Below infographics on Program Mananger vs Project Manager,throws light on major points of differences between the two.It’s often said and believed that a program manager holds and hones a larger set of skills and power while at the seat. The role of the project manager is more tactical than that of the program manager. In an IT program, there can be multiple operational groups that need to support the systems delivered—and more teams requires more communication. Scope, schedule, and resources all apply to both programs and projects although the planning is conducted at different levels. And then there’s the question—does it matter? Below are a few of the key distinctions. Check out this helpful video. Project managers employ a variety of tools to help them work more effectively. Did you know the difference between project manager and program manager? Program managers and project managers, two roles with similar titles will not be so different, right? He (or She) coordinates the time, budget and resources needed to complete the work within the program guidelines. Program managers focus on long-term business objectives; project managers have short-term, concrete deliverables 3. The guideline I use is to focus on issues that impact a milestone. The job focus of the project manager is both narrower and deeper than that of the program manager. You don’t necessarily need to integrate every project schedule and every task as a program manager, but you should develop a program-level plan that integrates the major milestones. Adobe®, the Adobe logo, Acrobat®, ReaderTM, and Macromedia Flash PlayerTM are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. ● Identify the program management structure. ● Transition solution to operations team. UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries, exclusively licensed through X/Open Company, Ltd. … According to the PMBOK Guide, “A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.”So, we can say that the nature of a project is temporary, i.e., once the project achieves its objective it exists no more, and the objective of a project is to create a unique product, or develop a system to provide you any service or is the result of any task.For instance, assuming, you have been given a project to se… It's best we first distinguish between Project and Program. Otherwise, you’ll be reviewing every issue and risk during program status meetings, and that would take hours. The program manager needs to know about the program-level issues and risks but doesn’t need to know about every risk with each project. Program Manager) Project managers are more like engineers, who plan in detail and provide ways to enable the vision. If program managers are architects, project managers are like team leaders. Program management manages the set of projects or a portfolio of projects headed by a program manager. According to the PMI, “A project is a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result”. However, the satisfaction from delivering across complex organizations is a rewarding one! As the program manager, you don’t need to manage or even know about all of them. Project manager and program manager are both high-level positions that offer personal and financial rewards. Project Size In Relation to Program Vs Project Management At times, the size of the project impacts the end output to a point where it is not possible to work on the project anymore. Suse is a trademark of Novell Corporation, Fedora, Red Hat, Red Hat Enterprise Linux of Red Hat Corporation. In a program, the program manager will also staff a project management office (PMO) to help manage program scope, costs, and overall timeline. Project managers focus on producing the optimum deliverable. Program Manager Vs Project Manager . Corporate change: the 8 reasons that cause difficulties and resistance. The program manager should correctly and accurately inform the project managers of the corporate goal that needs to be achieved. Project management manage projects lead by a project manager. Project Manager . Obviously, a program manager, due to wha… More often than not these roles … The responsibilities of the Program Manager include: recruiting teams, implementing strategies, measuring ROI and other high-level activities and tasks. Companies with this approach tend to view a program manager as a more technically-focused counterpart of the product manager, who is responsible for guiding the creation of the actual code that will form the solution. Project and program sponsors are critical, although the funding cycle, organization structure, and sponsorship can take longer. Programs are more complex and require more political awareness than the average project. Projects are temporary, are implemented one-off, and are generally limited by costs, resources, budgets and time constraints. Sybase® is a trademark of Sybase Inc. Program managers focus on integrating the deliverables into the organization's operations to reap the maximum benefit from using the deliverables. Tools for Project Managers. Let the project managers manage their work and let the program management team manage across the work streams. Project managers will provide performance feedback to respective resource managers; the program manager might also provide feedback on the team that formed the PMO. In a small company, you may have one person who takes on multiple project management roles such as product manager, project manager, and program manager. Program managers are strategic; project managers are tacticalNeed further explanation? Modern project management is structured around well-documented processes and clearly defined roles. Also, the names are so similar it’s hard to separate their meaning. The goal is to meet the needs of other projects in order to achieve the overall goal. Moreover, he reports to the Program Manager on progress and any changes made to the initial project plan. In short, a project