Posted by: kerrywills | April 15, 2016

The Parthenon of Programs

I have planned and managed many programs in my career and I believe that there are several critical pieces for success. They can be organized into a picture that sort of looks like the Parthenon. This was a building that lasted nearly 2500 years and so our programs should also be set up in a structure that will endure a long duration.

  • The “foundation” is Structure which means ensuring thay programs are set up properly to maximize effectiveness. This can include proper organization and clear roles and accountabilities to ensure that the work is planned and managed well
  • Building on the foundation are three pillars. Processes and Tools are used to manage the work and people and enable the teams to operate effectively as well as provide transparency to management. People are what make the structure successful and enable the program to meet their goals. Planning includes schedule, cost, resources and operations and provide a baseline from which to understand trends and impacts
  • The “roof” of the Parthenon is Management and builds on having the pillars in place. These pillars allow for transparency and insights into the risks so that decisions can be made


This picture over-simplifies the complexities of each of these but can be a good framework from which to look at programs. Without any one of the components there would be significant problems

  • Missing Structure: There will be confusion in roles, gaps or overlaps in responsibilities and inefficient delivery
  • Missing Process and Tools: Lack of transparency of progress or risks
  • Missing People: Will always mean poor results and low morale
  • Missing Planning: Missed dates and commitments for schedule, scope or cost
  • Missing Management: Ineffective issue resolution, communications and delivery

So the entire structure of the Parthenon is needed to be successful and your program can stand the test of time, just like the Parthenon in Athens.


  1. […] few weeks back I created a blog posting called “the Parthenon of Programs” where I used the metaphor of the Parthenon in Athens as a way to set up a program; with a […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: