If you are familiar with project management and the concepts involved, Program Management is something similar but yet very different. A Program can be defined as a group of different but related projects managed in a coordinated manner which can deliver benefits to the organization. In general, the program manager’s responsibility is to oversee a group of related projects, which sometimes also includes managing the project managers and the team which are within his or her program to ensure the entire program can deliver the expected outcomes and benefits.
The reason why program management is the natural next step for many project managers who are looking to take their project management career to the next level is because the knowledge of program management can be applied to more than just managing multiple projects. It also provides the knowledge for managers to help organization to reach its business goals through managing series of ongoing or new critical strategic initiatives. For example, a program management can also be applied in helping an organization to look for ways to increase its leads, through managing different initiatives such as email marketing, social media, designing landing page, or even help with managing the launch of a new product which involves initiatives such as sales, operation, distribution and marketing. Thus, in order to effectively manage a program to benefit the organization, acquiring the specific Program Management knowledge is important and necessary.
The Agile Program Management training and certification is based on the Agile Program Management (AgilePgM) Handbook, published by the Agile Business Consortium. The guidance provides program managers and others involved with major business change initiatives with a disciplined but flexible approach to the management of transformational organizational change, allowing for iterative and incremental delivery of outputs and benefits. AgilePgM does not attempt to redefine the fundamentals of program management, and assumes some knowledge of a program management method. It builds on that knowledge to show how those involved in programs may need to think, act and react differently in an agile environment. The benefits of the Agile Program Management course can be quickly realized by the organization as the accredited training and certification will provide the candidates with the capabilities to:
- Establish flexible agile programmes that respond to business change.
- Utilise agile methodologies to encourage successful programme delivery.
- Actively promote trust and close cooperation between stakeholders.
- Assist the organization in achieving transformational change faster, at lower cost and risk.
In Agile Program Management, the emphasis is on the Agile concepts of empowerment active stakeholder involvement and iterative development and incremental delivery of benefits whilst maintaining the control required to ensure that the program successfully delivers the expected benefits. The Agile Program Management philosophy is guided by five important principles which managers must adopt to ensure a successful outcome of an Agile program. The 5 principles are:
- Principle 1 – Programme goals are clearly and continuously aligned to business strategy
- Principle 2 – Benefits are realised incrementally and as early as possible
- Principle 3 – Governance focusses on creating a coherent capability
- Principle 4 – Decision-making powers are delegated to the lowest possible level
- Principle 5 – Agile programmes are iterative and have the ability to contain both Agile and non Agile projects
The purpose of the Foundation qualification is to confirm that a candidate has sufficient knowledge and understanding of the Agile Program Management guidance to work as an informed member of a Program Team, Change Team or project delivery team working within an environment supporting Agile Program Management. High Level Performance Definition of a Successful Foundation Candidate should understand the key principles and terminology within the Agile Program Management guidance. Specifically, the candidate should be able to:
- Understand the phases and iterative nature of the Agile Programme Framework and incremental delivery of capability and benefits
- Understand the roles, team structures, roles and responsibilities within an agile programme as well as aspects of stakeholder engagement
- Understand the governance structures required and how governance style can affect the agility of a programme
- Understand the nature of planning an agile programme, the evolutionary nature of benefits and how to structure the delivery of an Agile programme.
- Understand the management and control elements, review points and processes of an Agile programme.
- Understand the requirements and outputs of Quality Management in an Agile programme
- Understand the products required to support an Agile programme