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Similarities between project and program

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More than enough has been said about the differences between a project and a program, me I just want to know what the similarities are between the two. Anyone care to list them?
asked 8 years ago by anonymous

1 Answer

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Finally a question that is about the similarities, and not the differences between a project and a program.

Anyway, here's how a project and a program are similar:

- Both have a start date: In fact, the start date of a program is the same as the start of the first project falling under the program.

- Both have an end date: Although programs tend to be much longer and viewed as infinite, they do have an end date by definition.

- A program can be viewed as a big project: Yes, a program is indeed a big project, with all what it entails (including having a business case, a project charter, a project plan, etc...)

- Both projects and programs deliver a service/product/structure (by structure I mean a building or anything that is produced by construction project management)

- Both have a budget: Companies allocate budgets to programs the same way they allocate budgets to projects. Only the budget is usually much more bigger and the people deciding what the budget is are top executives.

- Both are managed by an individual: In the case of a project, it's the project manager, and in the case of a program, it's the program manager.

- Both can succeed or fail: Not only projects succeed or fail, programs can succeed or fail as well. In fact, the success/failure of a program depends primarily on the success/failure rate of the projects falling under this program.

- Both are controlled: Programs are controlled by the Program Management Office, while Projects are controlled by the Project Management Office.

- Both are prioritized/selected based on the organization's needs, potential, and available resources: The Program and Portfolio Management is responsible for prioritizing/selecting projects, while the Project and Portfolio Management is responsible for prioritizing/selecting projects (both are referred to as PPM by the way).

- Both have resources allocated to them: Resources are usually allocated at the program level, and then distributed (hopefully fairly) among projects.

- Both consist of smaller tasks: In the case of a program, these smaller tasks are the projects.

- Both have deliverables: The deliverables of a program are usually the products/services that result from executing the projects.

The similarities between projects and programs are much more than the differences between the two (that's why probably most people ask about the differences).
answered 8 years ago by MaplePM (46,940 points)

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