What is involved in Program Management

Find out what the related areas are that Program Management connects with, associates with, correlates with or affects, and which require thought, deliberation, analysis, review and discussion. This unique checklist stands out in a sense that it is not per-se designed to give answers, but to engage the reader and lay out a Program Management thinking-frame.

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Take this short survey to gauge your organization’s progress toward Product Portfolio and Program Management PPM leadership. Learn your strongest and weakest areas, and what you can do now to create a strategy that delivers results.

To address the criteria in this checklist for your organization, extensive selected resources are provided for sources of further research and information.

Start the Checklist

Below you will find a quick checklist designed to help you think about which Program Management related domains to cover and 153 essential critical questions to check off in that domain.

The following domains are covered:

Program Management, Business transformation, Change management, Comparison of project management software, Cost overrun, Executive sponsor, Her Majesty’s Government, Industrial engineering, Line management, Office of Government Commerce, Program Manager, Project Management Institute, Project management, Project management office, Project manager, Project stakeholders, Project team, Systems engineering, Value chain, Version control:

Program Management Critical Criteria:

Infer Program Management governance and revise understanding of Program Management architectures.

– Just what is a project management office, and how can it help you address the unique project management challenges in your organization?

– Have any other contributing factors emerged from consultations with the target group which were not previously identified?

– Will the analysis enable an assessment of whether or not the program goals and objectives have been achieved?

– Are insurmountable gaps forming between the resources required to achieve the objectives and those available?

– How do we manage and change culture so that we increase the chances of achieving our strategic objectives?

– Are basic time management techniques being used to ensure that the implementation process is efficient?

– Is it possible to use a methodology which enables an assessment of the effectiveness of the program?

– Have any stakeholders been involved with activities which could raise the programs profile?

– Have any strategies helped create or increase a demand from the target group for change?

– What is the range of potential strategies which could achieve the possible objectives?

– Has sufficient time been allocated to enable the objectives to be met?

– Has a system been set up to monitor the implementation of these tasks?

– Is there community support to sustain parts, or all of, the program?

– Are phone calls being returned and conversations being documented?

– What forms of communication or reporting are appropriate?

– Does the selection of strategies need reviewing?

– What is the basic purpose of a publicity event?

– Who will be responsible for entering the data?

– How are the guidelines structured?

– Who will do the analysis?

Business transformation Critical Criteria:

Reorganize Business transformation decisions and point out Business transformation tensions in leadership.

– Does Program Management systematically track and analyze outcomes for accountability and quality improvement?

– Who are the people involved in developing and implementing Program Management?

– What vendors make products that address the Program Management needs?

Change management Critical Criteria:

Inquire about Change management quality and probe Change management strategic alliances.

– What steps have executives included in the Change Management plan to identify and address customers and stakeholders concerns about the specific process to be reengineered?

– Business Change and Training Manager responsibilities include Planning, coordinating and implementing an Organizational Change Management Plan?

– Have all the major Change Management issues associated with the preferred alternative been identified and discussed?

– Does your organization have a preferred organizational change management methodology?

– Do changes in business processes fall under the scope of change management?

– How effective is your organization with organizational change management?

– In what scenarios should change management systems be introduced?

– Are Organizational Change managements best practices (eg Kotter) applied?

– What are the primary barriers to effective Change Management?

– How pro-active is the Organizational Change Management Plan?

– Who are the leaders in a Change Management process?

– When is Change Management used on a project?

– When to start Change Management?

– What is Change Management?

Comparison of project management software Critical Criteria:

Talk about Comparison of project management software planning and diversify by understanding risks and leveraging Comparison of project management software.

– Why is it important to have senior management support for a Program Management project?

– Does the Program Management task fit the clients priorities?

– Why is Program Management important for you now?

Cost overrun Critical Criteria:

Examine Cost overrun engagements and integrate design thinking in Cost overrun innovation.

– Who will be responsible for deciding whether Program Management goes ahead or not after the initial investigations?

– Does our organization need more Program Management education?

