What are the Different Phases of Program Life Cycle Management?

Program Life Cycle Management is compulsory in order to deliver products, software, hardware, or business objectives effectively and within the stipulated time. Program life cycle management ensures that the projects meet the requirements of the organization and adheres to the milestones that are universally accepted as key phases in the life cycle. Program life cycle management generally involves working with multiple projects, thus requiring more agility, versatility, and vigilance. Any top certification for project managers covers the foundations of the program life cycle and its specialized lifecycle management. 

Program life cycle management allows project managers to understand how to deal with all the stages or phases of a program life cycle from creation till the program serves its purpose. A successful program equals successful projects, thus proper project management expertise is highly required to provide effective program management solutions. Projects are assigned to programs only when they cannot individually succeed and therefore depend on each other to make the program sustainable and viable.


What is Program Life Cycle Management?

Program life cycle management is a set of frameworks and business strategies meant to ensure that a combination of projects or programs caters to an organization’s business objectives and strategic importance. These structured frameworks exist to make sure that the standards are met and prescribed methods are followed. Program life cycle management deals with defining the program and planning how to develop it in accordance with company or stakeholder interests and then assuming administrative roles to sustain the program after the program is built. 

This field deals with similar responsibilities such as project life cycle management, only that it is created to oversee deliverable benefits and effectively deploy projects to meet the requirements. Similar to project life cycle management, program life cycle management also supervises staffing or recruiting, fundamentally being in charge of allocating or acquiring suitable human assets as required by the program. Professionals from this field do not only need to oversee the conceptualization of business goals but also they are delivered without any hassle and exactly in the desired manner as decided by the organization or stakeholders. Being attentive towards budget and resources is also important for project managers along with being proficient in handling many other projects or business objectives. A reputed PMP certification training program can help future project managers to acquire all the necessary knowledge to support program life cycles and make projects viable.


Describe the Different Phases of Program Life Cycle Management

A program life cycle also has a few gateways and phases from a management perspective which must all be completed in the specified order to truly adhere to the standards of a program life cycle management framework.

Defining the Program

This is the first phase of a program life cycle where the program is defined. This initial phase is concerned with answering questions such as why the program is required, how it will be completed, and what the program is about. In this phase, the objectives of the business and the stakeholders are clearly outlined and mapped out as strategic goals. This allows project managers to build a plan to accordingly tackle business challenges.

Conceptualizing the Program

In this phase, the projects inside a program are approved by stakeholders, associates, and the executive committee. Here, the program objectives are compared with the organizational objectives and checked if all the required checkpoints are met. The advantages and disadvantages of implementing the program are also determined and evaluated in this phase. The program’s long-term goals and risk factors are also considered before the board makes a decision. The budget, resources, and technology required are also analyzed in this phase, and if the projects are not suitable, then the program is not approved.

Setting up the Program

This phase is initiated after the program is approved. This phase involves designing the management plan for the program life cycle and allocating the budget for sustaining the program. Projects are individually evaluated and then accordingly associated with the program based on cost, regulations and synchronicity. The duration of the program is also decided in this phase, and the activities that fall under the program objectives are set up in a sequential order to be followed. 

Constructing the Program

In this phase, the management goals of the program are established alongside the rules, standards, and regulations that need to be adhered to. Tools and software such as project trackers, ERP software, reporting software, and Business Intelligence are used to provide analytics and metrics that allow the program management team to track the program construction and determine if the standards are being met.

Implementing the Program

In this phase, project managers are responsible for delivering the benefits to the company or stakeholders. The program’s viability is evaluated in this phase after comparing the accomplished goals with the set target. Deliverables are all confirmed, and if any task remains incomplete, then it is finished in this phase. A top certification for project manager roles is highly recommended to learn more about how to manage program life cycles.

Closure of the Program

This phase involves the completion of the program and the projects associated with the program. Failures, benefits, and especially the productivity level of the program are documented while the positive aspects of the program are noted down for future use.

Program Benefits Delivery

This phase follows the approval of the individual project management plans, and this is where the program is sustained and administered to provide the required benefits to the organization. This can be defined as an iterative phase where components of the program or individual projects are initiated to complete their objectives. The output from the components or individual project is integrated into the main program and is combined to provide the required strategic advantages. Program managers are then responsible for monitoring the program till it is closed.

The main goal of these phases is to deliver the records maintained by the project management team for each phase of the life cycle to the company so that it becomes an asset that can be used at a later time or for other projects. Skilled project managers are required for companies to commission them with evaluating the success of the program and also to oversee the projects incorporated into the program. A PMP certification training program is highly recommended to support a program life cycle from its origin to its closure as the individual projects determine the final success of the program.

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