Project Management Institute

NEW - Agile Program Management with Michel Thiry


Topics: Strategic Planning and Implementation | Benefits Realization | Change Management | Agile

In the last 20 years, as the business context has become more complex and turbulent, strategies have become more agile. In that context, programs have also evolved from the notion of large projects to agile endeavors that can be linked to value streams. Program management is a customer-centric approach and shares many principles and concepts with agile in general and Scaled Agile (SA) and Disciplined Agile (DA) in particular.  

This seminar is based on more than 25 years’ experience in program management and promotes the idea that programs are deployed through a series of cycles, based on the degree of predictability of the outcomes and the preparedness of the organization for change; context and pragmatism (DA) are essential elements of that concept. These cycles are clearly linked to concepts of program increment planning and release on demand (SA). The program’s benefits delivery process can also be likened to the continuous delivery pipeline and is based on a design thinking (DA & SA) approach. For example, the concept of set-based design (DA), through a number of decision cycles, or choices, that enable flow optimization and includes capabilities transition and integration (release on-demand), benefits appraisal/realignment (inspect & adapt) and value assessment/reformulation (measure & grow). 

The concept of funding value streams rather than projects is totally in alignment with program and value management principles. In program management, funding should be allocated based on benefits, not deliverables. Initially, sponsors agree to an overall budget, and subsequently, funds are released at each cycle. The tiered business case process discussed in this seminar also promotes participatory budgeting, as well as a set-based approach (SA) that is based on the context (DA). The program approach discussed in the seminar also promotes choice (DA), empowerment and local decision-making authority to accelerate value realization and collaborate proactively (DA). 

Finally, we advocate an active sponsor role and continuous business owner engagement (SA) throughout the program life cycle. This seminar offers a practice-based view of program management as a cyclic and evolving process, intimately connected to the business strategy. The course emphasizes the agile aspect of the program context. Participants will go through the complete program life cycle process and practice their newly acquired knowledge and techniques on a real-life case study.

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What You Will Learn

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how agile has impacted change initiatives (programs and projects)
  • Comprehend the difference between programs and projects
  • Understand alignment with organizational objectives & strategic goals in an agile context.
  • Optimize use of resources to ensure benefits delivery in an iterative and incremental life cycle
  • Recognize the role of the program manager as the Team Lead and/or Architecture Owner
  • Actively manage business value and stakeholders’ benefits in an evolving context.
  • Recognize why, when, and how to use agile program management.

*Please note that the asterisked row above applies to all PMI Agile certifications, this includes DASM, DASSM, DAVSC and DAC.

Seminar Instructor(s)


Michel Thiry PhD, PMI Fellow

Michel Thiry has extensive worldwide experience and has worked in many cultural environments. He is recognized as a worldwide authority in strategic applications of project, program, and value at the organizational level and has supported the development and implementation of a number of strategic programs for major corporations in various fields, including construction, financial, pharmaceutical, IT and IS, telecom, water treatment, transportation (air and rail), local government, and others, using agile and change concepts. He is a regular keynote speaker for major International events, both at the academic and practice levels since 1996, and a seminar leader for PMI's SeminarsWorld® since 2001. He has written and lectured widely, including 27 PMI global congresses and multiple keynotes at PMI chapter annual conferences worldwide, and been invited to sit on expert panels in international academic and practitioner forums.

In 2013, PMI published a revised and updated version of his book A Framework for Value Management Practice. His 2010 book Program Management has been presented with an Award of Merit by the Canadian Project Management Association and is on PMI’s recommended list of readings for the PgMP® Exam. The second edition has just been published. In addition, he has written a number of book chapters on value, program and portfolio management in prominent PM books such as the Gower Handbook of Project Management, 3rd and 4th editions, and the Wiley Guide to Project, Program and Portfolio Management, published by Wiley (2007). He was also a contributing editor for PM Network from 2003 to 2008, a “significant contributor” to the PMI Standard for Program Management, 3rd Edition (2013), and was on the core team of the new PMI Practice Guide to Managing Change in Organizations (2013).

Michel has obtained an MSc in organizational behaviour with the School of Management and Organizational Behaviour at the University of London, and a PhD on the contextualisation of project organizations at Middlesex University. In 2006, he was elected PMI Fellow for his continued contribution to project management, and in 2007 he was nominated Fellow of the Association for Project Management. In 2008, he was awarded a Life Achievement Award by the Canadian Society of Value Analysis. In 2014, he was awarded the PMI Eric Jenett Project Management Excellence Award for outstanding contributions to the practice of the profession, and leadership in advancing project management concepts, techniques, practices, or theories.

Course Information

2 Days
23 - 24 June 2021


Member Price
(US$1456.00 before 10 May)
Non-Member Price
(US$1612.00 before 10 May)
Government Pricing

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