Programme Management is the management of interrelated projects that form a programme (Definition provided by Axelos). In this article we will understand why using programmes is such an important activity and how it can benefit organisations and teams.
Plans Are Worthless, But Planning Is Everything is a famous quote from US President Eisenhower, which makes it clear that there will always be times when sticking to plans will be impossible or when even planning will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.
However, Programme Management is not just about slavishly filling in paperwork for its own sake: it is an approach to work that guides the whole team and its members.
The use of programmes is a necessary activity
Regardless of the Project/Programme/Portfolio Management methodology applied, planning activities must always be carried out: without planning there is no control, so any management activity will fail or be ineffective.
Obviously, the use of programmes is more efficient the more manageable and predictable the level of detail applied. Above all, this concerns the time factor: it is important to plan what can still be managed. Having an end date is important, but it must be borne in mind that this may not always be realistic or accurate.
Splitting into stages
Dividing a project into several stages allows greater control over how to proceed throughout the project in terms of priorities, risks and complexity.
Short stages guarantee
- More control: each stage has fixed start and end dates. This makes it possible to evaluate at any time whether to continue, interrupt or modify the work programme on the basis of its evolution with respect to what has been established.
- Flexibility: it helps to focus on the phase of the programme in which one is working, to understand which direction to take and to be prepared for possible problems.
90-days action plan
Subdivision is one of the main activities in Programme Management: it helps to manage activities by creating smaller compartments both in terms of tasks to be accomplished and time spent. This allows better management of the objectives to be achieved, establishing intermediate stages without being tied only to the conclusion of the programme.
As the name suggests, this is a 90-days action plan that helps you focus on the actions that will lead to the achievement of certain goals.
90-days action plan because 90 days is a relatively short period of time that helps you not to lose focus on the goals to be achieved but at the same time it is long enough to allow significant progress towards the final goal. It is therefore the perfect time period for the implementation of a plan.
Even without following the 90-days action plan, for every professional the use of programs can be fundamental and help to prevent and deal with any problems that may (and will!) arise during the development of a project.