Technology has been taking over almost every aspect of our daily lives and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. At work, paperwork has become passe and rightly so. When we have technology helping us to maximize productivity and generate better business outcomes, who would want to look back at the times when the paperwork was the usual norm.
Technology moves with the times and equips us to overcome every unique challenge that comes our way. Take, for example, the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Where would we have been had there been no technology? How would businesses have progressed without the boon of technology? All that we need now is a computer system, strong Wi-Fi connectivity, and project and program management software to ensure that it is business as usual.
Technology connects us and these tech tools help us to work as effectively as we had been during the pre-COVID times. It overcomes every challenge that life throws at it and proves every time, without fail, that business doesn’t need to come to a standstill with the right technology at hand. No wonder, every necessary task gets accomplished without us meeting face-to-face.
Remote working had been a reality and a growing trend even before the coronavirus took the world by storm. A reliable program management system is a game-changer, irrespective of the challenge at hand.
Before we start discussing Program Management, let’s understand the fundamental differences that set it apart from Project Management.
How is Program Management Different from Project Management?
It will be easier to understand the fundamental differences between project and program management if we understand the differences between the words ‘project’ and ‘program’.
So does ‘program’ in program management differ from ‘project’ in project management? Projects, temporary by nature and managed individually, deliver a product or service. On the other hand, programs are a group of similar projects that are collectively managed for producing benefits that cannot be generated individually.
The differences between Program and Project Management are as below:
- The aim of project management is to plan and schedule final deliverables within a desirable timeline within the stipulated budget, without compromising on the quality of work. In contrast, program management creates benefits to the organization, along with simultaneous management of varied projects.
- Projects can be outsourced. For instance, an organization looking for content marketing services may contract out the responsibilities partially or entirely. Not every responsibility has to be carried out in-house. Programs, on the other hand, are usually always managed with program management software within an organization, as per the strategic objectives, but are an integral part of a larger business.
What is a Program Management Plan?
A program management plan manages, executes, and controls the objectives of multiple projects. It comprises a strategy and outlines the scope of work to meet the required objectives of the program. Planned by a Program Manager, a program management tool focuses on the benefits than deliverables, as discussed earlier. It focuses on the benefits that cannot be achieved individually. A project management plan does not strive to meet the required deliverables or budget.
What are the Key Elements of a Program Management Plan?
The key elements of a program management plan are as follows:
- Identify key constraints: Like any plan, a program plan will be accompanied by certain impediments and dependencies. An effective program plan should be able to detect these constraints and find workable program management solutions in alignment with the benefits of the program.
- Plan a blueprint: A program, as explained previously, is a collective group of multiple projects. Hence, a blueprint is of great necessity to approach the process in an organized manner. This blueprint contains start and end dates for each task of projects that are a part of the program. Clear-cut timelines help in strategizing and collaborating efficiently.
- General aspects of a program plan: This plan will comprise processes used to plan, execute, and control it. This includes a communication plan, schedule, risk, procurement, closeout procedure, and other miscellaneous aspects.
4 Ways to Create a Reliable Program Management Plan
There are certain factors that should be considered while making a program management plan. The differences between a project and a program management plan might get blurred here. But it is necessary to have clarity regarding their differences to be able to prepare a reliable and effective program management plan.
Enlist strategic objectives and goals: Ah! We are back to talking about objectives. This cannot be emphasized enough in a program management plan. And an effective program management tool should help in enumerating the objectives to prevent any of them from getting overlooked during the course of the program.
Communicate effectively: Communication is one of the indispensable keys to an effective program management plan. Hence, all the stakeholders of the program will have to be kept in the loop, so that the program management software updates them about any changes or additions made in the plan. These stakeholders are usually those at the executive level of the organization. The plan needs to define communication, the frequency of notifications, etc. that should be followed by the stakeholders.
Decide on the timeline: Now, you have to focus on the timeline and scope of work of all the projects in the program. Hence, you have to consider the budget and scope of work of all these projects to arrive at the necessary timeline for the program. Although there are no deliverables applicable here, there are several small aspects that have to be considered while deciding on the timeline.
Empower the stakeholders to participate: The role of the stakeholders should not be merely restricted to being notified about any changes made in the program plan. They should be encouraged to actively participate and share their inputs so that they can make conscious choices.
Why Use Ignatiuz’s Program Management Tool?
Ignatiuz offers customized solutions to help businesses strategize. It enables organizations to integrate stakeholders and data across the enterprise to deliver measurable outcomes. It makes use of capable program management tools like Smartsheet, Leankit and MS Project, either standalone or integrated with each other. These tools optimize transparency and communication between the projects that are a part of a program.
The following USPs of the Ignatiuz Program Management Tool that helps businesses plan and manage projects effectively:
- Centralized document management
- Seamless collaboration
- Automate routine tasks
- Gain data-driven insights
- Real-time reporting
As a result, it can be safely said that Ignatiuz is one of the best program management tools that enable enterprises to achieve maximum transparency and communication within an organization.
The program management landscape has grown in leaps and bounds in recent years. Program management tools have justifiably grown in popularity because they serve as a groundwork for problem-solving and contribute to business success. Hence, organizations that are yet to adapt to this changing landscape should adopt this new technology to stay buoyant in the market, especially in the current challenging market scenarios.
If you are looking for robust program management planning software, contact us now.