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For project, programme and risk management

Everything you wanted to know about

Managing Successful Programmes (MSPTM)
in less than one thousand words!

White Paper
October 2007
 Everything you wanted to know about MSP in less than one thousand words!

In September 2007, the Office of There are three types of programmes • Designing and delivering a
Government Commerce published the that MSP endeavours to address; each will coherent capability
third revision of the globally recognised require different focus and intensity of • Learning from experience.
best practice framework for Programme resources and control.
Management entitled “Managing
Vision led programmes that start with
The Governance Themes
Successful Programmes”. It was first are a set of references that explain how
released in 1999 when it crystallised the a clearly defined vision, have a top
key elements of the programme should be
evolving concepts of business change from down approach, and focus on strategic
delivered during its delivery lifecycle. The
projects. In 2003 a second version was or innovative opportunity with radical
Governance Themes cover subjects that
released, which reflected the increasing transformation of business, culture or both.
will need to be constantly managed to a
maturity of the concepts. The 2007 version greater or lesser extent on a daily basis:
Emergent programmes evolve from
has captured the evolving knowledge
current uncoordinated initiatives, where
in this discipline whilst remaining true Organisation describes how governance
there is recognition of the value of joined-
to the original concepts. New tools and should be applied, through the Sponsoring
up approach with an emergent vision and
techniques have been added in addition Group and Programme Board, and
end goal.
to a greater depth of explanation to provides guidance on the roles and
help organisations and individuals Compliance programmes can also responsibilities for the Senior Responsible
effectively implement Programme be called ‘must do’ programmes. The Owner, Business Change Manager and
Management successfully. organisation has no choice but to Programme Manager. It also recommends
change, for example because of market additional roles.
forces or the potential negative impact of
Vision is required for the delivery of any
not changing.
programme, MSP sets out the key contents
Unlike project management, which thrives and how it should paint a picture of a
on certainty, programme management better future for the organisation.
recognises and exploits the ambiguity
Stakeholder Engagement and
within which it exists.
Leadership is critical to any programme;
change requires effective leadership. MSP

The Managing emphasises the need to not only identify

and communicate with stakeholders, but
Successful also provides analysis tools to generate
greater understanding of their needs,

MSP Framework Programme perceptions and priorities.

MSP defines Programme Management

Framework Blueprint Design and Delivery is the
foundation for the programme, what is the
as “the action of carrying out the The current manual has 3 main sections: “to be” state for the organisation when
coordinated organisation, direction and the programme completes, and in fact
implementation of a dossier of projects The Introduction what is our starting point (“as is” state).
and transformational activities (i.e. the describes the context of Programme Transformation is delivered in step changes
programme) to achieve outcomes and Management and also introduces the through Tranches.
realise benefits of strategic importance to Programme Management principles,
the business”. these apply to every programme, have Benefits Realisation Management is
been proven in practice and empower the core difference between projects
The MSP framework is designed to enable individuals to deliver successfully. These and programmes. The active exploitation
the delivery of transformational change principles are: of the opportunities that are offered by
and the achievement of an organisations the investment in projects deliverables is
strategic objectives. Programmes exist in • Remaining aligned with complex, with each benefit having its own
the tension zone between the strategic corporate strategy profile and a supporting plan to deliver the
direction of the organisation, the delivery • Leading change changes and release the dividend.
of change capability by projects and the • Envisioning and communicating a
need to maintain business performance Business Case will be in place for all
better future
and stability whilst realising and exploiting programmes, with MSP highlighting the
• Focusing on the benefits and threats need for the programme to have an
the benefits from investments.
to them overarching case, and each project to have
• Adding value its own Business Case too.
Everything you wanted to know about MSP in less than one thousand words! 

Risk and Issue Management offers Closing the Programme structures the
advice and guidance on how to avoid the end to the programme, consolidating and
realisation of the events that will cause embedding the change, closing down
the programme to fail. It not only focuses all programme activity and completing
on the need to manage threats, but Stakeholder Engagement.
also to exploit opportunities. There are
four perspectives: Strategic, Programme, In the Appendices of the manual there is
Operation and Project Risk. guidance on programme documentation,
how to implement MSP, undertake Health
Planning and Control are covered Checks and manage a Programme Office.
in detail to explain how to develop
the Programme Plan and maintain
internal control. Acknowledgements
Quality describes how there should be MSP™ is a Trade Mark of the Office of
optimal management of people, resources, Government Commerce.
suppliers, processes, assets, information
and strategic alignment. The swirl logo™ is a Trade Mark of the
Office of Government Commerce.
Transformational Flow
For Further Information:
is the term used to describe the lifecycle
of the programme; it uses “Flow” to reflect www.ogc.gov.uk
the evolving nature of the journey the www.tsoshop.co.uk
programme takes and the adjustments www.usergroup.org.uk
that will need to be made. The following www.apmgroup.co.uk
summarises the stages it passes through.

Identifying a Programme takes an

outline idea, and turns it into a business
concept that will gain strategic support Author
through stakeholder analysis, clarification
Rod Sowden
of the strategic requirements and market
Aspire Europe
Defining a Programme confirms the www.aspireeurope.com
vision, undertakes detailed analysis of
options and designs the programme
infrastructure to deliver, resulting in a Sourced by TSO and published on
Business Case and strategic commitment. www.best-management-practice.com
Managing the Tranches describes the Our White Paper series should not
cyclical activities involved in managing be taken as constituting advice of any
and proving the coordinating interface sort and no liability is accepted for any
between projects, business change and loss resulting from use of or reliance
strategic direction. on its content. While every effort is
made to ensure the accuracy and
Delivering the Capability explains how
reliability of the information, TSO cannot
the alignment of the projects and other
accept responsibility for errors, omissions
activities that deliver the Blueprint will be
or inaccuracies.
managed and controlled.
Content, diagrams, logo’s, jackets are
Realising the Benefits outlines the
correct at time of going to press but may
preparing, delivering and reviewing
be subject to change without notice.
activities to take the capability delivered
by projects, transition into the business Reproduction in full or part is prohibited
operations and embed it within the with consent from the Author.
business operations to release the
intended benefits.