PgMP - Program Strategy Alignment

Program Strategy Alignment is the performance domain that identifies program outputs and outcomes to provide benefits aligned with the organization's strategic goals and objectives.

Programs are designed to align with the organizational strategy and to facilitate the realization of organizational benefits. To accomplish this, program managers need to have a thorough understanding of how the program will fulfill the portfolio and organization's strategy, goals and objectives, and the skills needed to align the program with the long term goals of the organization.

When an organization develops its strategy, there is typically an initial evaluation and selection process that may be formal or informal to help the organization determine which initiatives to approve, deny, or defer as part of the portfolio management practice of the organization. 

The more mature an organization is in terms of program and project management, the more likely it will have a formalized process for program selection such as a portfolio review board or a program steering committee. Either decision-making body may issue a program charter that defines the strategic objectives and benefits a particular program is expected to deliver. The program charter is a document issued by a sponsor that authorizes the program management team to use organizational resources to execute the program and links the program to the organization's strategic objectives. It defines the scope and purpose of a proposed program presented to governance to obtain approval,funding, and authorization. This program charter confirms the commitment of organizational resources to determine if a program is the most appropriate approach for achieving these objectives and triggers the program definition phase.


The figure below depicts the components of the program strategy alignment. 

Program Strategy Alignment is initiated with the development of a program business case. A program business case is a documented economic feasibility study used to establish validity of the benefits to be delivered by a program; it justifies the need for a program by defining how a program's expected outcomes would support the organization's strategic goals and objectives. As the documented economic feasibility study is used to establish validity of the benefits to be delivered by a program, the business case is then further used as an input to the program charter and subsequently the program roadmap. These three documents are established as part of program formulation activities

During the execution of the program formulation sub phase, the program strategy alignment process is initiated and runs until the end of the program life cycle. During this time, the management processes to identify and quantify environmental factors, outcomes, and benefits and to identify and manage program risks are executed and controlled within the program governance framework. When misalignment is identified, the program management plan or organization's strategic goals and objectives should be revised to ensure alignment. This may occur in research, where the results of a program determine that a given line of research is not likely to succeed, and the organization then changes its strategy-sometimes without canceling or discontinuing the program-to better leverage the results of the program.