An organization’s functions can be broadly divided in to two. An organization always carries out “operations” or “Business as Usual (BAU)”. This is the day-to-day work.
Doing BAU alone will soon run an organization out of business. Businesses cannot just maintain their BAU and expect to remain competitive. To improve the business, they must continuously adopt change. Therefore, the two key functions in any organization are “running the business” and “changing the business”. Running the business is carried out by BAU or operations management. Changing the business is carried through projects and programmes.
A project is a time-limited effort, aimed to achieve a set of deliverables, according to a predefined business case. A project is successful, if it delivers the right scope, within expected timescales and within budgets. A project should also generate expected benefits. In project management, our aim is to achieve planned project outputs within specified performance targets. In other words, project management aims to “do it the right way”, at individual initiative-level.
A project may be carried out internally within an organisation or can be done for a client. Some organisations specialise in performing projects for external clients.
PRINCE2 is a standardised way of managing projects.
A programme is a logical grouping of related projects. Programmes are created mainly to share resources effectively, manage common risks and take advantage of economies of scale. The main aim of programme management is to improve the performance of the whole programme. Like projects, programmes also end after some time.
Like projects, programmes can also be carried out internally within an organisation or for a client. In some cases, an organisation can carry out many projects for multiple clients and still group them as one programme.
MSP is a standardised way of managing programmes.
Relationship between Change Initiatives and Operations
Both BAU and the portfolio, go hand-in-hand together. This relationship is what enables the organization to achieve its strategic goals. BAU alone or the projects/programmes alone, cannot achieve them. BAU alone will eventually result in the organization being non-competitive in the market. Having a portfolio alone, will not make any kind of sense, because benefits will not be utilized by the business.
Written by Inham Hassen
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