Mark Mullaly is president of Interthink Consulting Incorporated, an organizational development and change firm specializing in the creation of effective organizational project management solutions. Since 1990, it has worked with companies throughout North America to develop, enhance and implement effective project management tools, processes, structures and capabilities. Mark was most recently co-lead investigator of the Value of Project Management research project sponsored by PMI. You can read more of his writing at markmullaly.com.
This year has seen the launch of a new certification by PMI--the Program Management Professional (PgMP). Not yet publicly available, the PgMP certification has been limited to being conducted on a pilot basis over the last few months. A limited number of training providers were invited to create preparation courses for the certification, and a select group of people have been working through the process. So what is this certification? Where does it fit? And is it something that we need to be thinking about including in our development plans?
The PgMP is based upon the Program Management Standard, which was published by PMI in 2006. The standard explicitly defines programs as “a group of related projects managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits and control not available by managing them individually.” In other words, we’re talking about multiple related projects that are aligned, support a common objective or business outcome but are too large or complex to manage as a single project. All in all, this is mostly in keeping with the majority of definitions of a project-related program that I have encountered.
A program manager, therefore, is the person that oversees one of these undertakings. Probably not for the faint of heart, programs are mammoth endeavors that come with a host of politics, intrigue and drama. Within the standard,