When it comes to program management, going in without a plan is like shooting yourself in the foot before a race. While change management can help organizations to realize major strategic benefits, steering any kind of corporate structure towards a desired future state requires not just a clear roadmap, but also a solid methodology for creating the roadmap in the first place.
Worse yet, ‘change’ is a constant force in the world of business. There are always opportunities to introduce new services, incorporate new technology or simply enjoy a restructured and more streamlined operation. Change can also be either external or internal, requiring organizations to approach change with a holistic mindset if they want to realize all possible short and long term benefits. Successfully delivering transformational change requires a structured approach to program management; one which properly utilizes resources, enables effective communication and maintains a constant focus on corporate goals.
Managing Successful Programmes (MSP), as the name might suggest, is a framework designed to ensure successful program management. It was formed from the collective expertise and experience of practitioners across a range of industries, sectors and locations, making it a comprehensive yet highly flexible approach.
MSP has seen widespread use in both the public and private sectors, but what is it that makes the framework so attractive to program managers and project teams? Let’s take a look at the biggest benefits of Managing Successful Programmes (MSP).
Alignment with business goals
Professionals today can shape their entire careers around ‘change management’, but it never occurs in a vacuum. There must be clear benefits to work towards at a strategic level before anyone can get down to project management processes – and these benefits must be 100% clear cut.
‘Remaining aligned with corporate strategy’ is one of the Principles of MSP. Programs start with practitioners creating a clear picture of the state that they want their organization to be in, as well as the benefits of reaching this point. This ‘Vision Statement’ is then used to create the ‘Blueprint’, which is used to outline the steps and capabilities required to get from A to B. This enables stakeholders to make informed decisions about whether a program is worth considering, a question which they will keep returning to throughout as they evaluate the program’s progress.
At the same time, MSP recognizes that corporate goals can evolve over time. There are several points when practitioners will be required to evaluate their progress towards achieving defined goals, compared with the risks and expenditure they are accruing. If necessary, changes can be accommodated so that users can still bring about the desired benefits, or they may even choose to end a program prematurely.
Essentially, MSP offers a roadmap for creating and amending roadmaps, ensuring that practitioners can constantly stay focused on the strategic benefits they are aiming to bring about.
A solid structure for achieving program benefits
One of the biggest strengths of MSP is that it outlines a clear process for beginning-to-end program management. The MSP Transformational Flow Processes outline steps which all programs must follow, from identifying the need for a program via a clear goal, to closing a program once all objectives have been achieved.
Having a well-structured approach in place is essential for approaching complex programs and even individual projects. The framework is comprehensive enough that everything from costs to stakeholder requirements can be considered even before a program is approved.
Practitioners will also attest that the MSP framework is effective enough that it can be used repeatedly. As program and project managers become familiar with applying MSP to their own organizations, they can gradually amend the framework to create versions which are better suited to their own bespoke requirements.
A flexible change management framework
As we mentioned previously, there are always opportunities for change in the modern world of business. This could mean incorporating new technology into your offering, restructuring your organization for a more streamlined operation, and so on. However, being able to embrace positive change requires a certain degree of flexibility, and this is a core part of MSP’s offering.
The MSP Governance Themes are a set of crucial factors which must be considered regardless of a program’s purpose or benefits. At the same time, the practice is generic enough that it can be applied to programs in any sector or industry. Users can even vary how much of the MSP framework they use on a case-by-case basis.
In short, whatever kind of change you are trying to achieve or why, MSP can empower your organization to reach and enjoy the benefits.
Boost stakeholder engagement and participation
For any major program, it is crucial that managers consider the requirements of all relevant stakeholders. This can include customers, internal users, board-level executives and so on. By keeping a focus on stakeholder needs and expectations, program managers can make sure that all projects stay on target.
‘Leadership and stakeholder engagement’ is one of the key Governance Themes of MSP. It requires that all interested parties be involved in a program, with the benefits clearly laid out to them from the start. This applies both at the start of a program and throughout, with program managers making sure that stakeholders have their needs met while still maintaining realistic expectations of what the program will achieve.
By communicating in this way, managers can also ensure that stakeholders remain confident enough to provide any resources needed to meet project requirements.
Achieve changes on time and within budget
MSP outlines a variety of factors that need to be considered in a program, not just once but on an ongoing basis. Unfortunately, with so much to consider it can be easy to lose sight of the efficiency that MSP provides. With a clear idea of the benefits you are working towards and a solid approach to risk management, project planning, stakeholder engagement and so on, MSP can help you avoid the needless delays and expenditure that come with unguided program management. In other words, MSP will help you cover all the stops so that your program can be completed on time and within budget.
This may sound like something that program and project managers can simply pick up with practice, but consider the myriad components that go into a typical program management process. With so much to consider and so many potentially expensive pitfalls, you quite literally cannot afford to proceed without a coherent plan.
MSP’s strength is that it enables users to keep control over interrelated projects, coordinating them and ensuring that their team can achieve the desired objectives quickly without wasting resources or sacrificing quality.
A proven methodology
When looking through popular corporate standards, it can be easy to get lost in the jargon; so much so that you may end up dismissing popular frameworks as being nothing more than theory with no practical application. If you can’t see the brass-tacks benefits, why should you bother?
However, MSP has the distinction of being a best-practice framework formed from the real-world experiences of practitioners from companies in a multitude of industries and sectors. Not only that, but MSP continues to be used and applied worldwide, with no shortage of case studies to back up its effectiveness.
Why study Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) with Good e-Learning?
Good e-Learning is an award-winning online training provider which covers the world’s most popular corporate standards and frameworks, including MSP, ITIL 4, PRINCE2 and TOGAF. Thanks to our team of in-house industry experts, we are able to offer top-tier corporate training for less. Students receive everything they need to become certified, from 24/7 support to FREE exam vouchers!
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