Corrective action in program management refers to a process that identifies, documents, plans, and implement actions to correct actual or potential non-conformance or deviations from the set plans. A corrective action could include adjustments to resources, timelines, scope, or quality parameters to realign the program with its desired outcomes.

For example, suppose a particular project within a program faces technical difficulties that delay its deliverables. The Program Management Professional could decide on a corrective action to allocate additional technical resources to the affected project- a change that would need to be updated in the overall program plan.

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Updating Program Plans with Corrective Actions

The update of program plans integrating corrective actions involves several steps. These steps include documenting the non-conformance, identifying potential solutions, planning the corrective action, implementing the solution, and evaluating the change’s effectiveness.

Consider this scenario: a project within the program is over-budget, a circumstance not initially foreseen in the program plan. The PgMP needs to update the plan by integrating corrective actions. Here is how the process looks:

Process Steps Example Description
Identify and Document Non-Conformance The project’s budget overrun status is identified and documented.
Identify Potential Corrective Actions Options might include reducing spend on other areas, renegotiating supplier contracts, or reallocating existing resources.
Plan Corrective Action The PgMP decides on reallocating existing resources after careful consideration.
Implement Corrective Action The resources are reallocated as planned.
Evaluate Effectiveness The PgMP tracks whether the reallocation reduces the over-budget status successfully.

Ensuring Effective Utilization of Program Resources

Incorporating corrective actions into the program plan to address non-conformances ensures that program resources are utilized effectively. Adjustments to resource allocation, project timelines, and other program factors aid the tactical alignment of resources to program objectives.

For instance, if the program plan acknowledges a corrective action that requires additional IT infrastructure for a time-limited project, the PgMP can plan effectively shore up these resources without compromising other project deliverables within the same program.


Corrective actions are a critical tool in a Program Management Professional’s arsenal to achieve program success. They allow PgMPs to tackle deviations proactively and adaptively, making sure that resources continue to align with the program’s objectives. Ultimately, continually updating program plans with corrective actions contributes to dynamic resource management and attainment of program objectives. Whether you are a current PgMP or studying for the PgMP exam, understanding this concept will be instrumental in your successful program management journey.

Practice Test

Multiple-select: In considering resource employment for effective program objectives meeting, the program manager should:

  • A) Consider the current program schedule
  • B) Evaluate resource utilization
  • C) Review program costs
  • D) Ignore the effect of any program risk

Answer: A, B, and C

Explanation: The program manager should always consider the current program schedule, evaluate resource utilization, and review program costs. Disregarding any program risk is not advisable as risks can significantly impact the program plan.

True/False: Program management includes the supervision of project activities and adjustment of the plan based on their results.

Answer: True

Explanation: Program management indeed includes monitoring of project activities and making appropriate adjustments in the program plan based on their results.

Single-select: The main purpose of updating the program plan is to:

  • A) Rectify any issue and ensure the program progresses
  • B) Increase the project budget
  • C) Decrease the project risks

Answer: A

Explanation: The main purpose of the program plan update is to rectify any issues and ensure that the program is progressing towards achieving its objectives.

True/False: Incorporating corrective actions is a reactive rather than a proactive approach to deal with potential issues in program management.

Answer: False

Explanation: Incorporating corrective actions is a proactive approach that helps identify and rectify issues before they become severe, driving the program closer to its objectives.

Multiple-select: The process of updating the program plan can include:

  • A) Revising resource allocation
  • B) Modifying the program’s objectives
  • C) Implementing corrective actions

Answer: A and C

Explanation: Updating the program plan can involve revising resource allocation and implementing necessary corrective actions. Modifying the program’s objectives could fundamentally change the program and goes beyond program planning updates.

Single-select: What can be an effect of effectively updating program plans?

  • A) Increased costs
  • B) Delay in project timelines
  • C) Better alignment with program objectives

Answer: C

Explanation: By effectively updating the program plans and responding to changes, the program can maintain better alignment with its original objectives.

True/False: Corrective actions should only be undertaken when program objectives are not met.

Answer: False

Explanation: Corrective actions can be implemented any time an issue or a potential risk is identified, not only when objectives are not met.

Multiple-select: Which factors can trigger the need to update a program plan?

  • A) Changes in stakeholder requirements
  • B) Unforeseen risks
  • C) Budget cuts
  • D) Project completion

Answer: A, B, and C

Explanation: Changes in stakeholder requirements, unforeseen risks, or budget cuts can all trigger the need to update a program plan. Project completion signifies the end of a project, not necessarily an update.

Single-select: Who is primarily responsible for updating the program plan and incorporating corrective actions?

  • A) Project team
  • B) Stakeholders
  • C) Program manager

Answer: C

Explanation: While all parties can contribute to the success of a program, the program manager is primarily responsible for updating the program plan and incorporating corrective actions.

True/False: After a program plan has been updated, all stakeholders should be informed of the changes.

Answer: True

Explanation: It is essential to communicate any changes in the program plan to all stakeholders in order to ensure alignment and manage expectations effectively.

Interview Questions

What is the purpose of updating program plans in program management?

Updating program plans is crucial to ensure that corrective actions can be incorporated effectively to meet program objectives and utilize program resources efficiently.

Why is it essential to include corrective actions when updating program plans?

Corrective actions help in addressing any deviations from the original plan and assist in keeping the program on track to achieve its objectives.

How can program managers determine which corrective actions to incorporate into the program plans?

Program managers can assess the current status of the program, identify areas of improvement, and prioritize corrective actions based on their impact on meeting program objectives.

What are some common reasons that may necessitate updating program plans with corrective actions?

Common reasons include budget overruns, schedule delays, resource constraints, changes in stakeholder requirements, and unexpected risks that can impact the program’s success.

How does updating program plans with corrective actions contribute to effective resource utilization?

By incorporating corrective actions into the program plans, program managers can allocate resources efficiently to address issues and ensure that resources are aligned with the program’s objectives.

What role do stakeholders play in the process of updating program plans with corrective actions?

Stakeholders provide valuable input on potential corrective actions, offer insights on the impact of changes, and help in prioritizing actions to ensure program success.

How can program managers ensure that corrective actions are implemented effectively in the updated program plans?

Program managers need to communicate clearly with team members, monitor progress regularly, and provide support to overcome any challenges during the implementation of corrective actions.

What tools or techniques can be used to track the implementation of corrective actions in updated program plans?

Tools such as Gantt charts, progress reports, status updates, and milestone tracking can be utilized to monitor the implementation of corrective actions and measure their impact on program performance.

How does the regular review of updated program plans help in maintaining program alignment with objectives?

Regular reviews allow program managers to assess the effectiveness of corrective actions, make adjustments as needed, and ensure that the program remains aligned with its objectives and overall strategic goals.

What are the key benefits of updating program plans with corrective actions in program management?

Benefits include improved resource utilization, enhanced program performance, better risk management, increased stakeholder satisfaction, and ultimately, the successful achievement of program objectives.

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