Types of Programs


A program is a group of projects that are united by a single goal. They achieve a change in state, and their success is measured not by the number of deliverables they produce but by the business benefits, return on investment (ROI), or new capabilities they add to the organization.

They are different from project management, because they focus on the strategic end of the business instead of just the tactical response to a problem. They also prioritize long-term vision and direction over short-term plans, sprints, and deadlines.

These programs have a long-term perspective and often require a lot of time to complete. They may need to be delivered in multiple stages, and they can take longer because they require more people and resources than projects.

Programs are a key part of the project management process because they are designed to bring together projects to realize benefits that would not be possible in any other way. These benefits can be financial, organizational, or operational.

Some of the major types of programs are:

Vision-Led Programs

This type of program is usually vision-led by the senior leaders. They will have a clear idea of what they want the organization to look like when the program is completed, and it will be their responsibility to implement the changes. It can be a transformational program that delivers organizational change, or it could be a more operational one such as implementing a new system.

It can also be a program that focuses on improving efficiency, which helps to reduce risk and improve resource management. This can be done through an improved communication and reporting process.

These kinds of programs tend to have a lot of support from the senior leadership, which can make it easier for them to get people on board. This can be a good thing because it means that they have the support they need to execute their plan, but it can also mean that you have to spend more time looking for people who are going to resist the changes if they don’t see a direct benefit.

Programs are generally a better fit for large-scale, high-risk initiatives than projects because they are more strategically focused and have more senior leadership support. They have end-to-end goal alignment, and they implement more standardized feedback loops and reporting structures to keep everyone on the same page.

They can also be managed by a team of experts, which can be helpful for larger-scale initiatives that need a more hands-on approach.

The Program Manager

A program manager is responsible for the overall success of a program and ensuring that all parties involved understand their role in the implementation process. They are the main conduit between the program and other business departments, and they manage all of the project managers who are involved in the program’s delivery.

They are the main facilitators of organizational change and transition, and they need to be able to navigate a complex system of stakeholders. They also need to be able to effectively communicate with teams and individuals who are working on different aspects of the program, so that they can coordinate their efforts efficiently. This can be a difficult task for project managers, as they have to shift from being primarily concerned with their immediate short-term needs to becoming more of a long-term strategic thinker.