Tag Archives: Program

The Standard for Program Management—Third Edition

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:

  • Introduction
  • 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.

Program_Domains

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.

Summary
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

PgMP Credential Update

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
5. Governance

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

Global Project Management Standard

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 PgMP Examination Update

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.

Primavera Australia becomes ‘stronger’!

After 20 years Primavera Australia has rebranded to Fortior Global Pty Ltd. The name is derived from the Latin fortis meaning strength, with fortior meaning stronger.

The company continues as one of the largest resellers of the Primavera range of products world-wide and has been steadily building sales year on year. In addition to the software sales and support, Fortior Global will have an increased focus on services, support and providing a complete range of Portfolio, Program and Project management services covering risk, estimating, cost control and (of course) scheduling.

The ‘global’ references existing projects in Asia and South Africa and plans for further expansion into the world markets.

If the buzz at the brand launch last night is anything to go by Fortior Global will be going from strength to strength. The new website is www.fortiorglobal.com

CPO – Chief Project Officer

CPOs should become CP3Os – Chief Project, Program and Portfolio Officers! It is impossible to deliver value to an organisation if any of the layers of project governance are ineffective. Like C-3PO in Star Wars, the CP3O needs to be an expert in communication and understand the right language and protocols to use at different levels of the organisation to tie the project, program and portfolio management processes directly to the creation of value.

The original C-3PO

At the portfolio management level, selecting the ‘right’ projects and programs to continue, cancel or start is vital to the future success of the organisation. The CP3O should be a key advisor to the executive team responsible for the strategic plan and selecting the on-going mix of work for the organisation; balancing high-risk, high-reward projects that may define the future of the organisation with ‘safer’ projects that help keep the lights on and grow today’s business. The capacity and capability of the organisation’s program and project delivery systems is a key enabler and the primary constraint on this process. The CP3O should be the person with the knowledge to facilitate effective decision making.

Program management focuses on the efficient coordination of multiple projects to deliver benefits. Each program is focused on delivering key elements of the organisation’s overall strategy and consequently has a significant contribution to make to the organisation’s ability to deliver value to its stakeholders. The CP3O should be actively engaged in ensuring the programs meet their businesses objectives. The program sponsor and other managers may have line responsibility for the initiative, the CP3O focuses on skills and support.

Project management is focused on the efficient creation of the deliverables defined in the Project Charter. Projects are most effective when their objectives are clearly defined and unnecessary change is minimised. Whilst Project Managers may report to a variety of managers, the CP3O should focus on skills development and performance.

Most organisations have developed PMOs to support the delivery of Projects and Programs and to provide the data needed for both governance and Portfolio Management decisions. The development and operation of the organisation’s PMO structure should be a core responsibility of the CP3O.

The role of a Project Director (at least in Australia) is as the manger of project managers. The difference between Project Directors and Program Managers is the Program is created to deliver a defined benefit (the responsibility of the Program Manager) and projects are created to deliver the outputs required to enable the benefit. The Program Manager has overall responsibility for both the performance of the projects within the program and enabling the benefit; whereas Project Directors tend to be responsible for oversighting the performance of the projects within their area of responsibility. The Project Director is typically discipline and location based; eg, the Director for IT projects in Sydney. The project deliverables may contribute to a range of initiatives within the organisation. Project Directors should be direct reports of the CP3O.

The CP3O (or CPO) role is becoming more common. Defining the value proposition for this executive will be critically important to the improvement in delivering value through projects and programs. One of the key initiatives a CP3O can use to drive continuing improvements within the organisation is to develop a focus on process improvement using an effective maturity model. PMI’s OPM3 is probably the best tool from the perspectives of rigour and its focus on projects, programs and portfolio management.

This post has covered a lot of ground. For more information on specific topics see:
Portfolio Management: See White Paper1017
Types of Program: See White Paper1022
Programs -v- Projects: See White Paper1002
PMOs: See White Paper1034
OPM3: http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/OPM3.html

PgMP Training Updated

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.