The Big Program…..the little Projects…

your project Let’s just say when it comes to project management, I am your ninja!

This post however, isn’t about “project projects”…i.e. money generating ideas or whatever…but something that my random mind made clear to me a while ago.

I am sure half the people reading this don’t know the difference between a program and a project; that is because, until a professor / lecturer / teacher seats you down to explain to you (read: confuse you with) the details, the two words pretty much mean the same thing. And well, I have been in two different management classes in the last few years so I have been thoroughly confused and if management were a religion, I would be converted by now…so I can explain the difference in my sleep.

In simple terms, the program is the bigger thing, and the project is just a section of it. A program can have many different projects in it; say a country wide program, but with projects all over the country. Yes, it is even possible to have a world-wide program…with projects in it…..and projects are what’s important because no one project is similar to another; each is unique because of the different situations surrounding it. This is a bit obvious, I mean, a UN food program project in Africa will not be surrounded by the same environment as another project (though in the same program) in Europe! And, projects are temporary / time bound and each uses its own resources tailored to meet its specific objectives.

If this were a lecture, that would be the end of my introduction. Now, to try and get to what this post is really about…..

Life is the Program. Each of us is a project. And I believe God is the program manager.

We were all carried in our mothers’ wombs and then born…nobody fell from a tree or germinated from seeds scattered somewhere in a field or garden. The moment we left our mothers’ wombs, is when the ‘projects’ started….a project does have a start date, and the day we’re born is our start date.

And like I said, no project is the same; we all have to go through our own versions of ourselves; though of course some people try so hard to be other people. Everyone has to have their own experience. What works for person X may or may not work for you. So yes, X stayed up all night studying and didn’t get an ounce of sleep and aced that interview….and then when you stayed up all night in an attempt to do the same, you ended up bloodshot eyed throughout the interview, got the panel thinking you were crazy and couldn’t comprehend anything that was being asked…and so you failed.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t emulate successful people, what I’m saying is, everyone should have a goal and then work round finding the ways on how best to achieve that goal; without necessarily copy-pasting somebody else’s style.

For example, I am tiny. Project tiny. And one time I decided to go on a weight gain campaign, ate junk all day every day 7 days a week..I was on a mission…not because I really wanted to put on the weight, but because I was tired of rolling my eyes at people who judge me because of my “tiny-ness”. Anyway then when I read up on the whole issue, I realized I was just killing myself….all the fat I was consuming and not seeing anywhere on my body was most probably clogging around my heart…and if that was happening, it wasn’t going to end well. So I terminated my mission; and I accepted that this is project tiny…and whoever has a problem with it, can go fist it out with Mr. God.

The journey, the path that fate sets us on, is our project in this program called life. The tests, the challenges, the ups, the downs, each of us with a different kind…those are our project environments. And every now and then just like any other project, we need to get back to the program manager to make things clear…to help us understand and to guide us because at the end of the day, it is his program; he set the rules and gave us everything we could ever need to work with….we just need to ask him to show us how to use some of those things or even where to find them….and when he feels the project has reached its completion date, well…he ends it.

After all is said and done, I say, be you…be (you)nique….and like somebody once stated; you were born an original of yourself, don’t live your life in a such a way that you end up dying a copy / duplicate of someone else.

“He who started the good work in you shall see it to completion.” Phil. 1:6


2 thoughts on “The Big Program…..the little Projects…

  1. ssmusoke says:

    Putting on my Project management hat (I am working on getting my certification sometime soon) also another simple analogy is that a project has defined deliverables, like your weight-loss, get a certification in something (mine), can even be multi-year (get married)

    A program on the other hand is over-arching with higher level, less defined deliverables like increase trade in Eastern Uganda of which the market you are building is one project, with other activities like financing, training, advocacy, Public-Private-Partnerships as separate tasks or potential projects

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