How Program Management Brings Business Evolution and Innovation

Kim Mays

In the enterprise world, keeping a business afloat is not enough. The true mark of success comes when a company brings innovation and evolution to the forefront. And the most successful businesses find ways to constantly grow and change with the flow of the market.

But how does an enterprise go about identifying, fostering and delivering the right innovations? How is it possible to have this level of coordinated effort flow through departments and provide the outcome that the business needs? In a term, the answer is program management.

First, program management is not project management. Program management involves goals that generally affect the company as a whole—often the bottom line. And managing programs requires commitment. It involves long-term strategy and in many cases an ongoing dedication to improvement of processes, products and people.

Of course, program management isn’t something that can be started on a whim to bring about competitive change in a company. To help the enterprise begin a successful program management process, Satish P. Subramanian wrote the book, “Transforming Business with Program Management: Integrating Strategy, People, Process, Technology, Structure and Measurement.”

This book presents templates and frameworks that can be used to lead a program toward success. Subramanian explains how an enterprise can create a “program management center of excellence” to bring about true transformation for the business. He presents the key techniques that a business needs to have in its program management approach.

In our IT Downloads area, you will find an excerpt from Subramanian’s book, “Chapter 9: Provide Leadership Across All Levels.” This chapter explains the importance of leadership in the program management system. In order to bring about successful and continuous change in the business, leaders must be onboard and must be willing and able to guide employees through the processes:

Leaders should effectively articulate the benefits of the transformation program to stakeholders and get them on board. By their very nature, transformation programs are complex and aim to make significant changes to the business. Without a multidimensional, multilevel leadership and cross functional leadership, the program will inevitably be a total failure or will not accomplish all the strategic business objectives. Program management plus program leadership are critical success factors for facilitating work integration, stakeholder engagement, objective alignment, organizational change readiness, and benefits realization.

This excerpt covers a multilevel program leadership model, risk mitigation, program leadership vs. program management and how to balance leadership with program management. It also provides a description of a real-world study on the implementation of program management.

Subramanian’s book is an excellent guide for business management, from the CEO to the CIO. Other levels of management that will be involved in the creation and facilitation of the program management will also benefit from the information conveyed in this book and the chapter excerpt.

Kim Mays has been editing and writing about IT since 1999. She currently tackles the topics of small to midsize business technology and introducing new tools for IT. Follow Kim on Google+ or Twitter.

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