This chapter begins the discussion of how to successfully manage a program utilizing the program management model. The concepts we present are based upon best-known practices that we have encountered in our personal experience, research, and benchmarking studies with various companies representing multiple industries.
The discussion of how to manage a program must start with how to correctly structure a program. An effective program structure is the keystone to realizing the benefits of program management. Without careful consideration of how an organization's programs are structured, many or all of the benefits of program management will be unrealized.
Having said this, however, it is surprising how few companies have actually implemented an effective and consistent program structure. In practice, we see executives and middle managers taking two approaches that commonly lead to futile attempts to achieve an effective program management model. First, they experiment with multiple program structures, trying to find "the one" that will provide the best results, or they expend an inordinate amount of time, money, and resources trying to improve process and tools, without realizing and fixing the underlying structural problems.
The most common error businesses make in implementing the program management model is failing to understand the difference between a program team structure and a project team structure. Simply stated, projects, especially larger ones, ...