Program management is quite a new term in the management world. Many people think that the role of program manager sounds like another name for a project manager, however, these roles are distinct. So, what is a program manager?
In the IT environment, a program manager oversees a team of information systems professionals who are working on different projects. In general, program managers differ from project managers in their roles that are broader in scope.
Project managers focus on a specific initiative, while program managers work with a range of initiatives to achieve a particular company’s goal.
The role of the program manager requires technical knowledge but emphasizes business management skills. Let’s define what program managers do and why their roles are important for the business’s success.
What does a program manager do? A program manager is an administrative position in companies with an IT department.
This role involves the elements of managerial work, technical responsibilities, and communication with IT specialists.
The technical program manager must have a deep understanding of information technologies and computer science. A typical working day of program managers consists of general oversight of the IT workspace, meetings with team members, and collaboration with other depts.
Just look at the screen from a professional social network, LinkedIn, that demonstrates the popularity of the program manager position:
This person must also be aware of management techniques. He/she should be charismatic, communicative and have enough leadership abilities.
Typically, the candidate for the program manager position should have at least a bachelor’s degree in information technology.
Besides, most managers in this field, require 3-4 years of IT experience in a professional environment.
Actually, there is a constant confusion in the matter program manager vs product manager vs project manager. Can they collaborate? This definitely depends on companies and internal hierarchy.
Any program manager needs to have the following skills and abilities to be ideal for this position:
Statistics reflect everything. Here’s the example of the average program managers’ salary in IT sector, the U.S.
Managing a program is not an easy job. Program managers should not only have advanced skills and experience but also should be able to apply modern online program management software.
Monitoring all moving program tasks and processes can be a challenge. Luckily, management tools are able to help. Some of the most relevant examples for this purpose are Hygger, Lucidchart, Smartsheet, Planview, etc.
So, to sum it up, why do we need program management? The complexity and scale of programs require a dedicated and high-educated manager to oversee its moving parts and strategically coordinate individual initiatives.
Without careful resources management and a strategic plan, the project will fall apart and the objectives will remain out of reach.