Program Management Consulting

TCGen helps teams deliver programs on time and on budget

Why Work With A Program Management Consultant?

Are your programs late, over budget, and fail to delight customers? These symptoms are

You’re probably facing one of these common problems:

  • Programs don’t meet financial objectives 
  • Products are  unpredictable and often late
  • Products fail to meet stakeholder expectations
  • Program Manager (and Project Management) roles lack clarity
  • Program Management Office (PMO) leaders and project managers are burned out

Program Management Consulting can be the fastest and most effective solution for this set of problems that plague project and program management. 

Program Management for Product Development
Program Management for Product Development

Clients across industries including Information Technology, healthcare, medical devices, aerospace, automotive, consumer products, and industrial products hire management consulting firms to improve the performance of their programs. 

Such companies typically want methodologies for: 

  • Prioritization of new product ideas
  • Project portfolio management 
  • Establishing a program management office or project management office
  • Improving project controls
  • Managing multiple programs/projects at the same time roadmaps
  • Product strategy execution and project planning
  • Guidelines and templates for product roadmaps, product plans, etc.

Whatever their desired outcomes, whether it’s a process tune-up or a business transformation, Program Management Consulting can help meet your business needs.

Benefits of Program Management Consulting

Our clients have reported measurable improvements in business performance following a Program Management Consulting engagement. Typical results include:

  • Faster project execution with improved predictability
  • Improving program profitability 
  • Clarifying the tie between programs and business strategy
  • Eliminating surprises in product development projects
  • Improving project transparency and tracking
  • Creating an agile environment

TCGen – What We Do and How to Engage

Although each engagement is unique, most of them are variations of these types.

“We’re making better decisions, faster”

— Apple Executive
  1. Schedule a no obligation call. Book some time with us and we can find out how we can help you.
  2. We will write it up. We will describe what we learned and suggest options for working together. These conversations may result in a proposal for your consideration.
  3. Kick off Project. We will work with you to formulate a tailored Kick Off to initiate the engagement.

What Program Management Consulting Services Do

Program Management Consulting services help your company improve its program and product performance in a variety of dimensions:

  • Make IT & product development programs more efficient and effective
  • Improve the execution of Strategy
  • Accelerate Innovation
  • Increase Organizational Effectiveness
  • Improve cross functional team collaboration
  • Improve the overall management of your program and product portfolio

TCGen’s program management consulting services address a range of business challenges… 

  • Many startups and growth companies are struggling to scale, and to reach that next level of development maturity. Scaling becomes a challenge when organizations start a new product line or develop interdependent projects at the same time. We help organizations manage this complexity with program management methods that improve predictability. 
  • Other companies want more faster, and more predictable  results from major, new products (new to the company or new to the world). Still other companies want greater efficiency, or a better feel for market changes. We specialize in helping organizations improve their product development process.  
  • Mature firms in more established industries tend to have more layers of hierarchy and greater resistance to change – this is often called the “frozen middle.” Our expertise in organizational change management and predictive metrics enables us to assess cultural challenges and produce targeted results that respect the tone of your organization. We manage change by measuring behavior.
  • While global, distributed teams are required in today’s complex and connected world, the lines of communication, accountabilities, and decision making can be slow and unpredictable. We have enabled teams to rise to the challenge by creating a high performance cross functional team structure that clarifies decision making external to the project team.
  • While agility has improved, there are still risks that can come up and surprise teams and their management – resulting in resets and costly delays. Through better risk management, we can help organizations anticipate challenges while having countermeasures ready to deploy.  
  • If you are just getting started on your Agile journey (or have gotten stuck), we can help you get the benefits out of Agile. Our Agile (light) approach, which we call small ‘a’ Agile, provides select benefits of Agile without heavyweight processes.

Wherever your company’s needs, our customized solutions help you to achieve your goals.

Improve Program Reliability

Improve Business Processes

Change management that makes improvement last


TCGen’s Approach to Program Management Consulting

With years of consulting experience in lightweight, iterative processes as well as setting up and managing PMOs, TCGen founder John Carter has developed an expertise in program management process improvement. He has learned or developed a wealth of Best Practices, and a powerful knowledgebase. 

