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APM Programme Management Specific Interest Group

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Specific Interest Groups (SIGs) discuss particular aspects of project management to further understanding and good practice.

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About this SIG

Programme Management The coordinated management of projects and business as usual (steady-state) activities to achieve beneficial change.

Definition from APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition 

What is programme management?

Programme management is focused on the delivery of change within an organisation or environment. The transition from projects delivering outputs to embedding new working practices as business as usual, requires a planned and systematic approach necessitating leadership, drive and commitment.

Our strategy will be delivered using the lens of the APM FIVE Dimensions of Professionalism, namely:

  • Breadth (Body of Knowledge: concepts, terms & activities that make up a professional domain including publications & articles) 
  • Depth (Competence framework – knowledge & experience under technical, behavioural & contextual domains) 
  • Achievement (Qualifications, especially programme-related, aligned to IPMA's 4 level certification) 
  • Commitment (CPD - Events broad range of BoK topic areas & appropriate delivery methods) 
  • Accountability (Delivery of services to ProgM / APM members & SIG communications)

Our vision: To be recognised internationally as the leading group for programme management, supporting a world in which all projects succeed.

Our mission: In line with APM regulations the mission of ProgM is: to provide a forum for effective learning and development, that promotes the science, discipline, tools and techniques of programme management.

Our three objectives:

  1. Raise awareness of programme management as a specific discipline
  2. Help to connect the APM community interested in programme management
  3. Work with our community to develop new knowledge and thought leadership in programme management

Watch our welcome and introduction video to the APM Programme Management SIG, recorded in September 2022 by the Co Chairs Nigel Beecroft and James Lesingham.

Learn more about volunteering opportunities

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What is the difference between, programmes, projects and products?

Do you know the difference between programmes, projects and products? The infographic below compares each against key elements to highlight their differences and how they might be applied.

The value of programme management

Programmes are unique and transient strategic endeavours undertaken to achieve a defined set of objectives, incorporating a group or related projects and change management activities.

Programme management consists of the activities to initiate, control and integrate projects and change management activities to achieve beneficial change for an organisation.

Programme management is the coordinated management of projects and business as usual (steady-state) activities to achieve beneficial change. It is not intended to duplicate the activities performed in individual projects and applying a programme management should add more value to the achievement of the programme objectives when compared to each project operating independently.

Applying a programmatic approach to the delivery or projects generates savings in terms of time, cost and resource and greater confidence in the delivery of beneficial change by:

  • Driving strategic outcomes within organisations by providing a level of management to integrate the component project teams.
  • Creating programme wide governance mechanisms (such as use of the P3M3 assessment model) which act as a catalyst for improving both project and programme management maturity.
  • Focus on defining, integrating and coordinating projects to maximise value of the combined project deliverables.
  • Managing wider risk to benefit achievement and providing an escalation point for project risks. Projects can be re-scoped or cancelled to maintain the overall programme business case.
  • Identifying and monitoring interdependencies between projects and transforming project deliverables into benefits.
  • Providing opportunities to achieve economies of scale, consolidating and coordinating the needs of multiple projects.
  • Establishing collaborative working across different project teams within programmes. Resources, specialist skills and funding can be re-allocated across programmes to accelerate projects within it.

Featured resources

Introduction To Programme Management 322X193
APM Introduction to Programme Management - second edition

This edition brings new insights as to what programme management is all about. It is an ‘easy read’ for the top executives, for those relatively new to programme management who have a thirst for knowledge and for the project management community who should, and need to, understand how their project management skills play into the ‘bigger picture’.”

News by this SIG

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APM conference will explore successful delivery of programmes in a changing world
New ethical considerations around disruptive technologies and changing business priorities must be taken into account when planning and delivering programmes, it has been urged. 
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Creating successful programmes using benefits: A panel debate podcast highlights
The second podcast video in the "Benefits and value for the portfolio" series. Highlighted edition
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Making risk management work: Engaging others to identify, own and manage risk webinar
Ruth Murray-Webster and Penny Pullan showcase their latest thinking about what it takes to engage others to identify, own and manage risk.
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So much more than hot air
Heidi Genoni, programme lead for Arup+’s Hy4Heat programme, reveals what it has taken to demonstrate hydrogen is a viable alternative to natural gas as a domestic fuel.
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APM joint SIG conference 2022: Successful delivery in the midst of rapid change
APM Portfolio Management SIG and Programme Management SIG joint conference 2022 on Thursday 17 March.
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A matter of urgency?
In its report Lessons Learned: Delivering programmes at speed, the National Audit Office prompts project professionals to consider that not all programmes can, or indeed should, be delivered at speed. Read on for an extract…

Upcoming conferences and events

APM Programme Management SIG Conference

14 March 2024

We’ll discuss strategies for success to tackle the challenges of today, including technology disruption, sustainability, resource constraints and economic volatility.

Blogs by this SIG

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Not just another conference; why the APM Programme Management conference might just be right for you
Why bother going to a conference? They can be huge, impersonal events, full of people desperate to flog you their wares, not to mention endless presentations in darkened rooms, with much of the content unrelated to the work that you do. No attraction there… but perhaps some conferences are completely different. 
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Four key differences between project management and programme management
From an outside perspective, the transition from project to programme management makes logical sense. It’s a natural progression to go from managing one project to coordinating a group of interdependent projects, right?
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What's coming up in the Programme Management SIG
After hosting the final APM face to face conference before the Covid-19 pandemic struck and then the first event when physical attendance events were resumed in early 2022, it’s with some irony that the Programme Management SIG Conference did not stage an event this year. However, we will be back. We’re currently in full throttle planning mode for our event in March 2024.  
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Artificial Intelligence (AI): Changing how we deliver projects in the life science sector
The pharmaceutical, life science and healthcare sectors that I operate in are already reputed as leaders in this area and are investing heavily in predictive AI solutions - helping to lower costs and speed up results by forecasting better outcomes and solutions. AI has already become a game-changer in the life sciences industry over the last few years.
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The Ebola outbreak: project professionals responding to the threat
The Ebola outbreak and how project professionals are responding to the threat. Managing projects in disaster zones and humanitarian crises.
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Ease your path into programme management
Are you considering a role in programme management? If you are, then here's everything you need to know about becoming a programme manager.

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