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 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 onFacebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+.