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A Program is a set of actions aimed at supporting the achievement of a strategic business objective. A program may comprise many sub-programs and / or projects. Managing programs requires a highly specialised set of skills (which may be different for different types of programs, both technical and managerial. Managing programs is a completely different ball-game from managing projects. For one, program management focuses heavily of the management of stakeholders as opposed to management of plans and budgets.

Many a time, good project managers who are promoted as program managers tend to not let go of their project management outlook and thus struggle in their job, till they get the hang of program management. In the following series of posts I propose to discuss a few (seven, to be precise) tips that programs managers can use in their jobs. These seven are:

Tip 1 – All the world’s a stage – Understand your role

Tip 2 – Don’t fail to see the forest for the trees – Understand the big picture

Tip 3 – They hold all the stakes – Map them out

Tip 4 – Use support structures and technologies to your advantage

Tip 5 – Skating away on the thin ice of the new day – Keep your eye on the program risks

Tip 6 – Dot your I’s and cross your T’s – Understand the program commercials and contracts clearly

Tip 7 – Change management

At the end of each post, I will also throw open a question / challenge the solving of which will aid you in that particular area. In the next series of posts we can re-look at these tips with reference to a few real-life examples from programs that I and/or my colleagues have worked in.