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Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®) – 5th Edition

MSP is a globally recognized framework for best practice programme management. Programmes are temporary structures used by organizations to lead investments in change.

MSP is specifically designed to address the most common challenges that organizations encounter when leading investments in change. It is designed to align programmes and projects to organizational strategy and to provide governance. It focuses on the outcomes of benefits, whilst mitigating risks and actively engaging stakeholders.

MSP 5th edition consists of a set of principles, themes, and processes that provide a clear roadmap for the programme lifecycle and ensure successful organizational outcomes:

The 7 principles are the driving requirements that are continually required to achieve value from programme management. These principles are universal, self-validating, and empowering.

The 7 themes help organizations to identify key roles, responsibilities, and information needed to support the theme. The themes give very practical guidance illustrating how MSP can be used according to the reasons for a programme. These reasons, or drivers, include:

  • innovation and growth

  • organizational re-alignment

  • effective delivery

  • efficient delivery.


The 7 processes provide a route through the lifecycle of a programme with an emphasis on the incremental nature of a programme enabling a cyclical progression towards the desired future state.
















MSP 5th edition emphasizes more flexibility, adaptability, and responsiveness by adopting an incremental approach to the programme lifecycle and thus enabling organizational agility.

Value proposition

MSP is the go-to certification and guidance for programme managers, business change managers and the next step for project managers to develop their knowledge and skills to be able to positively respond to the challenges they face when managing programmes and larger, more strategic or multiple projects.


Programme management using MSP creates a framework that enables the organization to align the delivery of programmes and projects to organizational strategy; and to focus on the delivery of outcomes and benefits, while mitigating risks and actively engaging stakeholders at all levels. MSP can be used in conjunction with all the other best-practice products (such as PRINCE2® and MoP®) and international or internal organizational standards.

Programme Management and Project Management


A programme is made up of a specific set of related projects identified by an organization that together will deliver some defined objective, or set of objectives, for the organization.


The objectives, or goals, of the programme are typically at a strategic level so that the organization can achieve benefits and improvements in its business operation.


There is a close link between Programme Management and project management because the programme is made up of projects and is only successful if the projects within it succeed. The concept of a programme is that it should deliver more than the 'sum of its parts'.


In other words, without Programme Management, the projects would probably still be able to deliver their particular outcomes but these would not be co-ordinated or integrated into the achievement of a strategic business goal.


Why adopt MSP?


Today's organizations exist in a climate of constant and increasing change. Organizations that have learned how to transform themselves through effective leadership and strategic control are more likely to survive and prosper. Programme management is increasingly being recognized as key to enabling organizations to manage that transformation.


Where there is major change there will be complexity, risk, many interdependencies to manage, and conflicting priorities to resolve. Experience shows that organizations are likely to fail to deliver change successfully where:


  • There is insufficient board-level support

  • Leadership is weak

  • There are unrealistic expectations of the organizational capacity and capability to change

  • There is insufficient focus on benefits

  • There is no real picture of the future capability

  • There is a poorly defined or poorly communicated vision

  • The organization fails to change culture

  • There is insufficient engagement of stakeholders.


Certification scheme


MSP consists of guidance, training, and certification. There are two certification levels: Foundation and Practitioner.

MSP 5th edition Foundation: for individuals that are interested in learning how to manage multiple projects and programmes successfully. The course provides the theoretical knowledge of how to plan, manage, and deliver programmes from start to finish. It is designed to support programme or project managers, those working in a programme office, business change managers, and programme and project delivery team members, that wish to gain a greater understanding of the MSP guidance to work more effectively in large-scale project or programme environments.

MSP 5th edition Practitioner: for project, programme, and business change managers that want to build on their knowledge of MSP, in order to practically apply the MSP framework to real life scenarios, providing the skills to lead and manage a programme. It is a must-have certification for both project and programme

management professionals to deliver organizational value to their employers and boost their careers.

MSP Courses


Should you require more info, please contact

MSP® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.

MSP® Accredited Training Organization logo is a trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.

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