Executive sponsor Critical Criteria:

Face Executive sponsor management and adjust implementation of Executive sponsor.

– What will be the consequences to the business (financial, reputation etc) if Program Management does not go ahead or fails to deliver the objectives?

– What are the success criteria that will indicate that Program Management objectives have been met and the benefits delivered?

– Who needs to know about Program Management ?

Her Majesty’s Government Critical Criteria:

Think about Her Majesty’s Government tasks and interpret which customers can’t participate in Her Majesty’s Government because they lack skills.

– How do we Improve Program Management service perception, and satisfaction?

– What are the short and long-term Program Management goals?

– Are there Program Management problems defined?

Industrial engineering Critical Criteria:

Accommodate Industrial engineering results and test out new things.

– What new services of functionality will be implemented next with Program Management ?

– How will we insure seamless interoperability of Program Management moving forward?

Line management Critical Criteria:

Investigate Line management tasks and handle a jump-start course to Line management.

– Who will be responsible for making the decisions to include or exclude requested changes once Program Management is underway?

– What tools, resources, and training are required to perform baseline management?

– What are the record-keeping requirements of Program Management activities?

– Why are Program Management skills important?

Office of Government Commerce Critical Criteria:

Model after Office of Government Commerce risks and look for lots of ideas.

– Record-keeping requirements flow from the records needed as inputs, outputs, controls and for transformation of a Program Management process. ask yourself: are the records needed as inputs to the Program Management process available?

– Are there any easy-to-implement alternatives to Program Management? Sometimes other solutions are available that do not require the cost implications of a full-blown project?

– Risk factors: what are the characteristics of Program Management that make it risky?

Program Manager Critical Criteria:

Categorize Program Manager issues and oversee Program Manager requirements.

– Management buy-in is a concern. Many program managers are worried that upper-level management would ask for progress reports and productivity metrics that would be hard to gather in an Agile work environment. Management ignorance of Agile methodologies is also a worry. Will Agile advantages be able to overcome the well-known existing problems in software development?

– Think about the kind of project structure that would be appropriate for your Program Management project. should it be formal and complex, or can it be less formal and relatively simple?

– Have data stewards (e.g.,program managers) responsible for coordinating data governance activities been identified and assigned to each specific domain of activity?

– Can we do Program Management without complex (expensive) analysis?

– What are specific Program Management Rules to follow?

Project Management Institute Critical Criteria:

Distinguish Project Management Institute tactics and catalog Project Management Institute activities.

– How can you negotiate Program Management successfully with a stubborn boss, an irate client, or a deceitful coworker?

– What business benefits will Program Management goals deliver if achieved?

Project management Critical Criteria:

Give examples of Project management results and define Project management competency-based leadership.

– Agile project management with Scrum derives from best business practices in companies like Fuji-Xerox, Honda, Canon, and Toyota. Toyota routinely achieves four times the productivity and 12 times the quality of competitors. Can Scrum do the same for globally distributed teams?

– When we say that the traditional project team is not self-organized, no matter how complex the project is, and what level of team we are discussing?

– Do those selected for the Program Management team have a good general understanding of what Program Management is all about?

– What additional schedule (and cost) would be required if they continued at historical or any other lower burn rates?

– How can an agile project manager balance team level autonomy and individual level autonomy in agile software teams?

– How will the existing culture and organizational structure be impacted by agile project management?

– Why should a client choose a project team which offers agile software development?

– How are agile principles being applied in large projects and multi-site projects?

– What happens to the function of the business analysis in user story development?

– Our project management standards do they support or undermine Risk Management?

– Justification: what are your research questions and how do you motivate them?

– Can agile project management be adopted by industries other than software development?

– Will reporting methods be different for agile versus traditional projects?

– What project management qualifications does the Project Manager have?

– Operationally, what does project management integration mean?

– What is the role of Project Management Body of Knowledge?

– What work wouldnt get done if no more funds were added?

– What are the Commercial aspects of Project Management?

– What project management associations are you a member of?

– What is agile project management?

