Programme Management

Is improvement delivered ontime and in budget? In order for any programme to be a success we need four essential elements,

  1. Purpose – why are we delivering improvement
  2. Sponsorship – who is providing the support and guidance for improvement
  3. Resources – who is going to deliver the improvement
  4. Plans – how are we going to structuring improvement
Programme Governance Image

Purpose – why are we delivering improvement

All programmes need a purpose, ideally for S A Partners they should be the output of The organisations strategy or an Assessment. They should be converted into objectives that are easily understood by the people within the organisation. We use two simple tools to help us with this:

  • Start with the Why, Simon Sinek, Tom Peters and Dr John Kotter all tell us to follow this approach
  • Use the 6c approach to define your benefits- balance you objectives- invest in enabling and delivery benefits

Sponsorship – who is providing the support and guidance for improvement

As leaders we need to sponsor improvement within our organisations. Create time and resources for our people to be able to deliver improvement. Show interest, coach, support mentor and instruct. Realise our people are putting themselves “out there” for us. Back them remember their success is ours. There is some great teaching in our leader programme around how to identify language choices and support styles.

leadership development model

Resources – who is going to deliver the improvement

If we want a high performing Programme we will need high performing People. Pick people who have the time to run programmes, who have the skills to manage resources, whilst having the energy and commitment to deliver improvement. It’s a very rare mix within individuals and will often need to be developed to create the champions for change that every organisation desires. Remember change is not easy, rarely is the road smooth, these people need to be well selected and very well supported.

Plan – how are we going to structuring improvement

Traditionally this is what programmes are all about- complicated Gantt charts with risk and issues identified. We all agree this is essential as we need something to baseline our improvement off, but if we create plans alone without purpose, sponsorship and resources all we have is a plan.

We agree and build great plans, make sure you review progress, track your benefits and not just your actions, raise the agenda of improvement, make Sustainable Continuous Improvement a key element of what we do, but remember a successful Programme needs Purpose and People to make it work.

What does each section of the Programme Governance framework do?

Customer Results icon

It identifies the purpose of the programme, and how people will work together to deliver it.

Programme Governance Benefits

It quantifies the benefits of the programme and how data will be gathered to monitor progress.

Programme Governance Routine

It creates the programme governance structure to ensure appropriate resources are available to deliver the benefits.


Balancing Skills

It is essential we balance the programme, developing system features that lead continuous improvement and coaches to deliver benefits with work teams.

To that end it’s important we have the right mix of skills throughout the organisation, if not there is an imbalance in the programme which prevents CI from being implemented successfully and sustainably.

Below is an example of some typical imbalances in organisations:

Programme governance triangle one

Great training but nowhere to practice the skills.

Programme governance triangle two

Great deployment and leadership training, but no-one knows how to improve findings.

Programme governance triangle three

We left the middle managers out of the process.

Programme governance triangle four

The chosen few do everything, the front line are not engaged.

Programme governance triangle fiive

Leaders are not engaged in the process.

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