1. Programmes involve the management of a number of projects, these will work together and are interdependent of each other, this will ensure consistency throughout the projects and an overarching view to achieve the desired results for example you may have a project to introduce a new IT system but it will need to be managed and run alongside the project designing the system.
2. A programme will have an overarching vision, this would normally be set by the senior management of the organisation and is key to the success of a project, it will dictate which projects are in and which are out dependent on its contribution towards the vision for example
3. A programme can evolve over time if you have a multi-year programme, projects can be divided into tranches to ensure that if there are unpredictable changes, for example a set out houses may not be ready due to finalizing of arrival of specialist equipment from another country, and this can be moved so that objectives can be managed.
4. Programmes are strategic in nature, the vision for the organisation is set and the projects fit within this programme in order to achieve the desired results. The projects are focused purely on the delivery of the product whereas the programme holds the vision for example providing better homes for residents maybe the vision but the project is focused on delivering the product on time.
5. Programmes are benefit focused, we may reach our goal with regards to a project delivering the end product but if the end user is not happy then the project has not been a success for example you may have a project running for the replacement of fire doors in sheltered schemes, if the doors are too heavy for the residents due to disability then this has not been a success.