MSP for Beginners What is MSP?

MSP for Beginners - What is MSP?

September 27, 2017

All organisations face some element of change on a daily basis. These can be major changes such as a merger or acquisition, the selling of a segment of a company or a response to a political decision. They may be smaller, such as the introduction of a new type of business process, a contract with a new client/supplier or raising new capital. Even if there are gaps between these events, there is always an ongoing continuous strive to improve and refine existing business practices, to reap maximum benefits from current strategies, to drive innovation and excellence and equip for the demands of the future, whether facing opportunities or challenges.

Change is never easy, as managers face uncertain levels of complexity and risk. Solving one problem may reveal another as priorities battle to be the first to resolve. It is here that having a clear strategy, real-world experience and a management framework proves crucial to face and overcome these challenges.

Programme Management, is similar to project management and is a collection of management tools for combining people, activities and information to achieve a target. It is a way of approaching the conception and implementation of a programme, which consists of a specific set of projects identified by an organisation. These projects have the goal of achieving some defined objective, or set of objectives, for the organisation. These objectives are most commonly found at the strategic level, allowing the whole business to reap the benefits and improvements from these projects.

Therefore, we can see a solid link between Programme Management and project management. As the whole change/improvement programme is made up of individual projects, it can only succeed if the projects within it succeed. An ideal programme should create more value than the ‘sum of its parts’ alone. Without this Programme Management, the projects would probably still be able to deliver their particular outcomes but these would not be coordinated or integrated into the achievement of a strategic goal. There is also huge worth in having a complete vision of the organisation and what it is trying to achieve so that issues can be corrected and goals completed efficiently and without overlap.

The Principles in Managing Successful Programmes advise how to:

  • Manage a business case for the programme
  • Define and implement the governance requirements for the programme
  • Plan the work in a way which achieves results
  • Ensure that the organisation does benefit from undertaking the programme
  • Ensure that all interested parties (the stakeholders) are involved
  • Resolve issues which arise
  • Identify and manage risks
  • Ensure quality
  • Audit a programme to ensure standards are being followed

The Processes Managing Successful Programmes describes how to:

  • Identify the aim of the programme and envisaged benefits to the organisation
  • Define and implement the governance requirements for the programme
  • Monitor and coordinate the projects within a programme to a successful conclusion
  • Manage the transition between the 'old' and 'new' ways of working, ensuring benefit
  • Close the programme and ensure the 'end goal' has been achieved

Hopefully, this brief insight has begun to show you the value and importance of equipping yourself, your team and your senior workers with a set of MSP Training tools.