Project management office Critical Criteria:

Win new insights about Project management office visions and correct better engagement with Project management office results.

– What are the key considerations and decisions that must be made to ensure your project management office is appropriate for your organization?

– Do we aggressively reward and promote the people who have the biggest impact on creating excellent Program Management services/products?

– What may be the consequences for the performance of an organization if all stakeholders are not consulted regarding Program Management?

– Does your organization have a Project Management Office (PMO)?

– Does your organization have a Project Management Office?

– What are current Program Management Paradigms?

Project manager Critical Criteria:

Shape Project manager issues and frame using storytelling to create more compelling Project manager projects.

– There is lots of discussion about the role of a project manager; whether a project manager is needed in the agile world or not. How much and which way a traditional project manager has to change his/her management style or way of working in order to be an agile project manager?

– With agile processes promoting the concept of self-directed teams, is there room for the conventional project manager or does this role also need to evolve to suit the principles of the new paradigm?

– How much and which way a traditional project manager has to change his/her management style or way of working in order to be an agile project manager?

– Do we have these warning signs: This project is not that big and everyone knows what they are doing -why do we need a project manager?

– What are the actions taken by project managers when leading and implementing a transformational change initiative?

– How can an agile project manager balance team level autonomy and individual level autonomy in agile software teams?

– What should the project manager(s) do differently next time your organization undergoes a change process?

– So, if the project no longer needs a detailed master project plan, why does it need a project manager?

– What are the most important skills practitioners consider make an effective people project manager?

– So, if the project no longer needs a detailed master project plan, why does it need a project manager?

– What knowledge, skills and characteristics mark a good Program Management project manager?

– When a Program Management manager recognizes a problem, what options are available?

– How do we manage Program Management Knowledge Management (KM)?

– Can project managers measure project status at any point in time?

– What is the necessity of a Project Manager?

– What is the duty of a Project Manager?

– What was the project manager best at?

– Who are the project managers?

Project stakeholders Critical Criteria:

Sort Project stakeholders tactics and track iterative Project stakeholders results.

– What other organizational variables, such as reward systems or communication systems, affect the performance of this Program Management process?

– How do mission and objectives affect the Program Management processes of our organization?

– What sources do you use to gather information for a Program Management study?

Project team Critical Criteria:

Review Project team strategies and get out your magnifying glass.

– How do you know that your project team members are following the documented cm processes to establish the baseline and control changes to it?

– Can we say that the traditional project team is not self-organized, no matter how complex the project is, and what level of team we are discussing?

– Is the project using any technologies that have not been widely deployed or that the project team is unfamiliar with?

– Does Program Management analysis show the relationships among important Program Management factors?

– Is maximizing Program Management protection the same as minimizing Program Management loss?

– Are the project teams ready to function within agile project management?

– Project Team: Who will be on the project and for which dates?

– Describe the Leadership and Motivation for the Project Team?

– Did the project team have enough people to execute the project plan?

– How do we go about Securing Program Management?

– Did the project team have the right skills?

Systems engineering Critical Criteria:

Deliberate Systems engineering visions and frame using storytelling to create more compelling Systems engineering projects.

– If we can describe engineered systems in a way analogous to natural systems (global complexity emerging from local simplicity, for example), can we identify the parameters which obey the kind of power-law relationship we find in natural systems?

– When we try to quantify Systems Engineering in terms of capturing productivity (i.e., size/effort) data to incorporate into a parametric model, what size measure captures the amount of intellectual work performed by the systems engineer?

– Regarding the way the system is formed and operates and the scale of interest; e.g., are we interested in complexity at the level of atoms or of cells or of organs?

– The complexity of our design task is significantly affected by the nature of the objectives for the systems to be designed. is the task intricate, or difficult?

– To apply complexity theory to engineered systems that we have not yet designed, can we predict these features within acceptable accuracy ranges?

– What approach will permit us to deal with the kind of unpredictable emergent behaviors that dynamic complexity can introduce?

– What will take the place of magnitude in our attempts to discern a power-law relationship?

