What is the definition of program management artifacts? What are the purpose and the importance of these artifacts? These are the things we will discuss below.
Introducing Program Management Artifacts
Program management artifacts are the documents created by program managers as a way to record and communicate their work. There are several types of program management artifacts.
It can be categorized into two groups:
Core Program Management Artifacts
These documents are considered to be a part of the core program management artifacts. So as they have to be prepared by program managers regardless of project type.
Program Plan (or Master Plan):
It is an overview of the entire program and it includes objectives, result statements, programs and projects, and time-phased resource requirements. It is also often referred to as “the mother of all plans.”
Program Risk Register:
This document lists all risks that can affect the program’s success. It also contains risk assessment scores: low, moderate, or high.
Program Change Requests:
This document lists all changes that have been requested by stakeholders during the execution of the project. Some changes may be approved by the project manager immediately while others may require approval from senior management (depending on your organization’s policies).
Program Status Report:
In this document records, it is an actual performance versus planned performance for any given period (monthly or quarterly). It also includes the current status for each activity and results for each deliverable/project.
Program Action Items List:
It is a list of action items for immediate resolution, such as those that have been identified during portfolio analysis or other risk assessments. These items should be sorted based on their status: closed, open, or deferred.
Program Reporting Requirements List:
It is a list of reports that must be generated by each project (or work package) to show progress towards achieving objectives/results. The list shows which reports are due when (frequency), to whom they are due (recipient).
Also, the format in which they are due (HTML, MS Word, etc.), report title, and report number. It also includes the following information: name of the report, project number, project phase (e.g. development or test).
And also the name of the person who has to receive it.
How Important This Program Management Is?
As you can see, the program management artifacts are very important for program managers. They are documents that help you organize and track your work.
They are also used to show the program’s progress and to provide a communication channel between different project teams and stakeholders. All program management artifacts should be prepared by the program manager.
However, they can also be prepared by other people on behalf of program managers (ex: Project Managers). All program management artifacts can be found in the official PMBOK Guide (Project Management Body of Knowledge).
What Are the Disadvantages Of Program Management Artifacts?
Artifacts may be confusing for end-users who don’t know what they are. They may not be familiar with the format of your program management artifacts.
So they may not understand how to use them. They can be difficult to maintain.
When the program is in progress, the program manager should track changes, issues, and risks that affect the program’s success. So they need to update these documents regularly.
Also, some of them will require updates during the execution phase of a project (e.g. Program Change Requests). So this could cause you a lot of time and energy.
The content and format of these documents should be the same for all programs and projects involved in the program (if possible). Otherwise, it could increase confusion and reduce their effectiveness.
They can also be costly if you prepare them using IT tools (ex: Microsoft Word). So it would be better if you prepare them manually instead of using IT tools if possible.