At the onset of any organizational change initiative, it’s crucial to understand the nuanced differences between project and program management. For changes that affect an entire company to be completed promptly and with shareholder approval, a multitude of related projects need to be executed for the entire program to be a success. It’s common for larger netlogx engagements that require multiple service areas to generate such a program.

The key performance indicators (KPI’s) that allow for the management of programs versus management of projects are not terribly different, but they do operate at a higher level. Program KPIs are designed to measure the work of individual projects as a collection, while also measuring work that is specific to the development of the overall organizational change. This allows the senior client leadership to engage through a high-level summarization of the project instead of being bogged down with details.

Even though leadership participation is high-level, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t an open dialogue. Communication is another important element for program management during an organizational change. Knowing how to communicate between the project and program levels is essential to accountability and reporting. You can’t manage what you’re not tracking.

Our consultants must understand what the client wants to accomplish, not only as an enterprise but as separate business areas under that enterprise. This understanding gives netlogx an idea of how individual projects feed into the overall program for managing change. Successful program management envelops all the work being done on behalf of our client.

One recent example of managing programs through change is a netlogx client, the City of Indianapolis. We are engaged in an organizational change management initiative to create a communication plan that will go into effect after a transition between vendors. While our component (the communication plan) is only a small element of the overall change being enacted, the program has multiple avenues and projects that need to be executed in order to maintain a successful change-initiative program.