– Do we have confidence in the reliability and robustness of the systems we design?

– Does management understand principles and concepts of system engineering?

– Standards, goals, and appropriate processes been established?

– Has organization developed a plan for continuous improvement?

– How do functions occur between parts of the system?

– How do we compare with the competition?

– What parts are connected to each other?

– Is the schedule too aggressive?

– Why model-based architectures?

– Multiple development cycles?

– Right requirements?

– Where are we today?

Value chain Critical Criteria:

Have a session on Value chain issues and overcome Value chain skills and management ineffectiveness.

– How do we maintain Program Managements Integrity?

– How can we improve Program Management?

Version control Critical Criteria:

Probe Version control outcomes and test out new things.

– How can you experiment with a complex change and benefit from the version control system without making the change public?

– Do we monitor the Program Management decisions made and fine tune them as they evolve?

– Will you be using a standard naming format and version control?

– How do we improve the way that we use version control?

– What goes under version control?


This quick readiness checklist is a selected resource to help you move forward. Learn more about how to achieve comprehensive insights with the Product Portfolio and Program Management PPM Self Assessment:


Author: Gerard Blokdijk

CEO at The Art of Service | theartofservice.com

[email protected]


Gerard is the CEO at The Art of Service. He has been providing information technology insights, talks, tools and products to organizations in a wide range of industries for over 25 years. Gerard is a widely recognized and respected information expert. Gerard founded The Art of Service consulting business in 2000. Gerard has authored numerous published books to date.

External links:

To address the criteria in this checklist, these selected resources are provided for sources of further research and information:

Business transformation External links:

Office of Business Transformation

Change management External links:

MDT Software | Automation Change Management


Change Management Consulting Firm | Clerestory Consulting

Comparison of project management software External links:

A Comparison of Project Management Software Tools (PMST)

Cost overrun External links:

Predicting cost overrun of railroad bridge construction

Cost Overrun Optimism: Fact or Fiction

Executive sponsor External links:

[PDF]Executive Sponsor Form – Health Care in British …

What is Executive Sponsor | IGI Global

Industrial engineering External links:

EPIC Systems Inc | Top Industrial Engineering Companies

Industrial Engineering & Management

Sinisi Associates LLC – Industrial Engineering

Line management External links:

Qminder – Queue Management System & Waiting Line Management

Waiting Line Management System for DMV Offices – QLess

Line management
Line management is a business term to describe the administration of activities that contribute directly to the output of products or services. In a corporate hierarchy, a line manager holds authority in a vertical (chain of command), and/or over a particular product line. He or she is charged with meeting corporate objectives in a specific functional area or line of business.

Office of Government Commerce External links:

Office of Government Commerce (OGC) – The National …

Program Manager External links:

Program Manager Job Description – Job Descriptions

Title Program Manager jobs (with Salaries) | Simply Hired

Title Program Manager Jobs, Employment | Indeed.com

Project Management Institute External links:

Project Management Institute – Home | Facebook

PMI – Project Management Institute :: Pearson VUE

CCRS | Project Management Institute

Project management External links:

LearnSmart IT & Project Management Online Training …

PMP Training | Project Management Academy

Project management office External links:

Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO)

Project Management Office | The City of Portland, Oregon

COT – Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO)

Project manager External links:

One Page Project Manager

FPL Project Manager Locator – fplmaps.com


Project team External links:

CHRS Project Team | Human Resources

Project Team Contacts – I-39/90 Expansion Project

Aviam Corporate Housing, Project Team & Military …

Systems engineering External links:

Industrial & Systems Engineering | College of Engineering

Integrated Systems Engineering

Innoslate | PLM and Systems Engineering Tools

Value chain External links:

Value Chain: Analysis, Definition & Management

The Value Chain Academy | Start

U.S. Global Value Chain Coalition

Version control External links:

VisualSVN – Subversion-based version control for Windows

Simul | Version Control for Microsoft Word | Simul …

Best Version Control Systems in 2017 | G2 Crowd

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