A typology of meanings: practitioners views of ‘program'

McGrath, Stephen Keith and Whitty, Stephen Jonathan (2019) A typology of meanings: practitioners views of ‘program'. Journal of Modern Project Management, 7 (2). pp. 228-245. ISSN 2317-3963

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Abstract

Previously published work has identified confusion in the definition of the term program. This paper reports on a study investigating the understanding of program terminology within a sample of experienced management and project management practitioners across a range of industries and disciplines. The study was conducted in Australia which is subject to influence by both USA and British practice, without being constrained to favor either, but where any inconsistencies between these influences are potentially problematic. The outcome was that confusion on this issue was found within the practitioner community. Furthermore, this confusion had developed into a competition between fields over exclusive usage of the term to the extent that one organization had even attempted to resolve it by attributing different meanings to the two different nationality spellings of the term. No common understanding or definition of the term was articulated and there was contention over whether a program has to be transformational to be labelled as such. The boundaries with the terms project and portfolio were also unclear. The existence of these inconsistencies indicates there is a need for an internally consistent set of definitions of project, program, and portfolio to be agreed and adopted across the whole project management field.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Accepted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Management and Enterprise (1 Jul 2013 - 17 Jan 2021)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Management and Enterprise (1 Jul 2013 - 17 Jan 2021)
Date Deposited: 19 May 2020 01:58
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2020 04:21
Uncontrolled Keywords: program management, programme management, project management, transformation, benefits realisation, change management
Fields of Research (2008): 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150312 Organisational Planning and Management
Identification Number or DOI: doi:10.19255/JMPM02011
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/38667

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