Managing Successful Programmes

Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®) was developed as a best practice guide on

Programme Management. The guide comprises a set of Principles and a set of Processes

for use when managing a programme.


MSP represents proven programme management best practice in the successful delivery

of transformational change through the application of programme management.


MSP is very flexible and designed to be adapted to meet the needs of local circumstances.


Benefits for Individuals


  • Utilize best practice in programme management to successfully deliver transformational change.

  • Carry out the coordinated organization, direction and implementation of a dossier of projects and transformation activities to achieve outcomes and realize benefits of strategic importance to the business.

  • Manage the transition of the solutions developed and delivered by projects into the organization’s operations, whilst maintaining performance and effectiveness.

  • Encourage realistic expectations of the organizational capacity and ability to change.

  • Lead business transformation accommodating high levels of complexity, ambiguity and risk.


Benefits for Organizations


  • Align corporate strategy, delivery mechanisms for change and the business-as-usual environment.

  • Continually monitor progress, assess performance and realize benefits.

  • Apply a common framework of understanding for all programmes.

  • Add value by focusing on benefits.

  • Encourage feedback in order to refine future strategies based on evidence from programmes.


Foundation level


The purpose of the foundation level is to confirm you have sufficient knowledge and understanding of the MSP guidance to interact effectively with those involved in the management of a programme or act as an informed member of a Programme office team, business change team or project delivery team working within an environment supporting MSP. The foundation qualification is also a pre-requisite for the practitioner certification.


Exam Format


  • Multiple choice

  • 75 questions per paper with 1 mark available per question

  • 5 questions to be trial and not counted in scores

  • 35 marks required to pass (out of 70 available) - 50%

  • 60 minutes duration

  • Closed book.


Practitioner Level


The purpose of the practitioner level is to confirm you have sufficient knowledge and understanding of the MSP guidance to act as an informed member of a programme management team. This level is also required for programme management professionals progressing toward the advanced practitioner certification, and those aspiring to become programme management professionals in the future.


Exam Format


  • Objective testing

  • 8 questions per paper

  • 40 marks required to pass (out of 80 available) - 50%

  • Two-and-a-half hours duration

  • Open-book (only the MSP Guide is allowed).



For further information on Managing Successful Programmes, visit the MSP Official Site at



Who should attend this class?


Members of a portfolio, programme or project office, business change team, project delivery team, and anyone who needs to understand the terminology and concepts underpinning business transformation mechansims and those wishing to pursue higher level qualifications.  Typical job roles include:


  • Executive Sponsor or Senior Responsible Owner

  • Portfolio, Programme or Project Director

  • Programme Manager

  • Portfolio, Programme or Project Office Team

  • Business Change Leaders and Change Managers

  • Project Managers

  • Specialist delivery roles (e.g. Release Train Engineers, Technical Authorities)


What is included?


The course includes:


  • 2-3 (Foundation) or 4.5 (Foundation & Practitioner) days classroom training from an Approved Trainer

  • MSP Manual

  • Foundation and/or Practitioner examinations

  • Supplementary course handouts and exercises


What will I learn?


Successful candidates will be able to:


  • Apply a proven programme management approach to successfully deliver transformational change

  • Distinguish between projects and programmes

  • Identify the different types of programme and their characteristics

  • Explain the benefits and make a business case for applying the MSP guidance to the management of a programme of change

  • Explain the purpose and areas of focus of the defined roles needed to lead and navigate change

  • Explain the purpose of the seven principles, nine governance themes and the six transformational flow processes

  • Explain the purpose of MSP programme information (documents)



What are the course prerequisites?


There are no pre-requisite requirements to attend this course.  It may be helpful to either be working on a programme or have an understanding of PRINCE2 project management method but these are not essential.



Key Learning Points


An Overview to MSP


  • Definitions of programme, project and programme management

  • Characteristics of programmes

  • Elements of a programme management environment and how they relate to each other

  • The triggers for vision led, emergent or compliance programmes

  • The characteristics of strategies and plans

  • Different impacts that may be the result of a programme - specification led, business transformation or political & societal change

  • Programme information baselines

  • Key programme roles and governance mechansims


Specific MSP Principles, Governance Themes and Transformational Flow


The seven principles of MSP


  • Remaining aligned with corporate strategy

  • Leading change

  • Envisioning and communicating a better future

  • Focusing on the benefits and threats to them

  • Adding value

  • Designing and delivering a coherent capability

  • Learning from experience


The nine Governance Themes of MSP


  • Organization and Programme Office

  • Vision

  • Leadership and stakeholder engagement

  • Benefits management

  • Blueprint design and delivery

  • Planning and control

  • The Business Case

  • Risk and issue management

  • Quality and assurance management

The six Transformational Flow processes


  • Identifying a programme

  • Defining a programme

  • Managing the tranches

  • Delivering the capability

  • Realizing the benefits

  • Closing a programme