In the given case study, the company is planning to introduce the Time keeping system (TKS) for the ease of services both to the customer and as well as the employees. Though the organization structure is diverse, rigid and inflexible but customer satisfaction and quality is being focused at the forefront bu the company. There are differnet types of employees in the organization including technicians, engineers, physicians, nurses, etc. and this diversified personality makes it difficult to bring about a change where everyone would readily accept it as it pertains to technology change. TKS is aimed to produce quality and accurate results with regards to time management in customer projects. The program manager regularly has a meeting with different teams and the customer representatives to understand the issues, roles and responsibilities. (Aitchison, 2016) It was a 4 step phase based project which includes integration and request, program planning, program execution and implementation and support. There is also 3 major checkpoints which are functional review, baseline review and finally customer approval. All the programs have to go through this standard procedure called the Program Management Solution Development Lifecycle.
The project has been completed in respect of phase 3 & baseline review meeting is being held with CIO, customer relationship director and payroll director and the program team to move into phase 4 of development, which has the agenda of status on schedule update, financial update, risk, if any and their mitigation procedure, resource events and key customer interactions. As per the project team, a new transaction inquiry is to be added which will delay the schedule by 2 months and add some $ 100000 to the budget (Belton, 2017). The focus group which included of payroll specialists and the customer had a meeting with the committee on this. The “ideal” decision of the executive committee here should be to go ahead with the tested program now and to go with the suggested ramification in the backend as otherwise there would be one or the other changes to the set in objectives and this would be delayed till eternity. All the stated objectives, controls have been checked and has gone through multiple layers of discussions, meetings, budgetary analysis, testing and approvals and now at the onset of program implementation, changes are being suggested to the program which will completely change the past work and will significantly delay the closure of the project, the same should be given second priority. Further, while taking this decision, the executive committee must take into consideration the view of the customer group specially that whether the new inquiry requirement which has been stated is inevitable to the success of the TKS (Bromwich & Scapens, 2016). If it is an integral part and the end objective could not be fulfilled, the same needs to be introduced at the cost of delay in implementation schedule, however, if it is secondary, then the same can be undertaken adjacent to the implementation of the already tested program as that would help the team to identify and fix the bug if any simultaneously and ultimately the success of the program.
The major advantage of program strike zone is that it helps in assigning the overall objective of the defined program with the objectives of the company, along with scheduling the execution of the program. Thus it helps in effective implementation of the program and getting the desired results for the same. It helps in overall management of the program. The program strike zone helps in setting up few critical success factors that are related to the program and helps the management in controlling the same(Boccia & Leonardi, 2016). It will also help in reducing the overall cost related to the project by defining the path that the employees must follow. It helps in setting up boundaries for the program within which the program must be executed. So all these factors contributes in the critical success of the program.
The major disadvantage of the program strike zone concept is that it is very complex to be implemented and sometimes it is hard to define the accurate tools that may be needed for a particular project (Alexander, 2016). The company might need expert advice for implementation of the same. Thus these are the few issues that the company might face with implementation of the said program.
The major benefits have been stated that it helps in better management of the project, helps in implementation of the same. It helps the company in achieving the desired goals, within incurring any extra cost and better scheduling of the entire program. It helps the managers of the company, to control the overall execution and implementation of the program and get the best results (Gooley, 2016). The tools that are used are very technical and can be used in a variety of programs, so that is an added benefit with relation to the program strike zone concept.
There were few issues that the team faced in relation to implementation of the said program which might have affected the overall health of the program. Firstly the team was contemplating and looking for better alternatives and that was bringing frequent changes to the program, it was increasing the overall cost and time for implementation and management of the program. The company was not able to decide which new features to be included, whether old system should be retained, whether the vendors must be changed (Visinescu, Jones, & Sidorova, 2017). The hardware and other software that the company was using for the said program were also not decided. Thus it was getting difficult to define the program strike zone accordingly, and aligning the same with the needs of the management so that the managers can check for the same. It is important that any amount of changes in the program strike zone must be timely updated and maintained by the governance. It should be ascertained that all the prescribed objectives and the defined course of action and the scheduling done by the management of the company is understood both by the governing body and the employees working on the program (Murray & Markey?Towler, 2017). These are the few issues that the program governance might face.
