Program Management and Business Analysis

Program Management

As a business analyst, one should also be aware of project and program management. It helps a BA to justify the business case continuously throughout the life-cycle of the project. It is the matter of fact that there may be a case when a BA has to handle more than one project and then in that scenario it is always helpful to have an overview of program management.

The Program Manager has oversight of the purpose and status of all projects in a Program and can use this oversight to support project-level activity to ensure the overall program goals are likely to be met, possibly by providing a decision-making capacity that cannot be achieved at project level or by providing the Project Manager with a program perspective when required, or as a sounding board for ideas and approaches to solving project issues that have program impacts. According to the view that programs deliver outcomes but projects deliver outputs, program management is concerned with doing the right projects. The program management has been described as ‘playing chess’ and keeping the overview in mind, with the pieces to be used or sacrificed being the projects. In contrast, project management is about doing projects right. And also according to this view, successful projects deliver on time, to budget and to specification, whereas successful programs deliver long term improvements to an organization. Improvements are usually identified through benefits. An organization should select the group of programs that most take it towards its strategic aims while remaining within its capacity to deliver the changes.

Program management increases the learning from experience. It advocates to list down the lessons learnt from one project to mitigate the same problems in another projects. It teaches to focus on products and having a product knowledge and experience is always helpful to a business analyst and the expectations of all stakeholders (mainly business sponsors, users and suppliers) can be fulfilled by understanding the product well.

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