Program Management Consulting

TCGen helps teams deliver programs on time and on budget

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What is Program Management Consulting?

Program Management Consulting helps organizations improve program management capabilities to deliver better results on time and within budget.

  • 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

Project management consulting for complex projects

Depending on the type of initiatives, complex projects, or product developments that need better outcomes, project management expertise, track record, and industry experience, including PMP certification, can make a big difference. Incorporating sustainability and digital transformation into these projects enhances their environmental impact and improves their overall viability across their lifecycle. The combination of experience and program management expertise, especially in handling complex programs, applied together can help you solve the toughest problems. Advisory services can further augment this by providing specialized knowledge and insights, particularly in enhancing customer experience through the use of performance cookies for website optimization. Of course, you should consider the business case and strategic alignment first to ensure that the effort will have the payback you want.

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

  • Many startups and growth companies struggle to scale and reach the next development maturity level. Scaling becomes challenging when organizations start a new product line or develop interdependent projects simultaneously. We help organizations manage this complexity with program management methods that improve predictability.
  • Other companies want faster and more predictable results from major new products (new to the company or the world). Still, other companies want greater efficiency, a better sense of market changes, or better payback and ROI optimization. We specialize in helping organizations improve their product development processes.
  • 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, 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.
  • We often borrow best practices from the Project Management Institute (PMI) and our industry experience to provide robust solutions based on tested practices.
  • While agility has improved, risks can still arise 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, called small ‘a’ Agile, provides select benefits of Agile without heavyweight processes.

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

Improve Program Reliability

Improve Business Processes

Change management that makes improvements last

Program Management Consulting

Why Work With A Program Management Consultant?

Are your programs late, over budget, and failing to delight customers? These symptoms often indicate underlying issues in project management and development processes.

You’re probably facing one of these common problems:

A management consultant 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 Approach

Clients in industries including information technology, healthcare, medical devices, aerospace, automotive, consumer products, and industrial products hire a management consultant 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, a business transformation, or enhancing customer experience, our program management consulting services can help meet your business goals and needs.

Benefits of Program Management Consulting

Benefits of Program Management Consulting with TCGen

Our clients have reported measurable business goals and performance improvements following our engagements. 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.

  1. Schedule a no-obligation call. Book some time with us to 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.

We’re making better decisions, faster.

– Apple Executive

TCGen’s Approach

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

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, making him a valuable case study in leadership and innovation. With years of management consultant experience setting up and managing PMOs, John has developed program management process improvement expertise. He has also led Program Management engagements across industries.


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

When we first implemented the process, their product marketing manager 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 the global organization, which benefited the project manager role. We also designed a well-structured system that helped clarify the scope and track progress. 

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

The TCGen Difference

TCGen’s approach to Program Management differs from the others because we listen. We dig deeply into the organization’s culture and challenges, including the management and 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.

We then define the key results you want to achieve in a dialog with senior leadership and craft a customized approach to your Program Management 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 because you will work directly with someone with deep, hands-on knowledge of Program Management, including critical aspects such as regulatory requirements, resource allocation, and managing timelines. We won’t hand you off to a recent MBA recipient. You will benefit from working with someone who has developed products millions of people enjoy.

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 Execuutive

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 founded Cambridge-based Product Development Consulting, Inc. (PDC), a consultancy that advises Fortune 500 companies on research, development, and marketing. While 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 faculty member at Case Western’s Executive program.

Before starting PDC, John was the 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 to BOSE’s entry into the automobile OEM business. He 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.

TCGen Principal & Founder

John Carter

John Carter specializes in product development, from the strategy and innovation processes to product definition, execution, and launch. He has helped companies cut time to market, rapidly scale their product program, and improve innovation with customer-led insights. His work leads to greater profitability, reduced costs, and improved customer satisfaction.

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

Before starting the consulting firm TCGen, John was the 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 to BOSE’s entry into the automobile OEM business. He led the product and business development of BOSE’s patented noise reduction technology for the military market.

John Carter, TCGen Principal & Founder