Yesterday's seminar on how the UK Government got into commissioning best practice management methods was well received. I talked a little about how the design approaches in first PRINCE2 and MSP developed over the last seventeen years.
In the questions afterwards I was asked, in connection with the Leadership and the Business Change Manager role, whether I favoured role titles such as 'Programme Leader' and 'Business Change Leader'. I responded that I did not think this was wise.
I think of how, in the case of project management, people have used the title 'Project Leader'. In this case it has come to mean someone more junior than the project manager, perhaps at team leader or work package level. This sends a message that the 'real deal' is really about management, and that within a project leadership is pretty much confined to teams of people. This is a pity, and I wouldn't want to encourage the projection of this kind of thinking into programme management.
MSP compares and distinguishes leadership and management; both are necessary, neither is sufficient. If anything, leadership will, without doubt, need to come into play far more than in the project arena, for all kinds of reasons. Which is one instance of why it is so dangerous for project managers to approach the subject of programmes and being merely aggregated projects.
So thanks to my hosts from the BT Centre for Major Programme Management. It seems to me that they are stimulating some valuable and needy conversations around the whole area of managing within complexity in this seminar series.