Effective P2M program and project management

    Large companies in IT sometimes cover the entire territory of our country. Such a scale requires a constant change in approaches, a revision of values. Of course, not in every company, but certainly in many projects. And as you know, in terms of values ​​ahead of the rest - Japan.

    This article is intended for those interested in project management, practitioners and theorists. It will allow you to get acquainted with the Japanese methodology P2M (Project & Program Management for Enterprise Innovation), which differs from the usual Western approaches, including focusing on creating additional values ​​for the company and directly correlating the changes made to the business with the mission of the enterprise.

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    Nowadays, management problems in a developed industrial society are complex. Project management theory can only provide basic knowledge on how to partially solve such problems. So, program management, based on managing several projects, first tries to divide complex problems into several simple ones, designating each project as a separate solution, and only then they are combined into a single whole to achieve a common mission. The first standard to use this approach was P2M (Project & Program Management for Enterprise Innovation), developed by Japanese specialists on the basis of generally accepted knowledge described in PMI PMBOK, and on the experience gained by generations of managers of the "Land of the Rising Sun". This project management standard was the first to be published outside the West.

    Japan has always developed and is developing, first of all, on the basis of accumulated knowledge and new research and is one of the leading innovation centers in the whole world. Now, companies in the high-tech sector of the economy have to change their approach to production in order to survive. They need to revise the procurement policy, the policy of training personnel and the rejection of disadvantageous parts of the business, creating new products. At the same time, society still wants to receive more life values ​​and innovative and convenient technology for life. Taking into account these business needs, P2M was created, the essence of which is the creation of the basic foundation for innovation, and in the long term, the new organizational structure of the enterprise, while strengthening its corporate values.


    The P2M methodology management differs from simple administrative management in that it sets deadlines in accordance with company missions and solutions to identified problems. The whole idea of ​​P2M is based on project management, program management, individual management and general management skills. Thus, Japanese experts in the field of project management distinguish three generations of project management.

    • First generation. The basic concept was to set goals for cost, timing, quality and content to achieve consistently high results.
    • Second generation. In addition to project activities, attention was focused on operational activities to obtain the expected results that satisfy all interested parties.
    • Third generation. Unlike the other two generations that focus on the internal environment of the project, there is an emphasis on changing the environment of the project and on finding solutions to complex missions to increase the company's values, as well as on using the best aspects of the involved project teams. It is to this generation that P2M belongs.

    To gain a deeper understanding of how P2M differs from the popular Western project management methodologies, we will consider the standard definitions of project management in its context.

    • Project: is an activity to create value, the main purpose of which is to fulfill a special mission in a certain period of time (indicated by the beginning and end) under certain restrictions (resources, circumstances). 
    • Project management: the organization of the work of the project team to fulfill the mission and obtain clear results by effectively organizing project activities with acceptable, justifiable means.
    • Project program: a set of tasks to be completed. Programs are a combination of several projects that fulfill the implementation of a common mission. The main features of the programs are shown in the table below.

    AmbiguityThe program may combine different views, ideas and solutions.
    ExtensibilityThe scope of programs, scale and structure can be expanded both within the company and outside it
    ComplexitySeveral program topics are deeply related to each other.
    Uncertainty / uncertaintyPrograms incorporate new elements and are subject to change.

    • Program management: the emphasis is on external changes regarding the program and adaptation to flexible management of them, increasing the general values ​​of the company, optimizing relationship management and combining projects to achieve the overall mission of the program. For effective management, the necessary attributes of the program, such as the mission, values, society, architecture and management skills necessary for it, must be defined. 

    Moreover, in the understanding of P2M, a short program management plan will look like this:

    • first step (description): adaptation to external changes and the implementation of a common mission;
    • second step (general idea): understanding the elements specific to the programs being implemented;
    • third step (general basics): setting the main goal of program management;
    • fourth step (integration management): creating company values ​​and general management optimization in it.

    Like other project methodologies and standards, P2M divides the management of programs and projects into several components, with which you can achieve the success of the mission. Consider them below.

    • Project strategy management: defines the relationship between corporate strategies and projects, and also sets the direction for the effective implementation of project activities in accordance with corporate values;
    • financial management of the project: creates and prepares the basis for the mobilization of funds necessary for projects;
    • management of the project organization: determines the possibilities of organizing activities for quick and flexible reaction to indirect changes in the external environment of the project;
    • project goals management: defines a plan for achieving the project goals, as a result of which project managers and teams can plan the project implementation processes until the program is completed taking into account all restrictions (including contract conditions and resource limitations) and carry out project work in a balanced manner;
    • project resource management: determines the resources necessary for the project and properly provides them (including materials, people, information and financial resources, intellectual resources);
    • information management: defines the technology for preparing most of the information during the project;
    • risk management: monitoring and response to each risk;
    • relationship management: an operational activity that defines the principles and methods of managing relations between interested parties involved in a project;
    • value management: collects knowledge, experience and sources providing values ​​(such as typical corporate or project activities) for projects;
    • communications management: defines the basic principles and methods of communications on the basis of previous experience, taking into account intercultural communications;
    • systematic project management: avoids controversial and unexpected issues during project execution.

    If you look deep into P2M, you can see that it is developed on the basis of a standard approach in program management. Moreover, extending to the company as a whole, its main focus is on improving corporate interaction on work processes, creating and developing a strategic basis for such interaction in the project management of the company. At the same time, management seeks to learn from the whole team what corporate values ​​exist, and to create on the basis of this a new business model of company management. 

    Typical P2M management steps in a company are as follows:

    • definition and creation of values;
    • expansion of zones of influence of projects in the company and beyond;
    • use of accumulated national wisdom;
    • conducting three-level certification of professionals whose main task is to create new basic foundations of business processes;
    • creating a hybrid of knowledge and capabilities;
    • adoption of the main project management models: “scheme”, “system” and “service”;
    • The transition from the art of individual management on PMBOK to program management on P2M;
    • creating understanding (general concepts and vision) of PMBOK by the project manager;
    • expansion of individual management, taking into account each of the elements of management: strategy, finance, systems, resources, relationships, values.

    P2M highlights have been described above. Summing up, we can say that this methodology is significantly different from its Western counterparts. Using the experience gained by generations, and, first of all, focusing on improving business processes and achieving the company's mission differs from the generally accepted goals of projects - making a profit. Looking at the experience of implementing projects in the “Land of the Rising Sun”, you can see that a large number of companies manage projects according to Western or their own methodology, while obtaining excellent results, and at the same time, the largest companies (for example, energy companies), working with complex and creative tasks, they are successfully solved using the P2M software approach, which goes beyond the Western management style and at the same time corresponds to Japanese culture.


    Without a doubt, in such a fast-paced century of innovation, the P2M standard will soon be popular all over the world, and not only Japanese companies will use it. In the recent past, the Ukrainian government has hired P2M specialists to train its civil servants in order to effectively address innovative challenges and missions.

    Of course, it is difficult to apply the entire methodology “from” and “to”, but you can implement individual ideas and principles that will allow you to carry the kaizen spirit in your projects.

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