Understanding how to appropriately execute program management plans is crucial in ensuring the outlined program outcomes meet the expectations and standards set by stakeholders. This concept is especially crucial for those preparing for the Program Management Professional (PgMP) exam.

Program management plans—that may include quality, risk, communication, and resourcing—are designed during the planning phase and put into execution using the identified tools. The effectiveness of the plans is confirmed through auditing the results.

Table of Contents

1. Quality Management Plan

A quality management plan chiefly focuses on ensuring that the program outcomes meet the required quality standards. The plan outlines the quality objectives, the criteria for quality measurements, and the processes to perform quality assurance, and control activities.

For instance, if your program is designing a new software product, the quality management plan might contain specific performance metrics, usability requirements, and defect rates that must be met.

Tools such as Cause and Effect Diagram (Fishbone or Ishikawa Diagram), Flowcharts, and Check Sheets can be utilized in the quality management phase. Progress and quality compliance are then audited for standards conformity.

2. Risk Management Plan

The risk management plan is a critical component that outlines the process of identifying, assessing, and addressing the potential risks that might impact the program outcomes.

In the same software development program, risks might include delays in software release, unforeseen bugs, or issues with user adoption. Tools such as SWOT analysis, Decision Tree Analysis, and Monte Carlo Simulation might be used to evaluate risks.

The risk audit, a regularly scheduled process, assesses the accuracy of risk identification, ensures proper execution of risk responses, and evaluates the effectiveness of risk management policies and procedures.

3. Communication Management Plan

The communication management plan articulates the mechanisms and timeframes for how information will be disseminated to stakeholders and team members within the program. This plan is crucial to ensure everyone involved has timely and consistent updates.

Tools for executing a communication management plan might include program status meetings, email updates, project management software, and document sharing platforms. The results of this plan are typically audited through feedback from stakeholders, and assessments of the effectiveness of the communication mediums used.

4. Resourcing Management Plan

The resourcing management plan defines the physical, human, and financial resources needed to deliver the program outcomes, as well as how these resources will be managed and controlled.

In our software production program, we might need a team of developers, project managers, test engineers, and marketing staff, along with equipment such as in-office workstations and servers for a testing environment.

The Resource Histograms, Resource Calendars, and Resource Breakdown Structures are popular tools for resource management. Resources management audits are essential to ensure that resources are being used efficiently and are within budget expectations.

In conclusion

Executing the appropriate program management plans is instrumental in achieving program outcomes and satisfying stakeholder expectations. Preparing for the PgMP exam requires a firm understanding of these plans and how to implement and audit them effectively.

Practice Test

The plan for program management includes consideration of communication, resourcing, and risk, among other factors.


  • True

Answer: True

Explanation: Among the critical considerations for program management planning are communication, resourcing, and risk. These elements help shape a comprehensive plan that seeks to meet stakeholder expectations and standards.

Which of the following tools are commonly identified in the planning phase for executing the appropriate program management plans?

  • a) Pareto Diagram
  • b) Fishbone Diagram
  • c) Run Chart
  • d) Gantt Chart

Answer: d) Gantt Chart

Explanation: A Gantt Chart is a common planning tool used for visualizing the program’s schedule. The other tools are more commonly used for identifying and analyzing various aspects of quality or issue management.

Only stakeholder expectations are considered when auditing the results of a program.


  • False

Answer: False

Explanation: In addition to stakeholder expectations, standards and benchmarks set at an industry or organizational level are also taken into account when auditing the results of a program.

The risk management plan is a subsection of the overall program management plan.


  • True

Answer: True

Explanation: The risk management plan is an essential part of the overall program management plan, outlining strategies and procedures for identifying, analyzing, monitoring, and controlling program risks.

Quality planning is not a part of program management planning.


  • False

Answer: False

Explanation: Quality planning is indeed a part of program management. It establishes the standards, processes, and procedures for delivering a program that meets or exceeds stakeholder expectations.

Which of these are NOT effective in managing program resources?

  • a) Human Resource Management Plan
  • b) Resource Histogram
  • c) Risk Register
  • d) Procurement Plan

Answer: c) Risk Register

Explanation: While a Risk Register is important, it is more related to risk management. Resource management focuses on the application and coordination of resources including personnel, equipment, and materials.

Effective communication management helps in meeting stakeholder expectations.


  • True

Answer: True

Explanation: Effective communication management ensures all parties are informed about the status, changes, risks or issues of the program. This helps in fulfilling stakeholder expectations by avoiding confusion or misunderstanding.

An audit should only be done at the completion of the program.


  • False

Answer: False

Explanation: Audits should not only be done at the end of the program but throughout its lifecycle. Regular audits help identify issues early and ensure that the program is on track to meeting stakeholder expectations and standards.

Stakeholder expectations are usually defined in the:

  • a) Risk management plan
  • b) Quality management plan
  • c) Communication management plan
  • d) Procurement management plan

Answer: c) Communication management plan

Explanation: While stakeholder expectations can indeed influence all areas of program management, they are most clearly defined and managed within the Communication Management Plan.

When program outcomes do not meet stakeholder expectations, it is a sign that the program management plan was not executed well.


  • True

Answer: True

Explanation: One of the main purposes of a program management plan is to ensure that program outcomes meet stakeholder expectations. If this is not achieved, it might be a sign of poor execution of the program management plan.

Interview Questions

Which phase of program management involves the identification of tools to be used for executing program management plans?

The tools to be used for executing program management plans are identified during the planning phase.

What is the purpose of executing program management plans in line with the tools identified in the planning phase?

The purpose is to ensure that the program outcomes align with stakeholder expectations and established standards.

How does regular auditing of results help in program management?

Regular auditing of results ensures that the program is on track to achieve its targeted outcomes and allows for timely corrections, if necessary.

What are some common types of program management plans?

Some common types of program management plans include quality, risk, communication, and resourcing plans.

Why is it crucial to align program outcomes with stakeholder expectations?

Aligning program outcomes with stakeholder expectations ensures that the project delivers what was promised, hence increasing stakeholder satisfaction and project success.

How does a quality management plan help in program management?

A quality management plan defines the standards that the program must adhere to and outlines the processes, criteria, and activities necessary to meet these standards.

What does a risk management plan involve?

A risk management plan involves identifying potential risks, assessing their impact, and planning strategies to mitigate these risks.

How does a communication management plan contribute towards effective program management?

A communication management plan ensures that information is timely and accurately distributed to all relevant stakeholders, fostering transparency and efficient decision making.

What is the role of a resourcing plan in program management?

A resourcing plan addresses how resources (human, material, financial) will be allocated and managed throughout the program to ensure optimal use.

What is the relationship between auditing results and stakeholder expectations?

Auditing results helps in assessing if the program is meeting stakeholder expectations, and provides insights on any areas requiring improvement or change.

How can one ensure that program management plans are executed appropriately?

Appropriate execution can be ensured by using the right tools as outlined in the planning phase and by continuous monitoring and auditing of the results.

What role does stakeholder expectations play in executing program management plans?

Stakeholder expectations guide the direction of execution and help gauge if the program is on track or needs adjustments.

What tools can be used in executing program management plans?

Tools could include project management software, risk assessment tools, communication platforms, or other resources identified in the planning phase.

How does executing program management plans relate to achieving program outcomes?

Effective execution of program management plans directly influences the program outcomes by ensuring that the activities are aligned and on track with the intended objectives.

Do audit results influence the execution of program management plans?

Yes, audit results can influence the execution by providing insights on areas requiring improvements or changes, thereby aiding in more effective and efficient execution of the plans.

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