Gartner has come up with five program types to help program managers categorize programs and plan for them accordingly. Correct categorization, it says, is key to IT program management.
Analysts from the firm will discuss how to use this framework at its Program and Portfolio Management & IT Governance Summits June 2-4 in National Harbor, Maryland and June 9-10 in London.
The five program types are: Bottom-up, Change-oriented, Policy-driven, Outcome-driven, and Transformational.
The ability to categorize IT programs and assign them to appropriate tactics, skills and resources, Gartner says, is "critical to the generation of positive outcomes."
"The adage 'the right tool for the right job' is every bit as appropriate to IT programs as it is to carpentry or plumbing," said Michael Hanford, research vice president at Gartner. "Understanding different program types, the characteristics, requirements and benefits involved, and how they should be applied to meet different organizational, structural or governance needs is too often neglected in the early stages of planning."
Bottom-up is for when multiple projects are recognized after they've started as part of a larger set of problems, and as sharing dependencies. These are put together into one program so they can be better controlled while reducing redundancy.
Change oriented programs are described as those that are triggered by a high-level need for big change, and normally include multiple initiatives.
Policy-driven is for those unique to government and the public, including social, charitable, and nongovernmental organizations. These will usually enable provision of a law, regulation or defined service, and continue until no longer funded or outright canceled.
Outcome-driven is for programs "driven by a concept of, or a vision for, a product, service or generally identified set of results, or to address a specific need."
Finally, Transformational is for programs that "represent an effort that transcends the organization's current vision and its recent history and direction."
Naturally, Gartner has a report going into all of this in much more depth, though it's about $200.
Image via Gartner