Our definition of a programme here is a set of projects. Coordination of projects across a business or major business area is a distinct and separate skill to managing the projects themselves.
Most businesses have a number projects running at any given time. Quite often these projects are initiated spontaneously within departments with the object of generating new or improved projects and services. Taken together, the investment in time and money absorbed can be surprisingly high and company boards are not always aware of the extent and nature of this work. So one aspect of programme management can be to survey, manage and prioritise projects across a company and present a regular schedule of costs and progress for board scrutiny.
The creation of change within a business is generally accompanied by a company-wide project or set of projects. Our belief is that if you want to change business you need to change either the processes, the environment, the organisation structure, the equipment or the training and the way to do this is via a project or a set of projects which is agreed and understood by the persons affected.
There are documented methodologies for programme and project implementation and one of these is Prince 2. Although it is used primarily in Public Sector programmes, Prince 2 provides a valuable guide to the steps required to initiate and implement a project or programme and, in particular, the steps recommended to define and prepare for a programme are invaluable in any field. The difficulty sometimes encountered with Prince 2 lies in the scope of its vision. Because it needs to be all-embracing, its implementation phases tend to be aimed at large scale, large budget projects and judgement must be used when it is applied to smaller scale but equally important projects.
We have experience in programme/project planning and implementation for both organisational change, research and product development and would be pleased to discuss any projects you have under consideration in these areas.