manager has a more focused view on work within a single project; on the other hand, the program manager has a broad view of all workflows that lead to a “higher” goal. Leave us your opinion. All other brand and product names appearing on this Site may be the trademarks or service marks of their respective owners. Projects can be funded and initiated faster than most programs primarily since the budget, sponsorship, and stakeholders are smaller than most programs. In the PMBOK, integration management is the set of project management processes used to make sure that projects are properly coordinated. If the business strategy changes, the program manager must communicate it to the various project managers so that they are aware of the changes and can implement them into the individual projects. Projects are, essentially, just basic solutions to basic issues; they fill in the gaps that need to be filled. Project teams have a more focused view on the work that comprises a project; the program manager has a broad view of all the work streams. Here, I’ve categorized some of these differences across the initiation, planning, execution and close lifecycle steps. The technical program manager helps to ensure that the flow of information between the Product Manager, the Project Manager, and the Engineers from … Interbase® is a registered trademark of Borland® Copyright© 1994- 2014 Borland Software Corporation Sign up below. In a program, the program manager will also staff a project management office (PMO) to help manage program scope, costs, and overall timeline. In our example about the conference, the program manager would be responsible for ensuring that the conference in its entirety is a success. A program manager, however, is responsible for taking charge of a program, which is generally a grouping of different projects that work together to create a larger whole. Programs have projects, but projects don’t have programs. Projects have clear end dates and short-term goals that turn into tangible results or derivables. Wrong! They are... Project Manager. Program managers need to track milestones against a program level schedule. So, let’s start with the basics. Since it can take longer to initiate a program after its conception, the organization might have to validate the business case to ensure the program goals are still worth pursuing. These projects complete each other in order to achieve a broader and longer-term business goal. Each project in a program will have its own set of lessons learned; however, the program PMO or project lead will also a set of lessons learned. Product Managers define strategic business objectives which lead to different projects. As a program manager, it’s also important to understand the major dependencies across project teams. I’ve been on other programs where teams struggled with developing integrated project schedules, mainly due to the tool they’re using (or aren’t). It is easy to get confused for the assonance, but above all because in some companies the Project Manager carries out tasks and activities that are very similar to those of the Program Manager. Likewise, the program is affected by such setbacks because that specific project … Generally speaking, a program manager has broader responsibilities than the project manager. Project management is the more tactical of the three. Good project managers are essential in many industries. A program risk management plan and a program communication plan are thus created. The end result involved team members trying to make the project schedule mechanics work when they should’ve been focused on the milestones. The control of a program manager goes well beyond the life span of the single projects and focuses on long-term benefits for the company. FrontBase” is a trademark of FrontBase, Inc The closure phase is the last phase where the project or program manager formally closes the project. A program will rely more on a rolling plan, as multi-year programs will need to adjust their plans as the business changes. Let’s recap the three main differences between program managers vs. project managers: 1. This happens when a team member is offered the title of “program manager” where the scope is only confined to one project. Yes, it does! In reality, the Program Manager and the Project Manager, although sharing similar responsibilities, have positions that are quite distinct due to key differences. The role and responsibilities of a program manager differ starkly from that of a project manager. Some of these include budget planning tools, Gantt charts, Google docs, and of course, email. If you’ve ever been curious as a project team member to know what the program manager down the hall is doing; or you’re someone who wants the next challenge in your project management career, I’m going to lay out the differences here. Microsoft®, Windows®, Windows NT®, SQL Server®, Microsoft Project® and Internet Explorer® are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Program managers supervise groups of projects; project managers oversee individual projects 2. Every project has issues and risks. It’s easy to get confused because in some organizations program managers do work that looks a lot like what program managers do. Sun, Sun Microsystems, Solaris, Java, JavaServer Web Development Kit, and JavaServer Pages are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. Program management is an important role in a project-driven organization. The program manager creates a main schedule for managing dependencies between projects. Note. Have a log for common risks and issues, so they can be categorized. ● Conduct program conclusion and lessons learned meeting with the PMO or project lead. A project manager is in charge of specific, short-term needs or projects. So, it’s a matter of volume, working across many projects, related or unrelated, against managing only one. Project Management vs. After listing