Mobilising a multi-year program can help your business to achieve strategic value and fine-tune your objectives. Such a program requires a detailed blueprint and widespread adoption if it has a chance at achieving its goals.
In this article, we’ll look at the differences between programs and projects as well as an overview of effective mobilisation. Businesses embark on programs differently; what’s the best approach for your organisation?
What is a Program?
Programs are not just big projects. They are complex and require significant stakeholder management, as well as an understanding of the strategic issues and complexities within the organisation.
Typically running over multiple years, programs are closely linked to strategy. They combine stakeholder engagement, industry best practices, risk management, resource strategy, team collaboration and internal delivery capabilities. With all of these factors mobilised and working congruously, your business will operate with increased momentum and efficiency.
What is the Difference Between Programs and Projects?
Some people may use the words “program” and “project” interchangeably, but for business management purposes, we draw clear distinctions. These definitions help businesses to prioritise resources and create processes that set them up for success.
Projects are Finite and Quantifiable
Business projects are tasks with clearly defined goals, measurable outcomes and a clear ending. Teams of workers divide the work and continue ploughing through until completion. It’s easy to tell when a project is finished, and they usually last for weeks or months.
Programs Introduce Complexity Not Seen in Projects
Instead of lasting mere weeks or months, programs typically run over multiple years. It’s usually impossible to accurately delineate deliverables, resources and costs for later stages of programs as they may change over time.
Because of the ambiguity involved, businesses must acquire additional skills to mobilise programs and put them on a course toward success.
What is Program Mobilisation?
Every business wants to be more efficient, and program mobilisation can help. Our services deliver efficiency gains of 20% or greater for our clients.
Let’s take a look at the scope of program mobilisation.
Programs succeed when stakeholders are engaged and understand their value. Effective program mobilisation includes a stakeholder engagement plan to align and unify everyone involved.
Implementation of Industry Best Practice Frameworks
Without an understanding of industry best practices, your program will struggle to reach peak efficiency. Start with a full implementation of quality processes and policies.
An early focus on risk can facilitate early removal of uncertainty.
A successful program relies on access to various resources. How will you access and maintain all necessary resources?
Collaboration with Project Teams
Working together, your business’s various teams will help to further the success of your program.
Assessment of Internal Delivery Capabilities
By highlighting dependencies, you can eliminate potential blockers and maintain delivery momentum.
A formal approach to mobilisation will start your program off on the right foot, giving your business momentum from day one. Our approach involves three main phases.
Before formal commencement, your MetaPM team will work closely with your program’s sponsors to make sure we understand your requirements, objectives and desired outcomes. After documenting these details, our team will help with the development of a program governance structure and stakeholder map as well as milestones, constraints, risks and dependencies.
With this foundation laid, the next step is to agree on governance and terms of reference. Workshops and briefings for stakeholders will help everyone to agree on a delivery approach. At this point, we’ll help you develop an outline for your change management plan and agree on your program delivery management team.
3. Transition to Delivery
Finally, your MetaPM team will present the delivery plan and brief your Program Delivery team on program operations. You’re now ready for the transition; the MetaPM team hands over operations to the Program Delivery team.
Program Mobilisation Challenges
Our mantra is “programs and projects fail at the start, not the end.” Poor planning and business engagement at the start lead to poor results.
Because programs are so much more complex than projects, it’s easy to run into challenges. Let’s take a look at some of the key challenges faced by a three-year multi-agency capital works program we helped to mobilise.
- Building stakeholder capability in program governance
- Developing deliverable work packages and project plans with non-project management resources
- Managing stakeholder concerns regarding communications and expectations
- Establishing a complex, multi-agency program in the time of COVID-19.
With assistance from the MetaPM team, the government department facing these challenges successfully mobilised its long-term capital works program.
Managing Successful Programs (MSP) Course
The Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®) course is a best-practice guide to Program Management. The MSP® framework consists of a set of principles, governance, themes, and processes with a level of flexibility designed to be adapted to meet the needs of individual programs. A program management approach such as MSP provides structure to help businesses avoid common pitfalls and achieve their goals.
Our (MSP®) course can teach you how to mobilise your program efficiently. Whether you’re in financial services, health, government, infrastructure and utilities, not-for-profit or education, the program mobilisation approach you’ll learn will help you to apply best practices.
If you prefer more hands-on assistance, contact our team to book your free 30-minute consultation today. Your executives can attend a “try-before-you-buy” course and learn more about the deliverables and benefits of our services.