In some companies, program managers do work that looks a lot like what project managers do. In spite of obvious differences, people often confuse their roles.
Their names are similar but their responsibilities and missions are quite different. The modern business reality requires understanding what sets them apart from each other. So let’s learn how to see the clear difference between PMs & PMs.
First, it worth recognizing what separates projects from programs.
A project manager is a key person who’s responsible for a project. He/she creates the project plan and allocates assignments, tracks the progress and challenges and reports them to the concerned stakeholders.
Besides these responsibilities, they also coordinate budget, time, and all required resources to complete the project on time.
Project managers should pay more attention to the operational elements of the project they are handling. Often, project managers come to the managerial role after getting enough expertise as an individual contributor in the field.
Project management involves scope management, risk management, and resource management.
One more their responsibility is to make sure that their team has everything required for work. Project managers own project resources, capacity, budget, delivery, and collaboration.
The role of a program manager looks less tactical or administrative than a project manager’s role. However, the stakes are higher because the success of the program lies on the shoulders of the program manager. The position, role, and responsibilities may differ from company to company, from industry to industry.
A program consists of many interrelated projects, so usually, project managers report to program managers.
People involved in program management have to be visionaries and should know how different initiatives will affect the business. They define the projects that need to be completed to reach the final goal.
They are concentrated on the strategy and the program implementation, that’s why their responsibilities go far beyond the completion of individual projects.
Bad tools can easily break a project or program while well-selected software is able to lead your business to success.
The truth is that the better the organization of management processes is, the more efficient the project or program will be.
Program managers more deal with cross-team collaboration and milestone management that is why they need broad big-picture data. Project managers need to zoom in and track individual tasks. They are focused on version control, issue logs, bug tracking, etc.
Each project or program is different, so it’s also crucial to choose a project management tool with a high level of customization.
Program managers and project managers must demonstrate extreme organization and efficiency, despite the difference in their day-to-day responsibilities.
They face many of the same challenges and apply similar tools and techniques:
Wanna get more? Feel free to study the following lists of the most popular tools in 2019:
To sum all these up, let’s define three key points that cover the basic differences between program managers and project managers: