~ By Susan Woolon
MSP (Managing Successful Programmes) is a best-practice guide from the OGC (Office of Government Commerce, an independent Office of the Treasury). It has been developed using the collective expertise and practical experience of some of the leading practitioners in the field. Managing Successful Programmes is unique in its status as a flexible generic best practice framework, and although it has been founded on best practice, it is not prescriptive.
MSP describes programme management as a
pragmatic, robust management approach that will help organisations to deliver and realise the required benefits, innovation, and new ways of working that will ensure success with major projects and programmes of business change. Managing Successful Programmes provides a business or organisation with the framework and strategies of programme management - in other words, providing an approach for managing change and delivering business benefits from a set of related projects.
A fulfilled project or projects are the keystones of success for a programme. A programme is made up of a specific set of projects identified by an organisation that together will deliver some defined objective, or set of objectives, for the organisation. The objectives or aims of the programme are normally at a strategic level, so that the organisation can achieve benefits and improvements in its business operation.
MSP programme management is becoming an increasingly important aspect of managing business change, whether it is within different parts of an organisation, across the whole organisation or involving a group of organisations. Through programme management, changes can be made within a company that is beneficial to the business, because change is always occurring within an organisation and a response is always needed, for example, as new processes or services are introduced or when supplier relationships alter. Change may be internal, such as improving the quality of products, or external, such as new government policy.
MSP programme management plays a major role in allowing projects to work in a certain way for the success of a programme, and organises people for activities in order to reach their goal. MSP is also needed to help organisations achieve excellence by improving practices, offering better services, preparing more effectively for the future and encouraging innovation.
Managing Successful Programmes is designed for nearly any type of organisation, as long as key personnel (normally a senior manager/officer) have had suitable training in MSP programme management. The MSP Foundation exam consists of 50 questions and lasts 40 minutes, and a score of at least 60% is needed in order to pass and proceed with the other exams. The MSP Practitioner examination requires candidates to demonstrate that they understand the application of programme management in a complex business environment. Therefore candidates should be familiar with the culture of large organisations and the measurement of benefits at a strategic level. The registered MSP Practitioner qualification is now established as the premier programme management qualification in many parts of the world.
Personnel are trained in such a way as to enhance their decision-making power and work out the changes they need to make. As a result of the training, the whole business or organisation will benefit using MSP programme management, for example: a more effective delivery of change; improve control of costs, standards, and quality; provide comprehensive definition of roles and responsibilities within the business; provide a globally recognised qualification.
In conclusion, with the constant pressure for businesses and organisations to continually change due to internal and external drivers, there is a high chance of failure. However, MSP programme management has been designed to help nearly all businesses/organisations to succeed in today's competitive climate.
Susan Woollon wrote the article 'Why Businesses Should Use MSP Programme Management' and recommends you visit the International Institute for Learning for more information on Microsoft training courses.