Zambia Projects & Programs
Perhaps the key difference between a project and a program is specificity. A project refers to a specific, singular endeavour to deliver a tangible. Defining the difference between projects and programs can help you create the structure within your organization to successfully deliver your. Have you ever found yourself trying to identify or explain the difference between program and project management? You're not alone.
It is bounded by time, resources, and required outcomes. The project is managed and monitored by the project manager and is terminated when the target is achieved, cannot be achieved, and when there is no need of achieving the target. The target and impact of projects can be tangible or nontangible.
Strengthening good financial governance in Zambia
Program Programs are grouped within a portfolio and are comprised of subprograms, projects, or other work that are managed in a coordinated fashion in support of the portfolio. Programs are so large that they have to be broken down into smaller units projects or subprogram to distribute the responsibilities and ease the work thereof.
The process of breaking down the overall work and distributing it to individual project team means multiple brains in a single program. When several teams and managers present ideas for their projects, it works well for the different projects but not for the initiative as a whole.
For example, an anonymous automobile company manufactures different types of cars. Smallholder yields have remained low since the beginning of the millennium, and sectoral growth averaged only around 2 per cent annually for much of this period.
The Strategy In Zambia, IFAD loans support the commercialization of smallholder agriculture, in particular by enhancing crop and livestock productivity including by reduction of livestock disease. They also create links between small-scale farmers and suppliers and market intermediaries, and help to increase access to rural financial services by small-scale farmers. The IFAD country strategic opportunities programme is designed to help poor smallholders in remote areas make the best use of natural resources to improve food production and food security.
Strengthening good financial governance in Zambia
Because women are largely responsible for household food production and income generation, they play a key role in IFAD's programmes and projects, which aim to reduce poverty by generating income. IFAD also promotes policy dialogue on issues related to rural financial services, and to the development of policy, regulatory and institutional arrangements for the control of livestock diseases.
The agriculture sector employs over 50 per cent of the workforce More than 60 per cent of Zambians live below the poverty line.
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- Difference between Portfolios, Programs, and Projects
You can read the first paper "Delivering programme excellence" here. In this, our second thinking paper focussing on programme management, we discuss the differences between programme and project management and what is required to deliver programmes effectively at the highest level.
How does programme management differ from project management and what skills are specifically required to manage a programme well? By my definition, a project requires a discreet effort, which is largely independent of other projects. This being the case, the outcome of the project should not have any major influence on subsequent efforts or activities, because a project has an end goal and will stand or fall based on the success of its delivery.
When you get into programme management, you are dealing with a large collection of interrelated projects that somehow have to work in a collaborative way to realise a positive and common outcome.
You are also working in a much closer relationship with the client and the various stakeholders to the programme, so skills such as strategy definition, communications and stakeholder management become more critical. We are looking for trends and consequences arising from specific actions at the project level that may negatively or positively factor in the overall outcome of a larger programme.
To deliver a successful programme, managers and their teams need to understand the complexity and challenges they face. To do this successfully, I believe a critical challenge is to keep the programme manager focused and working at the appropriate management level. Programme managers must not get lost trying to manage details at the project level.
If this occurs, they lose sight of their programme objectives and become focused on the pieces of the larger process. This goes to the importance of standard operating and reporting procedures, good visibility of the programme baseline and progress, robust reporting and a clear understanding of programme objectives, so that people can understand what affect a slippage or cost overrun on a particular project will have on the programme itself. By way of example, look at programme risk and cost management.
You must look across the full programme if you have a cost overrun on a project, where are you going to make that cost up? If you have a schedule overrun, what are the ramifications? This is why it is critical to keep the programme manager operating at the higher level, looking at the entire picture and not letting that person manage at a project level.
Does that person have to understand the metrics and the performances at a project level? One of the fundamental differences, as far as project and programme managers are concerned, is that a project manager tends to be aware of everything that is happening on their project. However, within programme management, at the senior levels, it is management by exception.
Although projects normally deliver distinct and tangible outputs, programmes normally look at wider outcome driven goals and how to deliver and pull together the project benefits for the good of the overall programme. If the programme manager loses sight of this driver, the benefits may not be delivered or optimised.
The client is normally focused on a particular outcome and the programme management team needs to be fully aligned in order to achieve it. It was a very challenging programme and experienced significant change but was ultimately successful. However, the programme went through a lot of iterations and had to learn lessons the hard way. The client was ultimately looking for a particular train performance level between London and Scotland but also wanted to maintain service levels during construction.