The most noticeable thing about the new Standard for Program Management – Third Edition is that is has gone on a major diet! The 2nd Edition was 271 page long (plus appendix), the 3rd Edition is less than half the size at 106 pages plus appendix. Unfortunately the price has not moved in the same direction.
The Standard still provides a detailed understanding of program management and promotes efficient and effective communication and coordination among various project management groups. The major updates include:
- Program Life Cycle has been assigned its own chapter for the third edition to provide the details of the unique set of elements that makes up the program management phase.
- The third edition highlights the full scope of program management and clarifies the supporting processes that complete the delivery of programs in the organizational setting.
- A more detailed definition of program management within an organization is provided, including the fundamental differences between project management and program management.
The major focus of the revision seems to be removing a lot of the ‘project management’ information that is found in the PMBOK® Guide and focusing on the role of program management in organisations, the unique characteristics of program management work and the role of the program manager. A shift from process to principle, that is aligned with the Program Management Role Delineation Study that forms the basis for the PgMP examination.
The framework in the Third Edition is:
- Program Management Performance Domains
- Program Strategy Alignment
- Program Benefits Management
- Program Stakeholder Engagement
- Program Governance
- Program Life Cycle Management
- Program Management Supporting Processes
The relationship between the Program Management Performance Domains that makes up the bulk of the standard is illustrated below.
In addition to the core standard, Appendix X4 on Program Management Competencies, and X5 on Program Management Artefacts are very succinct and useful.
A couple of shortcomings in this version of the standard are firstly the limited recognition of the different type of program that organisations run. The PMI standard is very much centred on the ‘strategic program’ defined in the GAPPS typology discussed in our White Paper Defining Program Types. In particular the GAPPS ‘Operational Program’ typology has been largely ignored in the PMI standard.
The other is the classic confusion between the Enterprise level executive management responsibilities that are critical for the support and oversight of the work of the Program Manager and Organisational Governance, typical of documentation produced by working managers. What the standard describes as ‘governance’ is the critical management responsibilities of senior executives to adequately support oversight and manage the process of ‘program management’. Governance is the process of oversighting the whole management system, that is performed by the ‘governing body’ which is the Board of Directors in most commercial organisations and their equivalent in other types of organisation – governors govern, managers manage! For more on this critical distinction see: WP1084 Governance Systems & Management Systems. The contents of the ‘governance’ section are good, just miss-labelled.
Overall this is a significantly improved standard – a lot of duplication and redundancy has been removed, and the key functions and processes of program management and what organisations need to do at the enterprise level to support programs are well though through and laid out. This new standard is available in Australia from: http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/Books.html#PMI
As at the 1st January 2012 the PgMP exam will become much more difficult! The new exam reflects a substantial refinement to the role of a Program Management Professional. The current exam is focused on 5 domains (Defining, Initiating, Planning, Executing and Closing the Program) which will be assembled under new Domain 2 “Program Life Cycle” as sub-domains with new domains, 1, 3, 4 and 5 added. Out of the total of 72 tasks in the new exam, 26 are new or have major revisions, and another 26 have minor changes. The structure of the new exam is:
1. Strategic Program Management
2. Program Life Cycle
• Defining the Program
• Initiating the Program
• Planning the Program
• Executing the Program
• Controlling the Program
• Closing the Program
3. Benefits Management
4. Stakeholder Management
The good news is people who pass their PgMP under the current regime maintain their PgMP status after the 1st January. There is no requirement to re-sit or upgrade an existing credential.
So if you were thinking that obtaining your PgMP would be a good career enhancing move, the smart option would be to pass your exam this year! To find out more about the changes and the options for becoming a PgMP this year, see: http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/Training-PgMP.html
The GAPPS Program Manager Standards have been released and can be downloaded from the GAPPS website. All GAPPS standards are available free of charge.
The Global Alliance for Project Performance Standards (GAPPS) is an alliance of government, private industry, professional associations and training/academic institutes working together to develop globally applicable project management competency based standards, frameworks and mappings. GAPPS standards and frameworks are intended to facilitate mutual recognition and transferabiltiy of project management qualifications.
Copies can be downloaded from the GAPPS website at http://www.globalpmstandards.org.
PMI’s Program Management Professional examination will be changing in 2012. PMI have recently completed an updated Role Delineation Study (RDS) focused on the work of Program Managers. The RDS has produced an revised description of the professional role of a PgMP, based on feedback from more than 1,100 program managers from 79 countries, 119 of whom held the PgMP credential.
The new RDS restructures the Program Management Performance Domains and Tasks and as a consequence, the three evaluations for the PgMP credential, the panel review, the examination, and the multi-rater assessment, are being updated to reflect these changes.
PMI are in the process of finalising these changes with a targeted release of the new examination globally on 1 January 2012.
Program Managers who are considering taking the exam in the near term are encouraged to complete their PgMP examination in the next few months using our current resources. For more information on the PgMP course see: http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/Training-PgM.html. This course is available world wide via our PgMP One-on-One Exam Prep Course.
Based on the updated PgMP Examination Content Outline, that will be released by PMI in the coming weeks, we will be updating our training and examination preparation courses. Our updated courses will be available in Q3 ready for the 2012 exam change.
We have updated our PgMP course offering to include a service where we cut an applicant’s CV to the PMI format using our Word Template and return the PMI version to the Applicant with a brief report on the additional information needed by PMI to complete their CV in the PMI format, plus suggestions for the multi-rater panel. Names in the CV and the multi-rater panel are cross linked by PMI. This initiative is expected to save PgMP applicants between 8 and 12 hours of effort.
For more information see our PgMP Home Page.
Posted in Training
Tagged IT Project Management, PgMP, PMI, PMI Accreditation, PMI Credentials, Program, Program Management, Program Management Professional, Program Management Standards, Project Management, Project Management Training, Training, Training Workshop
The GAPPS Program Manager standard has been finalised and released in exposure draft for public review. The draft standard can be downloaded from, and details are on the GAPPS website at www.globalpmstandards.org. The GAPPS team would like as wide and varied feedback as possible in the period through to 11th October 2010.
GAPPS (Global Alliance for Project Performance Standards) is the world’s only independent body that brings together industry, PM associations, governments and academia to develop performance based standards for project management and map standards and certifications/qualification for project managers globally.
Feedback on the Program Management Competency Standard is in three parts
2.Comments on the role description (section 3 of the exposure draft standard)
3.Comments on specific Units, Elements or Performance Criteria
You can submit as many comments as you wish. If you have more comments than the survey has room for, just come back and complete the survey a second time. If you have no comments for one of the sections, click the submit button to move on to the next step.
After downloading and reviewing the standard, to provide feedback go to http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22B6R5JG452
We will be reviewing the GAPPS standard with a view to enriching our PMI PgMP (Program Management Professional) coursework. For more on PgMP see: http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/Training-PgM.html