Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®) 

Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®) represents proven programme management good practice in the successful delivery of transformational change through the application of programme management.


MSP has been used and adopted within many organizations both within the public and private sectors. The experiences of those who have adopted programme management have provided invaluable inputs into the core publication, ‘Managing Successful Programmes’.


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.











Adopting a programme management approach such as MSP provides a structured framework that can help organizations avoid these pitfalls and achieve their goals.


Roles and responsibilities


MSP defines the roles and responsibilities of all who need to form part of the leadership of a programme. Effective leadership of a programme is achieved through informed decision-making and a flexible management regime. The key roles involved are:


  • Sponsoring Group

  • Senior Responsible Owner

  • Programme Manager

  • Business Change Managers

  • Programme Office.










MSP Framework


The MSP framework is based on three core concepts:


MSP Principles: These are derived from positive and negative lessons learned from programme experiences. They are the common factors that underpin the success of any transformational change.


MSP Governance Themes: These define an organization's approach to programme management. They allow an organization to put in place the right leadership, delivery team, organization structures and controls, giving the best chance for success.


MSP Transformational Flow: This provides a route through the lifecycle of a programme from its conception through to the delivery of the new capability, outcomes and benefits.

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