Program Management: Building on What Works

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

Improving the program management function is one of those endeavors that seem to have no end, so it’s always good to explore the guidance that others within the space have to offer—and that is what this article is about. It will explore what a number of accomplished practitioners have to say, along with tips and techniques that I have learned along the way in my own career.

In my 2015 article Program Management – More Than Just a Portfolio of Related Projects, I began with the following, which bears repeating:

“For many, program management is performed via a project-centric model; the planning, governance and oversight performed to ensure that a portfolio of linked/interrelated projects are properly prioritized, executed and completed as planned.

For others, program management is more related to events and processes that are imbedded or by-products of ongoing operations. It is, for lack of a better term, process/event-centric. In this model, programs represent initiatives tightly aligned to the organization’s business strategy, stakeholder needs and business goals that are typically focused on leveraging core business functions, underlying processes and/or the organization’s culture.”

This article will focus on program management in context to the project-centric model. Typically (and hopefully), …

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