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MSP Process: A Comprehensive Guide

Programme Management is a vital discipline that helps organisations achieve their strategic objectives by delivering successful outcomes through coordinated projects. The MSP Process is a framework under Programme Management that intends to help these organisations deliver their defined objectives through their Programmes.

One widely recognised and proven approach to Programme Management is Managing Successful Programmes (MSP). This blog will provide you with insights into the MSP Process, its benefits, key steps, challenges, and best practices for implementation.

Table of Contents 

1) Understanding the MSP

2) Overview of processes in MSP

    a) Identifying a programme

    b) Designing the outcomes

    c) Plan progressive delivery

    d) Delivering the capabilities

    e) Embed the outcomes

    f) Evaluate new information

    g) Closing the programme

3) Conclusion

Understanding MSP

Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) is a structured framework developed by the UK government for managing and delivering complex programmes. MSP provides a set of principles, processes, and techniques that enable organisations to align their projects and activities with strategic objectives effectively.  

MSP Training

MSPs emphasise managing the outcomes and benefits delivered by a programme rather than just the projects themselves. Organisations gain better visibility, control, and governance over their programmes, ensuring that they deliver the desired outcomes while managing risks, issues, and dependencies. 

Overview of processes in MSP 

Below is a brief list of processes under MSP:

MSP Process Overview

1) Identifying a programme

The process of identifying a programme involves recognising and selecting initiatives that align with organisational goals and can be effectively managed together. It includes conducting strategic assessments, analysing potential benefits, and evaluating feasibility. By identifying the right programme, organisations can ensure that resources are allocated efficiently, risks are managed effectively, and, as a result, the desired outcomes are achieved.

2) Designing the outcomes

Designing the outcome is a crucial step in the Programme Management process. It involves defining the desired future state and determining the specific outcomes that the programme aims to achieve. This process includes setting clear objectives, developing performance indicators, and aligning outcomes with the strategic goals of the organisation. By designing the outcome, Programme Managers can provide a clear direction for the programme, establish measurable targets, and guide the implementation efforts accordingly.

3) Plan progressive delivery

The process of planning progressive delivery focuses on breaking down the programme into manageable stages or tranches. It involves developing a roadmap that outlines the sequence of activities, milestones, and deliverables for each stage. By planning progressive delivery, Programme Managers can ensure that the programme progresses in a controlled manner, allowing for flexibility and adaptation based on evolving requirements and feedback. This approach enables early value realisation and risk mitigation and facilitates optimum resource allocation throughout the programme lifecycle.

4) Delivering the capabilities

Delivering the capabilities involves executing the programme plan and implementing the required projects and activities. It includes managing project interdependencies, coordinating resources, and monitoring progress against planned targets. This process requires effective Project Management techniques, strong leadership, and stakeholder engagement to successfully deliver programme capabilities. By delivering the capabilities, Programme Managers can generate tangible outputs, achieve predetermined milestones, and lay the foundation for realising programme outcomes.

5) Embed the outcomes

Embedding the outcomes is a critical process that focuses on ensuring the sustained impact and Benefits of the MSP programme beyond its completion. It involves integrating the changes brought about by the Programme into the organisation's operations, culture, and processes. This includes developing training programmes, establishing performance monitoring mechanisms, and providing ongoing support to stakeholders. By embedding the outcomes, Programme Managers can ensure that the desired changes become part of the organisation's DNA, resulting in long-term benefits and enhanced organisational performance.

6) Evaluate new information

The process of evaluating new information emphasises the importance of continuous learning and adaptation throughout the programme lifecycle. It involves gathering feedback, analysing data, and assessing the impact of the programme on stakeholders and the environment. By evaluating new information, Programme Managers can identify emerging trends, potential risks, and opportunities for improvement. This process enables informed decision-making, course correction if needed, and the ability to optimise the programme's effectiveness and value delivery.

7) Closing the programme

Closing the programme is the final process in the MSP framework, marking the completion of the programme's objectives. It involves conducting a comprehensive review of the programme's achievements, documenting lessons learned, and transitioning the responsibility for ongoing operations to the appropriate stakeholders. By closing the programme effectively, Programme Managers can celebrate success, capture valuable insights, and ensure a smooth handover to the business-as-usual operations. This process enables organisations to capitalise on the programme's outcomes, recognise the efforts of the programme team, and lay the foundation for future initiatives. 

Learn the basics of MSP methodology and the programming lifecycle by signing up for the MSP Foundation Course now!


An MSP Process offers a comprehensive and proven framework for effective Programme Management. Organisations can align their projects with strategic objectives, proactively manage risks and issues, and deliver desired outcomes and benefits. MSP emphasises stakeholder engagement, benefits realisation, and quality management, providing organisations with the tools and practices required to drive successful programme outcomes. 

Learn the basics of MSP methodology and the programming lifecycle by signing up for the MSP Foundation Course now!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you manage an effective MSP? faq-arrow

To ensure an efficient Managed Service Provider (MSP), focus on clear communication, proactive problem-solving, and robust cybersecurity measures. Regularly assess client needs, provide timely updates, and optimise IT infrastructure. Foster a skilled and adaptable team while embracing emerging technologies. Continuous improvement, client satisfaction, and cybersecurity vigilance are key to managing a successful MSP.

What are the qualities of a good MSP? faq-arrow

A proficient Managed Service Provider (MSP) exhibits qualities such as proactive communication, technical expertise, reliability, scalability, and a client-centric approach. A good MSP is adept at problem-solving, stays abreast of technological advancements, prioritises cybersecurity, and offers flexible solutions tailored to clients' evolving needs. Effective management, transparency, and a commitment to service excellence are crucial traits for a successful MSP.

What are the other resources and offers provided by The Knowledge Academy? faq-arrow

The Knowledge Academy takes global learning to new heights, offering over 30,000 online courses across 490+ locations in 220 countries. This expansive reach ensures accessibility and convenience for learners worldwide.

Alongside our diverse Online Course Catalogue, encompassing 17 major categories, we go the extra mile by providing a plethora of free educational Online Resources like News updates, blogs, videos, webinars, and interview questions. Tailoring learning experiences further, professionals can maximise value with customisable Course Bundles of TKA.

The Knowledge Academy’s Knowledge Pass, a prepaid voucher, adds another layer of flexibility, allowing course bookings over a 12-month period. Join us on a journey where education knows no bounds.

What are related MSP Training and blogs provided by The Knowledge Academy? faq-arrow

The Knowledge Academy offers various MSP Training, including MSP Foundation, MSP Practitioner, and MSP® Advanced Practitioner. These courses cater to different skill levels, providing comprehensive insights into What is MSP?  

Our Project Management blogs cover a range of topics related to MSP, offering valuable resources, best practices, and industry insights. Whether you are a beginner or looking to advance your Project Management skills, The Knowledge Academy's diverse courses and informative blogs have you covered.


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