This is a difficult one. I have worked in multiple organisations and come in at different phases of projects. Programme management is difficult due to it including so many different facets of delivery (benefits, technical delivery, setup, governance etc…). However, I think to be successful in this role, the following are the key assets and characteristics that you need to show. I strive for these things every day.
Agile practices need to be introduced carefully into an organisation. I have multiple experiences of working in organisations that want to change and the path to change is long and hard. I have discussed this in one of my other articles.
It always amazes me in large programmes of work how, over time, the programme tends to grow arms and legs.
What do I mean by this?
In order to manage and control the programme, activities have to happen to provide data to senior stakeholders in a structured manner. The capture of this data takes time and effort. The structuring of this data in a consistent manner across all work streams takes time and effort. The reporting of this data in powerpoint slides plus the time in meetings talking through those slides all takes time and effort. Over time, these activities to monitor and control a project end up taking over the activities that are actually delivering the project benefits. What this means in the end is that a large percentage of time of those people who need to be delivering project products end up doing things that do not contribute to those project products. A cottage industry is created of wasteful activities.