic benefits
A programme management approach focus on the definition and management of strategic benefits and are therefor focussed on ensuring these benefits are delivered to the relevant stakeholders. It may be possible to adjust the scope of a project or even terminate it if it is not going to meet or contribute to the strategic benefit and only concentrate on other projects in the programme that will realise the benefits.