The Role of Program Governance in Program Management


Program management is the practice of overseeing and executing multiple projects under one executive group. A successful program management enterprise stands to benefit the organization in a number of critical functions. Streamlining of operations, increasing efficiency, and strategic planning are just some of the many goals of program management. In order for these goals to be met, a well-organized system of governance must be in place. This system is responsible for overseeing all operations and defining the roles and responsibilities of all projects involved. In this way, program managers can create unity and cohesion that brings multiple units together so that they may work more efficiently and effectively towards the same overall of driving the growth and success of the operation.


Program governance one of the five aspects of program management that collectively comprise the whole concept. The structure of governance for program management versus project management is necessarily different, as the program’s overseers and executors must contend with multiple projects and determining how to align a range of different focuses and goals into a cohesive whole.


The Role of Program Governance in Program Management


The comparison between program and project management starts with the difference in their governing structures. Project management uses a traditional governing structure which, as it is geared towards a more narrow focus, is not as complex as program management. Project managers oversee operations and issue directions. Senior IT officials oversee the joining of technological and business goals of the project. Business sponsors oversee strategy and deliverables and their proper integration.


The more broad scope of program management necessitates a more complex governance. The scope of a program is so large that it has the potential to seriously impact an enterprise’s expenditures and way of conducting business. Essentially, program managers must be highly skilled and experienced with this kind of management. They must understand that the actions of the program’s governing body must be thoughtful and deliberate, as the future of the business will depend on its actions.


The body within the program governance that is responsible for aligning diverse interests and strategic directions is the steering committee. The actions of this body are overseen by an executive sponsor and the board of directors, to which it recommends courses of action and strategic planning. “Defining the role and decision-making powers of the steering committee is a significant part of the program governance effort and should be done with an eye toward facilitating rapid decisions and promoting a clear, unified direction.”


Program success hinges on the clear definition of roles, authority, decision making ability, and structure. Program governance is essential for these concepts to be delineated and actualized so that the program may reach its goals. To learn more about program governance and program management, contact DHA Group today. An award-winning management consulting and contracting firm primarily serving federal, civilian and defense agencies, DHA group supports clients’ mission-critical work by delivering expert professional services. Follow us on social media on FacebookLinkedInTwitter or Google+.

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