Archive for August, 2014

An Overview of Program Management

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

 

Over the course of the past few weeks we’ve discussed the various aspects of program management, how they differ from project management, and how they fit together to create a cohesive whole. This week, we’ll summarize what we’ve discussed in our recent blogs to provide a basic overview of program management.

 

An Overview of Program Management

 

Program Governance

 

Program governance is the top of the management structure. Program governance is the task of aligning the many diverse interests and strategic directions that comprise a program into a single vision and direction. Program governance must define roles and powers of the many actors in the program so that they may execute their roles and use their powers in a way that contributes effectively to the end goal of the program.

 

Program Management Hierarchy

 

The hierarchy of program management is the structure of the top layer of governance of the program. The general hierarchy are the program sponsors/steering committee, the program manager/director, and the project manager. The steering committee defines the business and IT strategy of the program and determines how this will integrate with the business strategy of the enterprise as a whole.

 

Financial Program Management

 

The financial needs of a large program are diverse and complex. The Chief Financial Officer of the program takes a leading role in managing the program’s finances. He or she must define the goal of the program’s financial operations relative to the overall goal of the program, as well as justify and modify financial practices as necessary.

 

Program Infrastructure

 

The glue that holds the entire thing together, a program’s infrastructure is incredibly complex. The Program Management Office (PMO) is tasked with creating and maintaining the infrastructure of the program and ensuring that it continues to meet the needs of the program as a whole. The number of tasks that fall within this overarching goal is very large, and includes everything from resources coordination to budget administration and procurement, to training of staff.

 

Program Planning

 

Program planning is the process of building from the ground up the necessary projects that will comprise the program, integrating them into the program, and reviewing this integration to ensure it is as efficient and consistent as possible.

 

program governance

 

To learn more about program management, contact DHA Group today. An award-winning management consulting and contracting firm primarily serving federal, civilian and defense agencies, DHA group supports clients’ mission-critical work by delivering expert professional services. Follow us on social media on FacebookLinkedInTwitter or Google+.

 

How Program Planning Works

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

 

Program planning is the foundation of a solid program. Proper planning gives a program the best chance of success, delivery as anticipated, and meeting time requirements. The right amount of attention must be given to program planning in order for it to be viable. Investing time in program planning is an essential part of all program management strategies. Let’s take a look at the basic concept behind program planning and what it strives to achieve.

 

Program Planning

 

Individual Projects

 

Program planning begins with the planning of individual projects that comprise the program. This involves allocating and distributing resources, coming up with a time frame, and the other basic tenets of project planning. Because these projects each have a more narrowly defined focus, more micromanagement is necessary in this initial stage.

 

Bringing Projects Together

 

The second phase of planning involves bringing all of these individual projects together and making them a part of the program as a whole. Because the scopes of some projects may overlap, this usually involves a second round of planning for these projects in order to more efficiently integrate them into the program. As a result, resource allocation and schedules will necessarily have to be adjusted.

 

Program Planning

 

The third stage of program planning is essential to program success. This stage takes a more macro view of the projects, which now have been aligned to the goal of the program. It looks for any inconsistencies or areas where problems could potentially arise. It gives a holistic view of the program and how the various projects work together, and provides a easy to digest view of this for program managers.

 

program planning

Program management hinges on the success of program plannig. To learn more about program planning and program management, contact DHA Group today. An award-winning management consulting and contracting firm primarily serving federal, civilian and defense agencies, DHA group supports clients’ mission-critical work by delivering expert professional services. Follow us on social media on FacebookLinkedInTwitter or Google+.

Source

http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/rational/library/4751.html

 

Program Administrative Infrastructure: the Program Management Office

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

A solid administrative infrastructure is essential to the success of a program. The task of program administration and management support falls to the program management office, a division of program management not found in project management. The program management office, also known by the acronym PMO, is a temporary fixture that provides administrative and management support until the completion of the program. In certain cases, an enterprise PMO may be instituted as a permanent operation, which serves programs as they come online and throughout their lifetimes. The typical PMO, however, is intended to serve a function for the time frame of the program.

 

The Function of the Program Management Office

 

Within the task of program administration, the PMO has a large number of tasks that fall under its jurisdiction.

 

Resources Coordination

 

The coordination and distribution of program resources to maintain work processes and efforts. This also involves defining the roles and goals of these work efforts within the larger context of the program.

 

Budget Administration and Procurement

 

General administration of the budget and overseeing procurement of necessary resources.

 

Training Coordination

 

Training of staff in necessary disciplines and specialized areas of expertise.

 

Communications Management

 

Administration of the communications needs of the program.

 

Additional Roles

 

These examples constitute just a few of the roles of the program management office. Additional roles include:

  • Facilities administration
  • Contracts administration
  • Technical support
  • Risk Assessment
  • Methodology and process support
  • Issues management
  • Status reporting

The Administrative Process of the PMO

 

How does the project management office go about administration of one of these roles? The following example covers the role of communications management administration.

