Development Cooperation Handbook/Designing and Managing Programmes/Programme Cycle Management
Programme management 
The cycle approach
Program management is the process of managing a program that is made up by multiple inter-dependent projects. It includes direction in designing, implementing, evaluating and integrating the projects. Program Management also reflects the emphasis on co-ordinating and prioritising resources across projects, departments and partners, to ensure that resource allocation is efficiently managed and that work methods are in line with the organizational culture.
Stages of Programme Cycle Management
- Program identification
- Program formulation or design
- Program implementation or execution
- Program evaluation
- Ending a programme
Programmes an expression of the organization’s vision and are conceived as concrete articulation of the organization’s mission and the organizational culture. Programmes allow the organization to be projectized, organize and sharing learning.
Programmes are implemented through projects. (In a sense the "projects" can be considered as the "activities" of a programme - that is why sometimes projects are also called "actions"). The difference is that while the activities of a project are defined when the project is planned, projects (i.e. program actions) are developed later, once the programme was broadly defined. Program management provides a layer above project management establishing a framework where projects can be run successfully, but leaving project management to the project management teams.
(Note: Organizations that concretize their mission into programmes that are implemented through projects are called projectized organizations.
Improving the programme management includes:
- Manage the current programmes revising scope and schedules on the basis of the results provisionally achieved and the quality provisionally obtained so as to put the programme in track with the expected objectives and results.
- Assess the organizational scope and the beneficiary needs for further programme design and development.
- Improve the organization's partnership management
- Improve the organization monitoring and evaluation system.
In this manual we will illustrate the various aspect of Programme Cycle Management through the description of the phases
The programme evaluation will lead to a decision whether to end the organization involvement with a programme or to start a new cycle of programme management.
(Note: In the development activities program management generally follows the cycle approach, that utilizes as a basic management tool: the logical framework.)
(Note: Organizations that concretize their mission into programmes that are implemented through projects are called "projectized organizations".)
See also 
In other sections of this handbook
The projectized organization
The learning organization
The employee empowering organization
The Organization’s mission
The Organization’s vision
On Wikipedia Program management
- PCM Guidelines
- ECHO Manual: Project Cycle Management
- Guidelines for Managing Projects from the UK Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR)