We explained in the Project Hierarchies article how to create sub projects and project hierarchy and how sub project information rolls up to parent projects. 


Projects can also be part of a overall program (Primary Program) and/or can be linked to a Reporting Program. This article will focus on explaining the difference between both program types and how to set them.



NOTE: A program is not explicitly defined as a primary program or a reporting program and can in fact act as both. As explained below, the classification of a program depends on the type of relationships between the program and the projects it includes.

Please refer to the Creating a Project or Program to learn how to create a program.



PRIMARY PROGRAMS


Primary programs are defined as a group of related projects managed in a coordinated way to deliver an organisational goal.


All projects within a project hierarchy have the same primary program. A project can only have one primary program.



Only the top parent project of the project hierarchy needs to be explicitly linked to the primary program. All its sub projects automatically inherit the same primary program.


The list of projects included in a program can be seen in the Sub Projects section of the program workspace page. 



To add an existing project to a program, select Link a Project from the program workspace, search for the project you want and click OK. 


 

If the selected project has sub projects, all its sub projects will be automatically added to the program.



You can also create a new project for the program by selecting Create Project. The newly created project is automatically added to the program.



DATA ROLL UP

As for project hierarchies, financials of all projects within the program automatically roll up to the program. As a program does not post any financials itself, the program financials represent the aggregation of the financials of all projects within the program.


Schedule tasks and impacts can also be promoted to the primary program. To do so, the Promoted field of the item needs to be set to Program. Then the same promotion rules as the ones described for parent projects (link here) are applied.

 


REPORTING PROGRAMS


Reporting programs are used as reporting entity and connect projects across any portfolio.


You can link a project to a reporting program from the Project settings page. A project can only have one reporting program and can have a primary program and a reporting program simultaneously.



The Project Details section of the project workspace displays the project primary program and the reporting program if it has any:



Linked projects of a reporting program can be seen in the Projects section of the reporting program workspace. A link icon appended to the project title indicates a reporting link (as opposed to a hierarchy link).




DATA ROLL UP

Contrary to primary programs, reporting programs only roll up data from the projects that are explicitly linked to the reporting program, they do not roll up data from the sub projects of the linked projects

In the above example, only the financials of the three projects explicitly linked to the reporting program roll up into the program. Financials of Project 3's sub projects do not roll up into the reporting program.


The same rule applies to status report, schedule tasks and impacts. Only data from the projects that have been explicitly linked can be promoted to the reporting program. 


Promoting an item to reporting program is done in the exact same way as promoting an item to the primary program, i.e the Promoted field of the item must be set to Program.  



Note

NOTE: Setting the Promoted field of a schedule task or impact to Program means that the item can be promoted to both the primary program and the reporting program.

It is not possible to set up the Promoted flag for one type of program only.




PROGRAM FINANCIALS


Program do not post any financials. Therefore program financials aggregate both:

  • financials of all projects for which the program is a primary program 
  • financials of all projects for which the program is a reporting program. 


As mentioned above, financials of the sub projects of the linked projects do not roll up to the program.



PROMOTED ITEMS ON PROGRAM WORKSPACE

As for parent projects, the workspace page of both primary and reporting programs displays four additional sections if items have been promoted to the program.



  • Promoted: Project with Status: this section lists the last status report and the status report trend for all linked projects or sub projects that have a status report. The projects status reports will be listed even if the project has set 'Show Promoted Items on Parent Dashboards' to No.


  • Promoted: Red and Amber Projects Plan to Green: this section lists the Red and Amber RAG components for the sub projects and linked projects and their path to green plan details. This content is displayed regardless of the project's 'Show Promoted Items on Parent Dashboards' settings.


  • Promoted: Schedule: sub projects and linked projects' schedule tasks that have been set to promoted to Program are listed in this component regardless of the project's 'Show Promoted Items on Parent Dashboards' settings.


  • Promoted: Project Impacts: sub projects and linked projects' impacts that have been set to promoted to Program are listed in this component regardless of the sub project's 'Show Promoted Items on Parent Dashboards' settings.



PROMOTED ITEMS ON PROGRAM DASHBOARD

The program dashboard (with or without financials) can be accessed from the Reports drop down of the program status report section.



 The program dashboard aggregates promoted data from its sub projects and its linked projects. The sections for promoted items are as follows:

  • Promoted: Project with Status: this section lists the last status report and the status report trend for all sub projects and linked projects that have a status report. The projects status reports will be listed only if the project has set 'Show Promoted Items on Parent Dashboards' to Yes.


  • Promoted: Red and Amber Projects Plan to Green: this section lists the Red and Amber RAG components for the sub projects and linked projects and their path to green plan details. This content is displayed only if the project has set 'Show Promoted Items on Parent Dashboards' to Yes.


  • Promoted: Schedule: sub projects and linked projects' schedule tasks that have been set to promoted to Parent or to Program are listed in this component only if the project has set 'Show Promoted Items on Parent Dashboards' to Yes.


  • Promoted: Project Impacts: sub projects and linked projects' impacts that have been set to promoted to Parent or to Program are listed in this component only if the project has set 'Show Promoted Items on Parent Dashboards' to Yes.




SUMMARY


The following table is a comparison chart of primary and reporting programs:


Primary Programs
Reporting Programs
Primary programs are defined as a group of related projects managed in a coordinated way to deliver an organisational goal.
Reporting programs are used as reporting entity and connect projects across any portfolio.
Projects can only have one primary program.
Projects can only have one reporting program.
Only the top parent project of the project hierarchy needs to be explicitly linked to the primary program. All sub projects are automatically linked to the program.
Each individual project needs to be explicitly linked to the reporting program.
Changing the primary program of the top parent project changes the primary program of all projects in the hierarchy.
Changing the reporting program of a project does not affect its sub projects.
Primary programs roll up the financials of the top parent project and all its sub projects. Reporting programs only roll up financials of the linked projects and of their sub projects.
Primary Programs rolls up data from all sub projects in the hierarchy.
Reporting programs do not roll up sub projects data.