Development Cooperation Handbook/Designing and Managing Programmes/Programme Cycle Management

Programme management


The cycle approach

Program management is the process of managing a program that is made up by multiple inter-dependent projects. It includes direction in designing, implementing, evaluating and integrating the projects. Program Management also reflects the emphasis on co-ordinating and prioritising resources across projects, departments and partners, to ensure that resource allocation is efficiently managed and that work methods are in line with the organizational culture.

Stages of Programme Cycle Management

Programmes an expression of the organization’s vision and are conceived as concrete articulation of the organization’s mission and the organizational culture. Programmes allow the organization to be projectized, organize and sharing learning.

Programmes are implemented through projects. (In a sense the "projects" can be considered as the "activities" of a programme - that is why sometimes projects are also called "actions"). The difference is that while the activities of a project are defined when the project is planned, projects (i.e. program actions) are developed later, once the programme was broadly defined. Program management provides a layer above project management establishing a framework where projects can be run successfully, but leaving project management to the project management teams.

(Note: Organizations that concretize their mission into programmes that are implemented through projects are called projectized organizations.

The cycle approach to p.m.

Improving the programme management includes:

  • Manage the current programmes revising scope and schedules on the basis of the results provisionally achieved and the quality provisionally obtained so as to put the programme in track with the expected objectives and results.
  • Assess the organizational scope and the beneficiary needs for further programme design and development.
  • Improve the organization's partnership management
  • Improve the organization monitoring and evaluation system.

In this manual we will illustrate the various aspect of Programme Cycle Management through the description of the phases

The programme evaluation will lead to a decision whether to end the organization involvement with a programme or to start a new cycle of programme management.

(Note: In the development activities program management generally follows the cycle approach, that utilizes as a basic management tool: the logical framework.)

(Note: Organizations that concretize their mission into programmes that are implemented through projects are called "projectized organizations".)



  Template: Programme Plan


  Guideline: How to manage programmes for a learning organization that is projectized and employee empowering.

See also


  Issue 8 ⇒ How to design and manage successful cooperation programmes?

In other sections of this handbook
  Organizational Types
  Organizational Structure
  Organizational Culture
  The projectized organization
  The learning organization
  The employee empowering organization
  The Organization’s mission
  The Organization’s vision

  Designing and Managing Projects
  The 3 level hierarchy of programme objectives
  Project Managers and programme Managers

On Wikipedia   Program management

Other references


The importance of evaluation for learning what we have done and improve the quality of what we will do - Julian Parr