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What is a program: An examination of terminology in practitioner reference documents

Stephen Keith McGrath, Stephen Jonathan Whitty


Previous published work has identified confusion in definition of the term program. This paper examines program terminology across a range of project management practitioner reference documents to determine if there is any definitional confusion within or between them and whether the boundaries with project and portfolio levels are clear. The examination finds that there are indeed inconsistencies in program terminology between the documents analyzed making it difficult to know where the boundaries with project and portfolio lie. A set of mutually consistent definitions of terms including all three words is then developed using an established method.


portfolio management; program management; programme management; project management; transformation


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