CHAPTER 5

Planning a Program

What’s Different About a Program?

Programs differ from projects and portfolios in that their purpose is about the delivery of a vision, not just value, and definitely not just outputs. This changes everything. The role of the program manager is to establish a coordinated, co-operating set of capabilities and ensure these do deliver a transformed organization. So, planning a program is not project planning writ large. The skills are different, the tools are different, and the thinking is different.

The architectonic of a program—the way a program is structured to deliver its vision—is composed of workstreams, tranches, and transition states (possibly unfamiliar words right now, but not for long). The constituent elements ...

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