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Definition of a program
What is the purpose of a program for project management?
Project Management vs. Program Management
Program Structure
Different types of programs
1. Visionary Programs: How these programs begin

2. Emerging ProgramsIssues related to emerging programs

3. Mandatory Programs
Quick AnswersWhat is the difference between a program and a project?
What is the difference between a project manager and a program manager?

Book Recommendations to Program Management

Definition of a program
What is a program? Here’s a definition.
A program is a collection of related activities and projects, managed in a coordinated manner and with a structure that allows the delivery of results and benefits.
It’s basically a collection of projects being managed together.
What is the purpose of a program for project management?
A program’s purpose is to link together related work.
You will know that if you are a project manager or a program office manager (or the program manager), the goal of your work is to contribute to the organization’s strategic goals.
Program and project management make it easier to manage expenses and resources because you can manage multiple projects and prioritize.
You can achieve your goals if you know what you want.
Program Management vs Project Management
Project management delivers a single output. Program management delivers a business goal.
Although programs can be transformative in some cases, large projects can also be.
Both. As a program manager, I managed a number of related projects that had the goal of delivering large-scale improvements to the business.
As a project manager, I managed complex projects with many work streams, but there was only one goal and one output.
Take, for example:
Program: Digitize all of our processes — This is a large-scale goal that would require many teams and many different projects.
Project: Migration of accounting software to a new tool. This might be a complicated project that will affect many people, and have serious implications for process reengineering, training, and other aspects. But it’s only one initiative.
Program Structure
First, let’s look at how programs fit into the project/program/portfolio way of looking at work.
Programs are a collection of projects and BAU work that will achieve a common goal. Programs can be part or all of a portfolio. They can contain a few projects or many.
Below is a picture that explains the program structure and how it fits in with the rest of project management jargon.
Different types of programs
Did you know there are three types? Yes, there are three types of programs. They are:
Visionary programs
Emerging programs
Mandatory programs

While they all have their value, each one has its own quirks that can affect how the team works together and how they are managed. Let’s take a look at each one individually.
1. Visionary Programs
“I have a vision …”
Vision-led programs are where senior leaders have a clear vision of the organization’s future.
These programs are often transformative and deliver organizational or cultural change, such as a restructuring or fundamentally changing operating principles (going paperless, for instance).
This type of program requires senior leadership support. While it may seem obvious to say this, it’s often difficult to get the sponsorship required for project management. It is a very top-down approach.
These programs: How do they start?
In a strategy session, management will have developed a vision of the future state for the business. The program is the practical route to getting there.
You will need to complete many projects in order to achieve these goals.