Program management

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


Introduction Programs, within public and private organizations, are commonly viewed as a critical means for instituting organizational change, developing new products, processes, and services, and allowing firms to maintain a technological or innovative edge in the marketplace. Programs may be used to support broad societal initiatives, including critical electronic and physical infrastructure development, energy exploration and conservation, sustainability activities, and logistics and transportation, as well as narrower (but no less relevant) efforts within a host of project-oriented industries, including pharmaceuticals, aerospace and automotive, oil and gas, and so forth. In fact, the use of programs is typically viewed as a critical element in organizational success. Organizations that are especially adept at program management often can leverage these abilities to enjoy real, sustained competitive advantage over their rivals. The critical nature of effective program management is illustrated by the budgets being devoted to supporting these initiatives. Hexter and Mischke (2013) report that a worldwide demand for more than $57 trillion to be spent on infrastructure from 2013 to the 2030s. Further, 41 percent of the world's capital investments is in projects (Morris, 2013). Massive programs continue to capture the public's attention. The coordinated efforts to map the Human Genome, travel to Mars, search for Zika virus treatments, and even develop Lockheed Martin's Joint Strike Fighter (at a current budgeted cost of $400 billion, with replacement parts and future development, some critics suggest it will become the first trillion dollar defense program) are all examples of the types of high-visibility programs that capture the public's attention, pointing directly to our almost limitless capacity to find new ways to change our world and alter the manner in which we live our lives. At the same time, while it is being acknowledged just how important project, program, and portfolio management are to organizational success, independent measures suggest that the wider set of international organizations themselves engaged in project-based work are often behind the expertise curve when it comes to managing their projects. The Project Management Institute's “Pulse of the Profession” (PMI, 2016) reports that less than 17 percent of the organizations surveyed had high project management maturity levels. Only 12 percent reported high maturity in portfolio management, as well. The net effect, as the PMI report suggests, is that it puts significant project investment dollars at risk with each new project or program undertaken.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCambridge Handbook of Organizational Project Management
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781316662243
ISBN (Print)9781107157729
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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