A program is group of related projects managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits and control that cannot be achieved if the projects were managed individually. Programs can include elements of related tasks outside the scope of the various projects. Program management is therefore, the process of managing numerous related projects with the intention of improving the performance of the organization. Program management is required because of the following:
Program management allows for proper resource allocation, talent spread and expert judgment across the program and the organization. This ensures that each unit or receives adequate resources that will ensure the success of the project. It also allocates talent where it is highly needed. Respective employees will have expert judgment on the progress of the projects and what is required to meet the established deadlines.
Program management also eliminates the isolation of independent projects. This reduces unnecessary costs that might come up as a result of having several independent projects run at the same time. It also brings about accountability within the organization.
This process enhances communication between different project managers and employees. This is because communication will stem from the program manager to the various project managers in the different units. This makes it easier for the organization to get regular and streamlined updates about the progress of the projects and what is needed. Additionally, it makes it easier for information to be shared easily across the organization.
This is by far one of the major benefits of program management. Program management enables the management to assess risks and problems before they occur. And in the case of a problem, the management solves it in the shortest time possible because issue management is centralized and they do not have to talk to various managers who might not be even available.
The program sets guidelines and rules to be followed across the various units. This means that all projects will follow the same rules, policies and guidelines. This eradicates complacency and poor performance by certain project managers who might not have the best interests of the organization at heart. It is essential to point out that not all employees share the same interests. There are those who are there for the sake of it and there are those who want the organization to grow and achieve its goals.
Program management is essential when complex products are being developed across a complex business environment.