There is a large amount of difference between a project and a program. A project is related to something that is in consultation with the introduction of a new product or service. It has a definite start point and end point. A program on the other hand is a group of interrelated projects. Each having some unique and common characteristics and working in union to achieve some desired goals. Thus it can rightly be said that project management and program management are different from each other and require specified amount of skill set with respect to their governance (Jefferson, 2017). In the recent years there has been more focus on program management then specific project management. This is to ensure that the broader goals of the organization can be achieved because of the same. The project managers are working just for specific projects and they need to only supervise the same, but a program manager needs better and refined skill set to make sure that not only the overall program goals, but the goals of individual projects are also achieved as all of them are interconnected and working in union. Thus this makes the work of the program manager more important in comparison to the project managers of the company. It can thus be said that the given statement in the question which states that the differences between a program and a project may not be properly defined, but the program management is a better scaled up version of the project management. The programs are inclusive of such elements that are not part of the individual projects that are part of that program (Félix, 2017). This makes the management of the overall program an upheaval task in relation to the management of the individual projects of the program. The program managers needs to guide the project managers, must see that they are following the desired course of actions and are generating such outputs that the company demands of from the program. The programs are designed in such manner that sometimes they have a beginning but there is no end, the projects within the same might get completed but the programs keep on going. Thus the overall management of the program becomes a more important task as the other prospects related to the projects will get completed and the individual projects will be closed. New projects will be defined within the same program to achieve different objectives and better results. Thus we see that there is a thin between a program and a project, but the management of both are entirely different tasks are require completely different skill set that the management must focus when recruiting the said managers for the same (Meroño-Cerdán, Lopez-Nicolas, & Molina-Castillo, 2017). One of the most important element of the entire scenario is that program is a radius within which the projects are functioning so it is important that the elements of the project should complement the objectives of the program. This will help in better and effective management and getting the better results out of the same. Thus, in view of the above mentioned points, it has been rightly said that the program management is a more scaled-up version of the project management (Grenier, 2017).
Aitchison, S. (2016). When is a done deal not done?: a legally enforceable contract. Retrieved August 8th, 2016, from Mondaq.com: https://www.mondaq.com/australia/x/291480/Contract+Law/When+is+a+done+deal+not+done+a+legally+enforceable+contract
Alexander, F. (2016). The Changing Face of Accountability. The Journal of Higher Education, 71(4), 411-431.
Belton, P. (2017). Competitive Strategy: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance. London: Macat International ltd.
Boccia, F., & Leonardi, R. (2016). The Challenge of the Digital Economy. Markets, Taxation and Appropriate Economic Models, 1-16.
Bromwich, M., & Scapens, R. (2016). Management Accounting Research: 25 years on. Management Accounting Research, 31, 1-9.
Félix, M. (2017). A study on the expected impact of IFRS 17 on the transparency of financial statements of insurance companies. MASTER THESIS, 1-69.
Gooley, J. (2016). Principles of Australian Contract Law. Australia: Lexis Nexis.
Grenier, J. (2017). Encouraging Professional Skepticism in the Industry Specialization Era. Journal of Business Ethics, 142(2), 241-256.
Jefferson, M. (2017). Energy, Complexity and Wealth Maximization, R. Ayres. Springer, Switzerland . Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 353-354.
Meroño-Cerdán, A., Lopez-Nicolas, C., & Molina-Castillo, F. (2017). Risk aversion, innovation and performance in family firms. Economics of Innovation and new technology, 1-15.
Murray, C., & Markey?Towler, B. (2017). A Theory of Return-Seeking Firms. SSRN, 1-14.
Visinescu, L., Jones, M., & Sidorova, A. (2017). Improving Decision Quality: The Role of Business Intelligence. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 57(1), 58-66.
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