The notion that large programs have heavy, unwieldy processes, and that agile methods - both software development and project management - are the solution is many times just that "notional."
Let's start with the top level principle of large program acquisition in the Federal Government
Many if not most large government acquisitions have unwieldy processes, poor track records, and lots of blame to go around. But the first chapter of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) provides some guidance that can be applied to any program, project, or development effort.
Notice the timely, best value, for the customer, maintaining trust. Add working together as a team, and being empowered to make decisions in their area of responsibility.
Is this guidance followed - rarely. Why? Beacuse guidance alone is not sufficient for success. If that were the case, we woudln't need lighter weight, agile processes to pull us out of the messes we've created on large federal programs.
Agile needs to take this cautionary example - as agile moves into the enterprise, it will be just the latest attempt to lighten the load of processes and formality.
Taking these words as stand alone and looking to agile development and project management methods may provide the mission and vision around improving project performance in smaller domains.