How to Manage Complex Programs: High-Impact Techniques for Handling Project Workflow, Deliverables, and Teams

How to Manage Complex Programs: High-Impact Techniques for Handling Project Workflow, Deliverables, and Teams

How to Manage Complex Programs: High-Impact Techniques for Handling Project Workflow, Deliverables, and Teams

How to Manage Complex Programs: High-Impact Techniques for Handling Project Workflow, Deliverables, and Teams

Synopsis

Program manager--it's one of the most challenging jobs you can have. Overseeing and coordinating multiple project teams and thousands of activities may seem a Herculean task, but it's easier with the right tools in hand.

Successful program management begins with a good command of project management processes, but these are never sufficient. Once a program exceeds a certain scale, project processes become unwieldy. To see a program successfully through to completion, you must break the work down into simpler, smaller pieces and organize it into interdependent tasks.

Complete with diagrams, graphs, and real-life examples, How to Manage Complex Programs explains the ins and outs of program management and provides concrete and effective techniques for structuring deliverables, workflow, and staffing. You'll learn to:

  • Decompose complex deliverables into manageable chunks
  • Develop coherent plans for component projects
  • Handle cross-project dependencies
  • Organize program staff and project leaders into a high-performing team
  • And more

Yes, program management is challenging. But with these proven strategies, it can also be highly rewarding--for you and for your organization.

Excerpt

Programs are complex—often extremely complex—collections of projects. Successful program management begins with a good command of project management processes, but that is never sufficient. Once a project exceeds a certain scale, project processes become unwieldy. To make the methods of project management effective for major programs, the work must be broken down and organized into a set of interdependent undertakings that can be autonomously executed. Program management challenges include dealing with complex hierarchies in three main domains: deliverables, workflow, and staffing.

System deliverables require up-front analysis to decompose them into a hierarchy of understandable components. Successfully developing complex systems requires that each part be sufficiently independent to permit parallel development, with the interconnections to other components sufficiently defined to warrant confidence that they can be successfully integrated and function as expected.

Major programs involve thousands (or many thousands) of activities, overwhelming the basic project planning techniques. Developing practical, effective schedules for the work begins with decomposing program work (often along similar boundaries as the component deliverables) to limit what each project plan must contend with. This process involves trade-offs and a goal of minimizing the number of linkages and handoffs where workflow transitions between the related projects.

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