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Foreword

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We help organisations become more capable of delivering their bids, projects, programmes and portfolios effectively and efficiently. We help raise confidence among senior executives, stakeholders, regulators and shareholders that the time and effort invested will yield the desired results. We do this by applying a maturity modelling approach, which involves:

  • understanding the context in which you deliver your initiatives;
  • understanding current capability;
  • identifying the capability you need, and then; and
  • jointly identifying and prioritising what will make the biggest impact on delivery performance.


Where needed we also provide advice and assistance in implementing the changes which are necessary to gain the capability you seek. Our range of services includes:

  • capability assessments for bids, projects, programmes and portfolios;
  • capability improvement;
  • assurance and health-checks;
  • bid/project/programme initiation;
  • portfolio definition and reviews;
  • PMO design and establishment;
  • development and embedment of bespoke frameworks and methods; and
  • provision of standard frameworks/methods through our Outperform Toolkit.


Whether you would like our help with a bid, project or programme in difficulty, or you require support in raising your overall organisational capability, our consultants can help. Our specialists are recognised as leaders in their fields of expertise. They have been at the heart of the development of internationally recognised best practice guidance, such as:

  • P3M3®
  • PRINCE2®
  • APM’s Body of Knowledge
  • APM’s Co-Directing Change
  • HM Treasury’s Project Initiation Routemap


We are not theorists though – we were chosen to develop these guides through our experience as practitioners and our track record of embedding sustainable capability in organisations. RSM is a corporate member of the Major Projects Association (MPA), the Association for Project Management (APM) and is an Axelos Consulting Partner (ACP).



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I’ve listed below some of the attributes of successful programmes. This toolkit will help you to a greater or lesser degree with all of them.
  • Good programme governance: Without a Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) who is totally committed to the programme’s aims and accountable for their achievement, the governance responsibilities will be treated as a regular chore for a committee – rather than something that is essential for the health of the programme.
  • Agility and flexibility: Effective use of tranches (the shorter the better) enables a programme to alter its direction based on reality and changes in the programme’s environment.
  • Facilitative Leadership: When you look at the responsibilities of the Programme Manager, it becomes clear that the role is a challenging one: the perfect programme manager is a politician, an accountant and economist, a business specialist, an architect, a marketer and communications specialist – as well as being a manager of project managers and vendors. Such a person is extremely rare to say the least. Hence, it is essential to have an open and facilitative approach to leading the programme.
  • Excellent communications: There must be a clear and flexible approach to communications for the programme that clearly targets the right messages to the right people at the right time. Know your stakeholders: blanket communications just don’t work.
  • Clear vision to steer the programme: Sound programme decisions at all levels can only be made on the basis of knowing unambiguously the starting point and the planned end point and what risks may stop that end point from being reached. Once understood, the route to success can be worked out avoiding any major pitfalls and the course can be altered without losing sight of the ultimate goal – something that often happens in any endeavour lasting more than a year.
  • Effective measurement: We are used to the measurement and reporting of progress and costs. However, in a programme, these “normal” metrics must be supplemented with others to demonstrate the likelihood of success. Achievement of benefits is a prime measure but also it must be demonstrated that key risks are being managed well.
  • Clearly assigned responsibility for the delivery of business benefits: Too often the MSP role of Business Change Manager is misunderstood and misapplied, resulting in benefits being put at risk.
  • Good programme management and support processes: We have provided you with advice and guidance so you can achieve MSP-based processes that suit your own environment.

Good luck with your programme and I hope you find this toolkit really useful!
Jennifer Stapleton
MSP Registered Consultant


MSP is without doubt the best approach to managing transformation programmes out there. However, once you've been on the course and put little yellow sticky notes all over the pages of the manuals to help you pass the exam, how do you find what you want in a practical way when you come to apply the method? How do you learn from what's in the heads of those practitioners and consultants who've been there before? How do you find what you want to know without reading the manual from start to finish again (especially when your yellow sticky notes have long since fallen off)?

So welcome to a new way to learn about programme management in your organisation.

This is a wiki based book of knowledge that allows you to navigate in your own way and at your own pace through MSP. Or rather that should be MSP applied with the experience that comes from embedding and tailoring the method in dozens of organisations. You can use this to supplement the manuals, as an alternative to formal training, or just to see what the thought leaders are actually thinking. You can also benefit from hints and tips, which we hope to grow over time with your input.

I hope you enjoy what you see. If you do, or if you don't, please feel free to email me at nigel.bennett@outperform.co.uk

Nigel Bennett
PPM Registered Consultant and Wiki Meister

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See also

Home.png Return to the Outperform Toolkit home page
Info.png See an Introduction to Programmes
Info.png The User Guide gives simple instructions as to how to use this site
Info.png The Outperform Common Glossary defines many terms (free to view)
Info.png The Site Map shows all pages within the method


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© Copyright RSM UK Consulting (Outperform) LLP 2016.
Outperform Toolkit® is a Registered Trade Mark of RSM UK Consulting LLP.
The Outperform Toolkit® contains material from the following source: “Managing Successful Programmes". © AXELOS Limited 2011.
All rights reserved. Material is reproduced with the permission of AXELOS Limited. PRINCE2®, MSP®, MoP® and M_o_R® are Registered Trade Marks of AXELOS Limited.

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