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Program Risk Management

The line between project and program management is not exactly precise. An endeavor with ten people that delivers a result in six months is a project, and an undertaking with hundreds of people working globally in a dozen independently managed teams to deliver periodic deployments over the course of five years is a program. Between these extremes, you will find both very large projects and modest programs, and the difference between the two can be fuzzy. From the perspective of risk, though, program risk management depends heavily on the project risk management principles outlined in the earlier chapters of this book, with a few added considerations.

The main purpose of program management is dealing effectively with the potentially overwhelming detail; work that entails thousands of activities and large numbers of contributors is unwieldy to plan, and it’s impossible to monitor as a single effort. Program managers have daunting responsibilities. They are accountable for the overall program objective, managing the efforts of the individual project leaders, and often a dedicated program staff or a program office as well. Breaking large undertakings into chunks of work that can be effectively delegated and managed as (largely) independent projects is done for the same reason that projects are decomposed using a work breakdown structure—it reduces the complexity by converting the large and....


  

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