TCGen’s approach typically begins with a thorough assessment of your organization’s needs and follows it with focused training for team members and their managers:

  • We first highlight the pain points related to program management. 
  • Then we agree on goals and KPIs to improve program management and (where necessary) project management. 
  • We then identify a small number of the most effective levers of improvement. 
  • We associate each of these Program Management levers with a metric.

TCGen’s Program Management Consulting Case History

As chief engineer at BOSE, John Carter managed the development of products such as the BOSE® Wave® Music System and Noise-Cancelling Headphones, enjoyed by millions of customers worldwide. He brings hands-on experience to his consulting work. With years of consulting experience setting up and managing PMOs, John has developed an expertise in program management process improvement. He has also led Program Management engagements across industries:


As a program management consultant, John designed and implemented the Apple New Product Process (ANPP) which is used throughout all product divisions including the iPhone, iPad, and Mac divisions.

When we first implemented the process, their manager of product marketing said, “we are making better decisions, faster.” We helped Apple create the minimum process necessary: lightweight, Agile, with few checkpoints and mandatory deliverables.


In a program management engagement at Roche, TCGen helped the existing program management office roll out advanced capabilities across their global organization, and this benefited the project manager role, too. We also designed a well structured system that helped to clarify scope, and track progress. 

Risk management was a high priority for the organization and we helped implement an improved process that emphasized early identification of risks. This helped Roche gain visibility into programs and increase predictability.

The TCGen Difference

TCGen’s approach to Program Management Consulting differs from the others because we listen. We drive deeply into the culture and the challenges of the organization including both the management and the development teams. Our Project History approach captures the voices within your organization and enables you to learn from the past, as you imagine your future.

In a dialog with senior leadership, we then define the key results you would like to achieve. We then craft a customized approach to your Program Management Consulting engagement. 

We do not believe that “one size fits all.” Our Program Management Consulting engagements enable you to select only the approaches that work for you. Too many consultants complicate processes to no end. We’ll help you implement only the approaches that make a difference.

TCGen is also different in that you will work directly with someone with deep, hands-on knowledge of Program Management. We won’t hand you off to a recent MBA recipient. You will get the benefit of working with someone who has developed products enjoyed by millions of people.

About John Carter

John Carter has been a widely respected adviser to technology firms over his career. He is the author of Innovate Products Faster: Graphical Tools for Accelerating Product Development. As Founder and Principal of TCGen Inc., he has advised some of the most revered technology firms in the world:

 • Abbott, Amazon, Apple

 • BOSE, Cisco, Fitbit

 • HP, IBM, Roche

“John has that rare combination of brilliance and pragmatism that truly sets him apart. John is world class.”

— Dan Keller, HP Executive

John has years of experience in the value creating aspects of product development – from the strategy and innovation processes, through product definition, execution and launch. He has helped companies cut time to market, rapidly scale their product programs, and improve innovation with customer led insights, leading to greater profitability, reduced costs, and improved customer satisfaction. He has developed best practices in program management and project management methodologies for new product development.  

He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Cirrus Logic (CRUS) a leading supplier of mixed signal semiconductors where he is involved with company strategy and sits on the Compensation and Audit Committees.  

John was the founder of Cambridge-based Product Development Consulting, Inc. (PDC), a consultancy advising Fortune 500 companies in the areas of research, development, and marketing. During his time there, he worked with Apple to create the Apple New Product Process (ANPP). He has been an invited speaker at MIT and Stanford University, and a member of the faculty at Case Western’s Executive program.

Before starting PDC, John was Chief Engineer of BOSE Corporation. John is the inventor of the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones and shares the original patent with Dr. Amar Bose. He was one of the initial contributors in BOSE’s entry into the automobile OEM business and led the product and business development of BOSE’s patented noise reduction technology for the military market. 

He earned his MS in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BS in engineering from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA.

Product Development Expert

John Carter is a widely respected expert on product development. He is an inventor of Bose’s Noise Cancelling Headphones and designer of Apple’s New Product Process. As Founder of TCGen Inc., he has consulted for Abbott, Amazon, Apple, Cisco, HP, IBM, Mozilla, Roche, and 3M.

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