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April 12, 2017

By John Knox | Harkcon’s Senior Program Manager

In my January blog post entitled “How to tell the difference between Programs and Projects"

(http://harkcon.blogspot.com/2017/01/how-to-tell-difference-between-programs.html), we discussed the differences between programs versus projects.  Recall the program manager has a broad, strategic view of the entire program and all projects within it, while the project manager is specifically focused on the outcomes of a particular project.  

We will now focus on some key competencies for effective program management.  These are derived from the Levin-Ward Program Management Competency Model, which consists of six performance competencies and eight personal competencies.

Program Management Performance Competencies (derived source: Levin-Ward PgM Competency Model)

The following process focused program management competencies align with the 

PMBOK® Guide

Defining the Program – An effective program manager ensures the program objectives are a...

January 3, 2017

By John Knox | Harkcon’s Senior Program Manager

How often have you heard the terms programs and projects used interchangeably?  Or program manager versus project manager?  In this blog, I will attempt to explain and simplify the difference.

While both may use similar tools and processes prescribed in PMI’s Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, Fifth Edition (better known as the PMBOK® Guide), the roles of the program manager and project manager are distinct. 

The program manager has a much broader and strategic view, which typically involves multiple projects that are all related and working toward the same big picture goal.  The program manager is responsible for multiple projects and teams within the program.  In short, the program manager is responsible for the program outcomes impacted by each of the projects within the program

On the other hand, the project manager is focused on a specific project that is temporary with a defined be...

October 24, 2016

By John Knox | Harkcon's Senior Program Manager

There are many resources available on this topic with the gold standard being PMI’s Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, Fifth Edition, better known as the PMBOK® Guide. 

The PMBOK® Guide makes direct reference to five Project Management Process Groups:

  • Initiating Process Group

  • Planning Process Group

  • Executing Process Group

  • Monitoring and Controlling Process Group

  • Closing Process Group

These Process Groups are sequential, but also overlap in time.  The majority of time on a typical project is spent in the Planning Process Group and the Executing Process Group.  In fact, according to the PMBOK® Guide, the Planning Process Group encompasses every single knowledge area and contains the most processes versus any other process group.   

So what does this mean?   Before you can effectively execute a successful project, you must first effectively plan the project. 

A...

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