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Lars R. Andersen


Freelance CIO/CTO  •  Management consultant  •  Project manager  •  IT architect


  • Flexible, hands-on, experienced and cost-effictive support.
  • Specific competences within IT management and mobile networks
  • Selected experience available in free white papers


Please note that the information here contains my personal viewpoints and not those of any present or previous employer



Program management


The task of holding overview and securing progress of a number of related projects is normally termed program management. To some extent it is simply a matter of size: if a project becomes large enough, the mechanisms required for managing it begins to resemble that of program management.


In order to set up a program management structure and office, at least the following should be observed:


  1. Make conscious choice of intended role of PMO function, e.g., whether PMO has both a facilitation and problem solving role. Staff accordingly.
  2. Structure PMO around a normal reporting cycle for control with exception handling (task force type issue resolution); depending on choice in (1).
  3. Insist on objective, standardised status reporting to ensure factual view of status and thereby that issues surface in time for being addressed.
  4. Actively solicit risks through QA, methodology reviews, risk workshops etc.
  5. Support the core PMO processes with a set of tools and templates adapted to the specific needs of the programme, e.g., issue tracking, dependency overview.


As the term “program” and correspondingly “program management” has quite a number of interpretations, an important first step, as noted above, is to agree on the purpose and scope of the program management and corresponding program management office.


A structure for defining this overview is the following:



The purpose of the model is to find the correct level of responsibility for the program management. Obviously, any combination of functions can be picked and put into the responsibility, but there is a natural order to things; for instance, it does not make sense to work with methodology compliance if there are no reporting templates.


Experience and offerings



Process supportProgram office approach, methodology, tools, role, processes etc. adapted to the problem at hand.
Program managementEnsure progress of overall program, including follow-up, driving issue resolution, QA etc.
PresentationManagement level presentation of consolidated progress, issues, challenges and choices.