1. I was wondering what differences and relation are between process management, program management and project management? I feel their Wikipedia articles do not give me a clear explanation.
  2. More fundamentally, what differences and relation are between process, program and project?

2 Answers 2

  • A process is a defined set of methods and steps required for completing an action. The concept of a process is that it is a defined pattern/steps that needs to be followed (without any deviation - no uniqueness).

  • A project is a unique set of actions and tasks that are combined to fulfil a specific goal(s) in a defined time frame. Meaning that for a project to actually qualify as a project it needs to have a goal, start /end time and be unique (for the performer).

  • A program is a set of combined projects aimed to fulfil a larger business goal or vision for the organisation.

  • Thanks! for a process, what do you mean by "no uniqueness", while saying it is a a defined pattern/steps that needs to be followed ? I think the latter says a process and its pattern/steps are unique?
    – Tim
    Commented Jul 1, 2011 at 22:51
  • I mean that while the process it self is unique, every time you use it you follow the same defined steps and actions, making the use of the process not unique. The reason I'm bringing this up is for pointing out the differences between a project and a process. Thanks for pointing out the unclear part of the answer, hopes this helps. Commented Jul 1, 2011 at 23:24

Process management is all about ensuring that the business processes are carried out effectively and efficiently: this includes optimisation of the processes as well as their initial design and implementation.

Project management is the process of managing tasks and work packages to achieve a set of objectives, which are often (but not always) defined in terms of scope, quality, timescale, and cost.

Programme management is the mechanism by which multiple projects can be coordinated to meet corporate or organisational objectives which are larger, more complex, or have a greater span than would be practical within a single project.

So, a programme manager may oversee a number of project managers; a project manager may be responsible for implementing processes and perhaps even establishing the role of a process manager, but the process manager is likely to have an enduring role after the project (and possibly even the programme) are just memories.

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