Series on Program Management: The Program Management Continuum (Article 2 of 4)


By Russ Martinelli, Jim Waddell, Tim Rahschulte

Program Management Academy 

Oregon, USA

Organizational transition is driven by the changing needs of a business, with business growth, business decline, and changes in regulatory, legal, and governance constraints creating the greatest pressure for organizational transition. To succeed in an organizational transition, an awareness, willingness, and commitment to change an organization’s culture and establish a new mindset regarding roles, responsibilities and functions must exist within the organization. We have witnessed that for companies which utilize program management as a core discipline and function, this is especially true.

CASE IN POINT: Consider the following words from Richard Vander Meer, Vice-President of Global Program Management for Frog Design:

“When we created the program management role, we hired people to be note-takers and meeting schedulers. But, as the needs of the company changed, we needed to create a more robust function. Today, our program managers are the main interface between the client and the program team and they have profit/loss responsibility for the client-engaged program.”

Mr. Vander Meer’s comments succinctly describe how changing needs of the business drove the organizational transition of the program management function within Frog. In this case, the program manager’s role changed from note-taker and meeting scheduler to business manager and primary point of customer contact. Obviously, this was a focused transition that was executed over a number of years.

In the first article in this series titled “The Ah-Ha Moment”, we presented another example of a company embarking on a program management transition. Within that company (a major U.S. Government Contractor), a change in business needs (the ability to deliver more complex solutions) was also driving a change of their program management function. As the example points out, when the need for change occurs, a gap between current state of operation and future state of operation driven by the new business needs always exists. In this case, Figure 1 demonstrates the gap in program management performance that existed for Dave Mitchell, Division Vice-President for the Government Contractor, and his entire organization. Closing the gap between current performance and expected future performance was all about transitioning to a truly program-oriented enterprise.


To read entire article (click here)

The PMWJ series of articles on program management is authored by Russell Martinelli, Tim Rahschulte and James Waddell, principle advisors at the Program Management Academy in Oregon, USA.   More about the authors and the Program Management Academy can be found at http://www.programmanagement-academy.com/.

About the Authors

pmwj26-sep2014-martinelli-AUTHOR1 MARTINELLIRuss Martinelliflag-usa

Oregon, USA

Russ Martinelli is a senior program manager at Intel Corporation, one of the world’s largest semiconductor companies. Russ has many years of experience leading global product development teams in both the aerospace and computing industries. Russ is also a founder of the Program Management Academy (www.programmanagement-academy.com), and co-author of Leading Global Project Teams and the first comprehensive book on program management titled Program Management for Improved Business Results. Russ can be contacted at [email protected].

To view other works by Russ Martinelli, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/russ-martinelli/

pmwj26-sep2014-martinelli-AUTHOR2 WADDELLJim Waddell flag-usa

Oregon, USA

Jim Waddell, former PMO director in the high-tech industry, is a founder of the Program Management Academy (www.programmanagement-academy.com) where he consultants in program management and mergers & acquisitions. He has held a variety of management positions in the high tech and energy industries, has been a speaker at numerous conferences, and is a co-author of two books: Leading Global Project Teams and Program Management for Improved Business Results. Jim can be contacted at [email protected].

To view other works by Jim Waddell, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/jim-waddell/

??????????????????????Tim Rahschulteflag-usa

Oregon, USA

Tim Rahschulte is co-author of Program Management for Improved Business Results and an executive director at the Program Management Academy. Tim is also responsible for international management and leadership studies at George Fox University in Oregon. He consults with state governments in the USA on matters of organizational change as a business transition architect. Contact Tim at [email protected].

To view other works by Tim Rahschulte, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/tim-rahschulte/