Chapter 6Managing the Program

It is well established that program management's greatest contribution to an organization is the delivery of business results. Managing a program, therefore, involves coordinating and integrating the work of others to create the whole solution that, when delivered, becomes the means to capture business value. As we have learned, however, this is many times a difficult undertaking due to the ambiguity and the level of uncertainty associated with the environment in which a program exists. To effectively manage a program with high ambiguity and uncertainty, structure is needed to guide a program's journey from strategy development to benefits delivery. Caution must be exercised, however, to establish the appropriate level of structure so a program manager's ability to navigate the amount of change that is normally encountered during the life of a program is not constrained.

Instead of thinking in terms of process for establishing program structure, we recommend thinking in terms of establishing a structured framework. Through our work with numerous companies and organizations, we have witnessed the advantages of using a framework to provide the high-level guidance necessary for managing one's programs. But what type of framework is needed? To answer this question, you have to once again look at the primary outcome from a program—delivering business benefits. As a program moves from inception to end-of-life, it is guided by a series of critical decisions. ...

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