Project Management

PMI Global Insights

by , , , , , ,
Whether it’s in-person or virtual, PMI events give you the right skills to complete amazing projects. In this blog, whether it be our Virtual Experience Series, PMI Training (formerly Seminars World) and our inaugural PMI® Global Summit 2022, experienced event presenters past, present and future from the entire PMI event family share their knowledge on a wide range of issues important to project managers.

About this Blog

RSS

View Posts By:

Cameron McGaughy
Kimberly Whitby
Laura Schofield
Heather McLarnon
Brantlee Underhill
Michelle Brown
Julie Ho

Past Contributors:

Johanna Rusly
April Birchmeier
Nikki Evans
Dalibor Ninkovic
Deepa Bhide
Chris DiBella
Nic Jain
Karen Chovan
Jack Duggal
Catalin Dogaru
Priya Patra
Josh Parrott
Scott Lesnick-CSP
Antonio Nieto
Dimitrios Zaires
Ahmed Zouhair
Carmine Paragano
Te Wu
Katie Mcconochie
Fabiola Maisonnier
Erik Agudelo
Paul Capello
Kiron Bondale
Jamie Champagne
Esra Tepeli
Renaldi Gondosubroto
Mel Ross
Geetha Gopal
David Summers
Fabio Rigamonti
Archana Shetty
Geneviève Bouchard
Randall Englund
Kristy Tan Neckowicz
Moritz Sprenger
Mike Frenette
O. Chima Okereke
David Maynard
Nancie Celini
Sandra MacGillivray
Sharmila Das
Gina Abudi
Greg Githens
Sarah Mersereau
Lawrence Cooper
Donna Gregorio
Bruce Gay
Wael Ramadan
Fiona Lin
Joe Shi
Michel Thiry
Heather van Wyk
Barbara Trautlein
Steve Salisbury
Yves Cavarec
Drew Craig
Stephanie Jaeger
Diana Robertson
Benjamin C. Anyacho
Nadia Vincent
Carlos Javier Pampliega García
Norma Lynch
Emily Luijbregts
Michelle Stronach
Sydni Neptune
Quincy Wright
Nesrin Aykac
Laura Samsó
Lily Woi
Jill Almaguer
Marcos Arias
Karthik Ramamurthy
Yoram Solomon
Cheryl Lee
Kelly George
Dan Furlong
Kristin Jones
Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin
Carlene Szostak
Hilary Kinney
Annmarie Curley
David Davis

Recent Posts

Presentation Recap: Ask Me Anything: Perspectives from PMI Board of Directors

Presentation Recap: Session 310: Leading an Inclusive Project Team

Presentation Recap: Session 308: Operation Readiness: A Systematic Approach for Industrial Construction Projects

Presentation Recap: Session 315: Best Practices in the Art of Survival with Strategic Planning

Presentation Recap: Session 313: Project Takeover: Transition toward Success

Viewing Posts by Kristy Tan Neckowicz

Why Program Management?

When I saw PMI’s call for papers for their 2014 North American Congress, I debated which topics I would propose to write and speak about. Over the last 10 years, I have presented at various PMI Congresses on topics of Project Management Maturity, Scheduling, Project Portfolio Management, Earned Value Analysis, Setting and Achieving Stretch Goals, and Effective Communication and Collaboration Skills. It is clearly time for something different, I thought, something on Program Management perhaps. It is one of those topics that doesn’t get enough attention. Most people assume you would just do the same thing as you would for Project Management, only that you would do it to a group of related projects.  Well, in my opinion that’s both correct and incorrect. So it’s decided then. I will speak about Program Management at this year’s PMI North American Congress.

When I’m in the planning phase for a Program, the processes I use for Program Management match those of Project Management exactly. I gather requirements for the complete scope, make sure the requirements are clear and can be met. I use the same decomposition technique to break down the scope to a manageable level which I can then assign to project managers. Call it what you want, but my Enterprise Project Structure or Program Breakdown Structure look very much like a project Work Breakdown Structure.  I even use the same tools and techniques for analogous estimating, evaluating trade-offs (build, buy or partner) and planning procurement and HR activities. Along the way, I carefully manage stakeholder expectations, taking the “cautiously optimistic” approach. I personally like to under-promise and over-deliver – but that is difficult to do because sponsors have a way of making me say “yes” to their laundry list of wishes. Even so, I have been called a “Spoiler” by my executive sponsor on many occasions.  So at least for me, planning a program is very much the same process as planning a project, only I stop at a higher level of detail and let the assigned project managers take over from there.

Once the Program Plan is approved and projects can begin, the Program’s execution, monitoring and control phases are also similar to those in Project Management. The key difference, is the effective summarization of the relevant project details so that I can “see the forest for the trees.” I need to know the program progress at a high level, while making sure important events and trends are not missed (or worse, hidden!) As a program manager, I also need to play match-maker between project managers, and reminding them how each project is dependent or impacting another project in the program.  I find that project managers can become myopic (probably for their own sanity and self-preservation!) about their own projects and they often forget (or avoid) to inform the related projects which they impact. Information about project progress needs to flow up and down at the appropriate level of detail so program decisions can be made effectively and in a timely manner. When done well, it’s why Program Managers deserve to “make the big bucks.”

In my presentation at Congress, I will share some real examples to show how Program Management is different and challenging at the same time.  If you are managing programs or large projects that contain many sub-projects, I hope you will attend and share your experience with all of us. Until then, be well.

Posted by Kristy Tan Neckowicz on: September 01, 2014 08:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
ADVERTISEMENTS
ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsors