A Contingency Approach to Project and Program Management Definitions

Abstract

This case tells the story of a leading manufacturing company in the USA in which program and project management methodologies have been uniquely applied. Rather than defining a program as a collection of interdependent projects with a common goal under integrated management, a program was defined as a new product introduction activity and a project was any other activity. This emphasized a clear distinction between the tactical role of project management and the strategic alignment role of program management. The guidelines for managing programs and projects are not the same, and neither are the roles of program and project managers.

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