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Review: Program Management by Michel Thiry

Martin Vaughan
August 31, 2012

I wasn’t looking forward to reading this book. Not because of the content or author; it’s just that when I get home from work the last thing I want to read is a book about my work. But I can honestly say I enjoyed the read.

Program Management by Michel Thiry covers many aspects of program management, from the differing nature of programs, governance, roles people play, decision making, lifecycle considerations and a significant amount on benefits and their realisation. Thiry draws on industry best practice, pointing out the subtle differences between OGC, PMI and his own approaches to program management.

The readers most likely to gain a benefit from this book are those experienced project management practitioners who wish to make the transition from project management to program management. Thiry manages to capture the important differences between project and program management, handling them in a clear and logical manner while discussing some of the intricacies and his own personal opinions.

There are some interesting models and great diagrams he uses to explain some of the more complex issues plus the odd mathematical model you have to read twice before fully understanding.

Like other books covering this sort of content, readers shouldn’t expect to agree with everything written but should reflect on what is covered, pick their own highlights and form their own conclusions.

I recommend people who are moving into program management from project management read the book, pop it aside as a reference and then re-read it after a year or two. Readers will need exposure to program management for all the content and recommendations to make sense.

Despite a few awkwardly long sentences, I would recommend this book and have in fact used it at work to help clarify governance issues and solutions with colleagues. Definitely a book to add to your library.

Program Management
By Michel Thiry
RRP £32.50 (print), £29.25 (online)
Published by Gower

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Martin Vaughan
Martin Vaughan started his career as a specialist planner/scheduler in construction before moving to defence, then into IT. He progressed through project management and program management into consulting and advisory roles. Meanwhile he maintained an interest in tools and technology, on the way building and managing small businesses and squeezing in some lecturing in IT Project Management at the University of Melbourne. He is now a director and senior consultant at Core Consulting Group.
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