Program management or programme management is the process of managing several related projects, often with the intention of improving an organization's performance. In practice and in its aims it is often closely related to systems engineering and industrial engineering.
The program manager has oversight of the purpose and status of the projects in a program and can use this oversight to support project-level activity to ensure the program goals are met by providing a decision-making capacity that cannot be achieved at project level or by providing the project manager with a program perspective when required, or as a sounding board for ideas and approaches to solving project issues that have program impacts. In a program there is a need to identify and manage cross-project dependencies and often the project management office (PMO) may not have sufficient insight of the risk, issues, requirements, design or solution to be able to usefully manage these. The program manager may be well placed to provide this insight by actively seeking out such information from the project managers although in large and/or complex projects, a specific role may be required. However this insight arises, the program manager needs this in order to be comfortable that the overall program goals are achievable.
The sequence of cards used by a Jacquard loom to produce a given pattern within weaved cloth. Invented in 1801, it used holes in punched cards to represent sewing loom arm movements in order to generate decorative patterns automatically.
The execution of a program is a series of actions following the instructions it contains. Each instruction produces effects that alter the state of the machine according to its predefined meaning.
While some machines are called programmable, for example a programmable thermostat or a musical synthesizer, they are in fact just devices which allow their users to select among a fixed set of a variety of options, rather than being controlled by programs written in a language (be it textual, visual or otherwise).
Economic appraisal is a type of decision method applied to a project, programme or policy that takes into account a wide range of costs and benefits, denominated in monetary terms or for which a monetary equivalent can be estimated. Economic appraisal is a key tool for achieving value for money and satisfying requirements for decision accountability. It is a systematic process for examining alternative uses of resources, focusing on assessment of needs, objectives, options, costs, benefits, risks, funding, affordability and other factors relevant to decisions.
Economic appraisal is a methodology designed to assist in defining problems and finding solutions that offer the best value for money (VFM). This is especially important in relation to public expenditure and is often used as a vehicle for planning and approval of public investment relating to policies, programmes and projects.
A decision method is a formal (axiomatic) system that contains at least one action axiom. An action is of the form "IF <this> is true, THEN do <that>". An action axiom tests a condition (antecedent) and, if the condition has been met, then (consequent) it suggests (mandates) an action: from knowledge to action. A decision model may also be a network of connected decisions, information and knowledge that represents a decision-making approach that can be used repeatedly (such as one developed using the Decision Model and Notation standard).
Excepting very simple situations, successful action axioms are used in an iterative manner. For example, for decision analysis, the sole action axiom occurs in the Evaluation stage of a four-step cycle: Formulate, Evaluate, Interpret/Appraise, Refine.
Decision Models are used to model a decision being made once as well as to model a repeatable decision-making approach that will be used over and over again.
Formulation is the first and often most challenging stage in using formal decision methods (and in decision analysis in particular). The objective of the formulation stage is to develop a formal model of the given decision. This may be represented as a network of decision-making elements, as a decision tree or in other ways depending on the specific situation. The formulation may be conceptual or may include all the necessary decision logic (business rules) required to define the decision-making.