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Programme Management for Owner Teams authors Freek van Heerden, Jurie Steyn and Davida van der Walt explore the importance of leadership on a programme.  Project and programme leadership is the ability to get things done well through others.

Book image Lo Res


Challenges in leading a programme:

  • Sponsors and programme directors attempting to micro manage projects rather than leading the programme
  • Sponsors or program directors being stronger at management or leadership, and not having a  balanced profile of being able to lead when it calls for it, and manage when it calls for it


In reality we have found that while the initial conceptualising of the overall programme occurs at the beginning, the programme development and especially the planning of individual projects happens in parallel to the final execution of other projects.  This requires the programme leaders to be able to constantly focus on both leadership and management.  However, as the work progresses, it is easy to start leaning to the management aspects.


To ensure effective leadership on programmes:

  1. Programme managers and executive sponsors should be aware that they are uniquely placed to make a huge positive or negative impact.
  2. The programme manager must continually develop effective leadership and behavioural skills and employ them as needed in an environment without the benefit of formal line management authority.
  3. Superior project leadership requires technical depth and management breadth.
  4. The programme sponsor, especially, can play a major role in ensuring that the business objectives and progress towards it is constantly reinforced and communicated to executive management and company boards, the programme leadership team, as well as all other stakeholders.


For more practical lessons on programme management, please take a look at our book on the subject Programme Management for Owner Teams available on Amazon.