University of Twente Student Theses


How to manage Strategies? : a study from a programme management point of view in the Dutch business market

Sattler, Aaldert Tim (2010) How to manage Strategies? : a study from a programme management point of view in the Dutch business market.

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Abstract:This research is conducted in association with the advisory group Professionalise Project- and Programme Management of Twynstra Gudde Management Consultants. The research objectives are to get an insight in: if companies organise their strategic objectives in programmes, how these programmes are managed, and which factors determine the success and/or failure of the programmes. The research objectives are translated in the main-research question: How can programme management contribute to the successful execution of strategic objectives in the business market? To answer the main-research questions firstly a literature study is conducted. A systematic approach is used to structure the theoretical study. In the first part of the theoretical study the definitions of programmes and programme management are explained. In the second part of the theoretical study why and how strategies can be organised and managed with the programme management approach are explained. The definitions of programmes and programme management used in this thesis are: o A programme is an organisational shape that is a unique, flexible, and complex collection of objectives, projects, and efforts on which people work together with limited resources. o Programme management is the contribution to achieve coordination, and to have priorities, with the result that projects and other activities are executed more efficient and have a closer approach to the intended objectives. The answer to ‘the why question’ is that the intention of the implementation of a strategy is to realise objectives. A strategy can be broken down/translated into projects. For this reason it is helpful to create coordination and synergy and organise the projects and actions as a programme. With programme management a framework can be created for the strategy implementation process, and thereby ensures that the critical elements are identified and included. With the theoretical study five programme management characteristics are selected to answer ‘the how question’. The five selected characteristics are: objective oriented, organisation, governance, control, and programme manager. The starting point of a programme is an objective that is formulated out of the strategy of an organisation. After the objective is clear the programme must be organised. A programme can be organised outside the borders of the parent organisation or within the parent organisation. The purpose of the organisation is to organise the programme outside the constraints of the parent organisation. The characteristic governance is about understanding the stakeholders needs and expectations. Governance is also a method to overcome resistance. To make decisions in the programme, measurements and overviews are needed. The characteristic control is about how measurements and overviews can be done. Different aspects such as time, budget, deliverables, and vi milestones can be controlled on different levels of a programme. The last characteristic is the programme manager. The programme manager must guide the programme towards the desired direction. The programme manager has the overall responsibility to achieve the programme objectives. With the outcomes of the literature study propositions are formulated. These propositions are tested in the interviews. The outcomes of the interviews are used to reject, to confirm, or to reformulate the propositions. With the adapted propositions the focus of the web-survey is determined. With the outcomes of the interviews and web-survey can be concluded that with a programme it is possible to create attention, focus, coordination, and commitment in the organisation of the strategy. Not the complete strategy of an organisation is implemented with a programme, but part of the organisation strategy is used to formulate a programme objective from. There are different setting-up approaches and organisational forms of a programme identified. Commitment of stakeholders and employees is very important to be successful. The employees and stakeholders must understand what the importance of the programme is. Commitment can be created by involving the employees and/or stakeholders in the setting-up of the programme. But also by informing the employees and stakeholders continuously about the progress of the programme. The programme is in most cases controlled based on time, budget, and scope. The programme manager must be able to make independent decisions and act autonomously. The programme manager must be able to participate in the formulation of the projects and actions, allocate resources in the programme, and guard the border of the programme, to guide the programme towards the desired direction. Three factors are pointed out that determine the success of the programme. These aspects are: 1. The organisation of the programme, 2. The programme manager, and 3. Commitment of the employees and stakeholders. Organising the strategy as a programme is the boundary condition to be successful. The programme manager and the commitment of the employees and stakeholders make the programme a success. Commitment of the employees and stakeholders can be created at the start and during the lifecycle of the programme. For the beginning on the programme manager must continuously guard the progress and guide the programme towards the desired direction.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Twijnstra Gudde
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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