Program Management Software:
Organizations execute strategies through a combination of programs and projects. To set the context, programs are larger in scope, complex in design, and involve higher levels of change. Program management involve managing two or more related projects to deliver business value.
In a program, deliverable complexity is high and there are multiple objectives required to be fulfilled. The program management life cycle includes defining and authorizing the program and the associated projects, defining the benefits statement, planning and delivering the benefits.
Program management also includes managing the associated projects and resources in an integrated manner, performance measurements against the planned benefit delivery, identifying variances, and implementing corrective actions to deliver expected benefits. This includes accepting products, services, and results from the constituent projects, benefits delivery from the program, plus bringing the program and the program components to a formal closure.
The program manager must
- Interact with project and other program managers to provide support and guidance on individual initiatives conducted to support a program
- Interact with portfolio managers to ensure that programs are provided with the appropriate resources and priority.
- Collaborate with governance bodies, sponsors, and the PMO to ensure the program’s continued alignment with strategy and ongoing organizational support.
- Interact with operational managers and stakeholders to ensure that programs receive appropriate operational support and that benefits delivered by the program can be effectively sustained.
- Ensure that the importance of each of a program’s components is recognized and well understood.
- Ensure that the overall program structure and the applied program management processes enable the program and its component teams to successfully complete the work and deliver anticipated benefits.
- Integrate the program components’ deliverables, outcomes, and benefits into the program’s end product, services, or results, such that the program delivers its intended benefits.
So, in that case, why does program management fail?
- Less than expected benefits realized
- Lack of organizational level view
- Inability to collaborate well with stakeholders to address their needs
- Ineffective governance
- The program management team does not use standardized processes and templates
- Data redundancy
- Lack of a robust program management software to plan, deliver, and close programs.
The technical dimensions are critical while managing and controlling the program. Hence managing a successful program depends upon a key element – Program Management Software.
Let us see how a best-in-class program management tool enables effective program management practices.
Businesses manage programs based on their industry life cycle, standards, methodologies, and organizational practices. Program management software becomes an important catalyst in this journey. There are numerous online program management software available with different benefits. During the evaluation process, business leaders must consider the program management tools holistically and not be restricted to just a handful capabilities that are easily found in most tools.
Some of the common benefits provided by Program Management Software are:
- Standardized set of business processes
- Manage interdependencies within the program
- Single and centralized program data management
- Improving organizational program management maturity
- Manage the program team’s roles and responsibilities
- Manage program and configuration changes through robust version controlling
- Enable senior management governance of the program and its associated projects
- Enables data-driven and rigorous decision making
- Ensuring data integrity
- Effectively use each of different communication dimensions either top-down or bottom-up
- Establish standards for project and team performance
Following are the key elements of Program management Software:
- Program management tools
- Program management templates
- Program management dashboard
Program Management Tools provides features like plan, scheduling, task management, timesheets, resource management, team management, work management, project tracking, alerts and notifications, etc., which help to manage programs and projects. Using these tools, program managers can create and share plans with the team, schedule tasks and manage team workload across all projects, empower the team with easy task management tools, work together in real-time and monitor and track with features that make evaluating projects easier. Program management tools give the flexibility to manage projects from anywhere. These will improve the management of related projects and programs. These tools easily scale the efficiency of the project team. Using the tools teams can collaborate and capture ideas, compare notes, and boost productivity.
Program Management Templates are required to successfully establish and manage a program. Program management templates aid program managers with planning and communication. These templates provide an outline for developing a plan and components. Online Program management software collaborates with tools to allow a team to instantly begin working using online templates. It will help to focus on key objectives in each period. The program manager can easily manage key performance indicators using standard defined program management templates. It will power up program benefits. Program management Templates provide consistency, increase flexibility, and easy to use across different related projects and programs.
Program Management Dashboard provides real-time tracking of projects and teams with live data. Program managers can view task updates in real-time, monitor key metrics, and detect early issues using the program management dashboard. By sharing the dashboard with stakeholders, they will get the transparency required. Program managers could get early feedback from stakeholders and it will help us to stay on schedule and within budget. Program managers would get an overview of projects and programs in a single view. A program management dashboard serves as a central hub of information about a program and all its projects, allowing project leaders and program managers to assess the program health, drill down to assess the performance of individual projects, and decide on the next steps.
Whatever tool you invest in, make sure it should meet certain criteria. Key features of Program Management Software must have:
- Program and project overview
- Gantt chart
- Multiple project view
- Real-time data
- Cost Tracking
- Team management
- Time management
- Custom workflow
- Seamless integration
In a nut shell, program management software offers an overview of all related projects, and the tools keep them working together and meet the organization’s goals and objectives. When undertaking the task of managing a program, program managers rely on powerful software tools that allow them to plan, monitor, and report on performance.