 

First, the PMO would work with the overall program manager to determine what communications encompasses and what the needs of the program will be relative to communications. The PMO must then create a communications plan that details how the necessary communications infrastructure will be acquired, put in place, maintained, and used. Third, the PMO must see that this plan is put into action and works as intended. Throughout the program, the program management office must work with the communications director to ensure that this area is functioning as it should.

 

program management infrastructure

 

Program success hinges on the strength of the program management office and strong program administration. To learn more about program administration and the program management office, contact DHA Group today. An award-winning management consulting and contracting firm primarily serving federal, civilian and defense agencies, DHA group supports clients’ mission-critical work by delivering expert professional services. Follow us on social media on FacebookLinkedInTwitter or Google+.

 

Source

http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/rational/library/4751.html

 

Program Management Financial Practices

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

 

The financial concerns of program management are necessarily more diverse and more dynamic than those of project management. The size, scope, and long time frame of project management means that the costs will be higher, and will be associated with a larger variety of expenditures than in a typical project. Administration of a program’s financial concerns requires more depth than that of programs, will have to take into consideration both internal and external (in the case of government agencies) procedural regulations regarding financial expenditures. The Chief Financial Officer must take an active role in the process, both in the initial formative stages and throughout the duration of the program.

 

Program Management Financial Practices

 

A large variety of resources are necessary for the effective implementation and execution of a program. Labor is naturally the foremost consideration, but other resources are equally as important. Within labor, there are travel and living expenses as well as chargeback and consulting fees to consider. Hardware, software, work space, construction of new space, transportation, and the furnishing of space are all costs involved in the typical program. Executive officials must ensure that expenditures on these resources are conducted according to internal and external policy.

 

The chief executive official with regard to the financial practices of program management is Chief Financial Officer or CFO. The CFO oversees the entirety of the program’s financial operations, and as such is tasked with defining the goal of these operations in order to achieve the overall program goal, and justifying financial expenditures and practices, and modifying them as necessary. Under the CFO financial analysts crunch the numbers using financial models and keep executive staff informed of the financial status of the program at predetermined points in its lifespan. Analysts recommend any changes in course which would need to be approved by executive staff. Implementation of a financial strategy requires a fundamental understanding of the resources needed and the program’s goals, as well as any policy requirements.

 

program management financials

 

Program success hinges on the clear definition of roles, authority, decision making ability, and structure. Program governance is essential for these concepts to be delineated and actualized so that the program may reach its goals. To learn more about program governance and program management, contact DHA Group today. An award-winning management consulting and contracting firm primarily serving federal, civilian and defense agencies, DHA group supports clients’ mission-critical work by delivering expert professional services. Follow us on social media onFacebookLinkedInTwitter or Google+.

 

The Hierarchy of Program Management

Friday, August 1st, 2014

 

As we discussed in last week’s blog, program management is used to consolidate the efforts and goals of multiple projects under a unified management system. This system is the program management system. Project management is focused on the direct allocation and usage of resources under its domain. These include human resources, physical resources. The project must be conscious of the time frame under which it is operating and utilize its resources efficiently in order to meet requirements imposed by funding and to meet a product delivery schedule. Program management is focused on similar objectives, but on a much larger scale over the scope of several projects. In addition to overseeing these goals (though with less micro-management than project management), program management must align the goals of all projects involved and unify them into a single direction that can drive the success of the operation as a whole. In order to do this, the responsibilities of program management are divided into three different levels.

 

The Hierarchy of Program Management

 

Program Sponsors/Steering Committee

 

This is the highest position on the totem pole of program management. The top of the executive group of program management, the program’s sponsors and steering committee defines the overarching business and IT strategy for the program, and how the program will integrate with the business direction of the enterprise. It does so by creating policy, ensuring momentum can be sustained, and reviewing progress and making adjustments as needed.

 

Program Manager/Director

 

The program manager/director is charged with seeing that the efforts of individual programs are aligned and meeting the goals set by the steering committee. The program manager is involved in all facets of the operation, from coordinating different projects, reviewing progress, integrating goals, and implementing changes in plans if necessary.

 

Project Manager

 

The third level in program management hierarchy is the project manager. The project manager manages one individual project and allocates and utilizes resources to achieve a desired output within a desired time frame.

 

program management hierarchy

Program success hinges on the clear definition of roles, authority, decision making ability, and structure. Program management is essential for these concepts to be delineated and actualized so that the program may reach its goals. To learn more about program management, contact DHA Group today. An award-winning management consulting and contracting firm primarily serving federal, civilian and defense agencies, DHA group supports clients’ mission-critical work by delivering expert professional services. Follow us on social media onFacebookLinkedInTwitter or Google+.

Source

http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/rational/library/4751.html