March 2, 2021
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How to Structure Leadership Roles for Guaranteed Project Delivery

  • By Raja Gangavarapu
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Program Management and Project Management

Program management usually consists of several projects or sometimes just one project (for very large initiatives, such as an ERP implementation). A program manager handles these projects or the large implementation. Despite the two terms, there's generally little difference between program management and project management except for scope and size. Budget management is often the biggest difference; operational differences are usually the same between these two management practices.

Program management and project management are the management phases where the planning for budget and delivery of the solution takes place. The best option for partnering with a program manager or project manager is to use the same enterprise architect who's involved at the strategy or Portfolio Management phase. After the projects progress beyond the inception or planning phase, the solution architect will become more involved, and can work with an enterprise architect to use established standards and processes to deliver the project.

Sphere of Influence and Objective Measurements

Figure 3. Spheres of Influence:
The figure provides a complete overview of the partnership arrangements at each management stage.

Figure 3 provides a different perspective on the partnership arrangement at each management stage, and how those align with the project delivery from strategy to delivery. Portfolio Management requires a complete overview of every aspect of delivery.

The project execution responsibility such as program or project management comes from overall IT; it can be PMO or from any delivery group. It is usually the responsibility of project manager to feed the information that is required for the completion of any measurements such as ROI, cost analysis but the justification will be thorough with the help of an architect. Since either enterprise architect or solution architect (with the mentoring of enterprise architect) will participate from the strategy stage to the delivery phase, completing the measurement metrics will be easy and also be more consistent.

Extending the Partnership

After a solid partnership between management and technological expertise has been put in place, organizations can extend the concept by including a business resource as part of the partnership; however, it is important to establish a prior partnership between PM and Architect before including the business resource in that partnership. This delay enables IT to iron out the process issues before bringing in the business resource.

The addition of business resource will provide the following advantages:

  1. Tighten the project requirement process, because it's the business's responsibility to make sure the requirements are properly reviewed and signed off.
  2. Reduce complaints from business that IT is not catering to the business needs or IT is not delivering what business wanted.
  3. Bring better perspective in terms of business direction, which enables architects to design for the future (take care not to focus too much on this aspect).
  4. Provides a great opportunity to establish business architecture and make processes such as BPM (Business Process Management) or BPMN part of the organizational standards to achieve consistency across the organization.
  5. Help to convey messages in ways that businesspeople can understand.

The idea of partnering has long existed in some parts of IT industry. Adopting the partnership approach described in this article will help to identify and resolve issues at appropriate times. IT organizations should probably expect to take some time to formalize the process of transformation from one of identifying the project manager as the only responsible resource for the delivery of a project to a full partnership of project manager and architect. Using the tips and suggestions for organizing the responsibilities between project manager and architect presented here, building such a partnership will definitely help guarantee the delivery of projects of any size and complexity.

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This article was originally published on September 28, 2009

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