What is MSP?

Date: 12/03/2024| Category: Best Practices Glossary| Tags:

MSP stands for Managing Successful Programmes and is a programme management methodology. MSP represents proven good practice in the successful delivery of transformational change through the application of programme management.

Programme management has become an increasingly essential skill worldwide as it is being recognized more and more as the key to enabling organisations to manage transformation. Transformation through effective leadership and strategic control help organisations survive and prosper in a constant and increasing change. MSP has been utilised by many different organisations to help with this transformation and is used worldwide. It can be adapted to a wide variety of programmes, situations and environments. This makes MSP extremely flexible, very comprehensive and widely applicable.

MSP provides a structured framework to programme management as it helps organisations break large programmes down into individual projects, each clearly defined.

Benefits of Managing Successful Programmes

The benefits of Managing Successful Programmes can be found in the fact that organisations need to respond to continual change in order to survive and grow. MSP provides a base to design and run programmes so that organisations can deliver their strategy and gain measurable benefits from change.

MSP helps organisations and individuals manage their projects, programmes and services consistently and effectively. The key benefits of implementing MSP are the following:

  • MSP combines the quality of rigour with the flexibility to respond to specific situations
  • MSP provides a practical, step-by-step approach for designing and running successful programmes
  • MSP covers key principles, governance themes and the processes needed to deliver change
  • MSP advises on how to embed, review and apply MSP to achieve high-quality outcomes
  • MSP includes real-life examples of how to apply best-practice programme management

MSP Principles

MSP consists of three different groups; the MSP Principles, the MSP Governance Themes and the MSP Transformational Flow Processes.

The MSP Principles: These are derived from positive and negative lessons learned from programme experiences. They are the common factors that underpin the success of any transformational change. The MSP Principles are:

  • Remaining aligned with corporate strategy: this means that at no point in time, the programme should deviate from the strategic goals of the organisation
  • Leading change: this emphasizes that change should be led effectively
  • Envisioning and communicating a better future: this aims at having all stakeholders and the programme employees aligned
  • Focusing on benefits and threats to them: this ensures that all benefits are realized and threats to them are managed
  • Adding value: this means that the programme should add value to the organisation.
  • Designing and delivering a coherent capability: this focuses on delivering a capability that is useful and in sync with the programme objectives
  • Learning from experience: this aims at not repeating the mistakes that might affect the success of the programme

The MSP Governance Themes: These define an organisation’s approach to programme management. They allow an organisation to put in place the right leadership, delivery team, organisation structures and controls, giving the best chance for success.

The MSP Transformational Flow: This provides a route through the lifecycle of a programme from its conception through to the delivery of the new capability, outcomes and benefits.

MSP Principles


Project Roles: MSP defines roles and responsibilities of all who need to form part of the leadership of a programme. Effective leadership of a programme is achieved through informed decision-making and a flexible management regime. The key roles involved are:

  • Sponsoring group
  • Senior responsible owner
  • Programme manager
  • Business change manager
  • Programme office


MSP Certification Scheme

The MSP certification scheme has two main levels:

  1. Foundation: this level introduces the MSP method. The MSP Foundation exam aims to confirm that you know and understand the MSP method well enough to be able to work effectively with, or as a member of, a programme management team working within an environment supporting MSP.
  2. Practitioner: this level gives you the knowledge to not only understand but actively use and tailor MSP to your specific needs. The MSP Practitioner exam aims to confirm whether you have sufficient understanding of how to apply and tailor MSP in a range of different programme management environments and scenarios.

How to get MSP Certified

In order to obtain your MSP Certification you need to take a course with a PeopleCert Accredited Training Organisations (ATO).

QRP International is an official ATO for MSP, accredited by Peoplecert. We are authorised to deliver MSP Foundation, MSP Practitioner and MSP Combi courses.

Write to us for more information!



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