Managing Successful Programmes (MSP)

Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) is a widely-used best-practice framework for program management, aimed at helping organizations deliver successful, transformational change through a structured approach. Developed by the UK Office of Government Commerce (OGC) and currently owned by AXELOS Limited, MSP is designed to align multiple projects and ensure that they collectively deliver outcomes and benefits aligned with an organization's strategic objectives.

MSP has several key components:

  1. Principles: These are the core, universal guiding obligations that must be followed by all program managers to achieve successful outcomes. There are seven principles in MSP: remaining aligned with corporate strategy, leading change, envisioning and communicating a better future, focusing on benefits and threats to them, adding value, designing and delivering a coherent capability, and learning from experience.
  2. Themes: MSP has nine themes that represent specific areas of program management that need to be addressed continually throughout the program lifecycle. These themes are program organization, vision, leadership and stakeholder engagement, benefits management, blueprint design and delivery, planning and control, business case, risk and issue management, and quality and assurance management.
  3. Processes: MSP's processes provide a path for managing the program from start to finish. There are six processes in the MSP framework: identifying a program, defining a program, managing the tranches, delivering the capability, realizing the benefits, and closing a program.
  4. Governance: The MSP framework emphasizes strong governance, clear roles, and responsibilities to ensure the program remains on track, risks are managed, and benefits are realized.

The benefits of using MSP for program management include:

  1. Alignment with organizational strategy: MSP ensures that program outcomes are aligned with the organization's strategic objectives, ensuring that the program delivers real value.
  2. Focus on benefits: By continually emphasizing benefits realization, MSP helps organizations focus on delivering tangible improvements rather than merely completing projects.
  3. Structured approach: MSP provides a structured approach to managing complex programs, reducing the risk of failure and increasing the likelihood of success.
  4. Flexibility: The MSP framework is adaptable and can be tailored to suit the specific needs and context of different organizations and program types.
  5. Stakeholder engagement: MSP promotes strong leadership and stakeholder engagement, ensuring that the necessary support and buy-in are secured for the program's success.
  6. Improved decision-making: MSP's governance structure and processes facilitate informed decision-making and help organizations respond effectively to changing circumstances.

MSP is a valuable framework for organizations seeking a structured approach to manage complex programs and deliver transformational change. By focusing on principles, themes, and processes, MSP helps ensure that programs remain aligned with strategic objectives, deliver real benefits, and achieve successful outcomes.

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