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it has to do with the circumstance of the organization. Regardless of prefix "Mega", Mega project is a project. Some phases of this project is so huge that can be a project itself. The program has its meaning as you know. The way, budget and circumstance the organization wants to lead the project matters.
A mega project normally has one major point of delivery. My experience of major oil and gas projects is an example. The goal of the mega project, which has many sub components such as, drilling, platform, pipelines, subsea equipment; is the production of oil and gas. A programme normally have multiple deliveries, e.g. the opening of a series of retail outlets - there may be common items across the programme but different locations and timings for opening.
Take a look to PMBOK GUide V6 (new version). Lot of work has been done to clarify.
Most mega-projects ARE programs - it's rare that one would be run as a single, large initiative. However, the term mega is usually tacked on once the cost hits $1B or more...
PMI had a mega-project focused issue of PM Journal at the end of 2017 - very illuminating if you'd like to learn more about the subject. You could also read Bent Flyvbjerg research on the topic.
I agree with Tim & Sergio.
Assuming you are a PMI member, you should be able to access that issue of PM Journal on mega-projects here: https://www.pmi.org/learning/publications/...agement-journal
Also, Dr. Flyvbjerg has written a good overview article here: https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/know-...s-overview-2267
The PMBOK Guide v6 throws some clarity on this.
However, in my experience, have noted that programs tend to have a deeper interaction with the functional departments (BAU) - as compared to projects. This is irrespective of the value of the project.
A program lifecycle is distinctly different from a project lifecycle - though many elements - like stakeholder management, risk management etc are performed in both - albeit with a different intensity
"A program is defined as a group of related projects, subsidiary programs, and program activities managed in a coordinated manner to obtain benefits not available from managing them individually.
Programs are not large projects. A very large project may be referred to as a megaproject. As a guideline, megaprojects cost US$1billion or more, affect 1 million or more people, and run for years."
This statement is as per Guide to PMBOK 6th edition.
Thanks Kiron, those are very useful links.
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