the main differences between these two professional roles, it remains only to mention a great resemblance between the two. PostgreSQL is copyright © 1996-2002 by The PostgreSQL Global Development Group All project-level issues and risks should be available for the program manager to review. ● Conduct project conclusion and lessons learned. In a program, communication across teams and milestone management are more important than tracking individual project tasks. To some extent they are, but it would be misleading to say that the only difference in terms of what a project manager and a program manager does is in the number of projects under their care. PM Role. Program managers are administrators who work out of an office and manage a variety of jobs and managerial tasks. MySQL is © 1995- 2014 MySQL AB under the free software/open source GNU General Public License (GPL). If IT was late, the site development was impacted. I was once involved in a digital marketing program, where the IT team was delivering a content management system with different components. Product Manager vs Program Manager vs Project Manager Product Manager. A successful program brings strategic benefits and organizational growth, rather than a single tangible result. Once these perspectives are established and segregation is carried out, the role of project managers becomes prevalent. They also delegate tasks within the project to different people. The project manager manages the operations of the individual projects within the programs. Both projects and programs have a lot of details to manage, including the deliverables, schedules, and issues and risks. All material on this website is Copyright ©2018, Open Lab S.r.l. The concepts of program management vs. project management are worth understanding, as both have specific benefits that play into the success of your strategy execution efforts. The program manager focuses on how many efforts are tracking against goals like company growth, while the project manager oversees the delivery of an actual body of work. The Difference Between a Program Manager and a Project Manager A program manager manages multiple projects, and sometimes multiple programs while a project manager manages the teams responsible for fulfilling the project and achieving its deliverables. His assessment will focus on how the program will impact the company in general. Program managers are more focused on cross-team communication and milestone management, so they’ll want broad big-picture data — whereas project managers will need to zoom in and track individual tasks. As you familiarize yourself with the difference between project management and program management, and even consider program manager as the next step in your career, it’s important to identify exactly how these roles differ. The programs are instead composed of several underlying and interconnected projects. In a project, the project manager is primarily responsible for the scope, cost, and timeline. Oracle® is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation. The role of the Program Manager goes beyond the completion of individual projects and has as focus the long-term implementation of the whole company program. Programs are Ongoing, Projects End. While the project manager is managing multiple tasks within a project, the program manager is coordinating between related projects within a program, in order to determine which projects are working towards the same or similar goals, and which may be dependent upon others. Take our Project Management Health Check, a 9-question multiple-choice assessment of your project management process. Here are a few key tasks that distinguish programs from projects. Want to receive our latest blogs to your inbox? Product Management: Responsibilities Project Management “Project managers are often at the forefront of delivering new strategic objectives, so they’re able to execute key initiatives while gaining exposure to stakeholders across all levels of … Project managers do not need glasses to get a general vision, but rather they focus on the goals of the project and manage the process and the workflow that can lead to the success of the single project. As the program unfolded, both European and U.S. marketing teams needed to know when specific components would be delivered by the IT team. Project managers are responsible for the project, the project team, and the outcomes the team is working on. The following table narrates other major differences between program and project management. Before discussing the similarities and differences between the two roles, it is fundamental to understand what is the difference between projects and programs. Let’s recap the three main differences between a program manager and a project manager: One can think and believe that a program manager possesses a wider range of skills and power with respect to a project manager. They help set up, initiate, budget the time and resources needed to complete the project on time. A project manager runs the individual project under the program manager. Then, project managers look over different assignments that their team brings to them and then report back to Program Managers with the teams work. Mozilla is © 1998- 2014 by Contributors to the Mozilla codebase under the Mozilla Public License and Netscape Public License. Each project manager might have more than one project coordinator to take care of all the tasks involved with advertising, making the new toy and distributing it to stores. In a project, the project manager is primarily responsible for the scope, cost, and timeline. Program managers supervise groups of projects; project managers supervise individual projects; Program managers are strategic; project managers are tactical. Most of us have met one or the other, and many of us have wondered: What’s the difference? Program Manager. Once the project has been completed and its goal has been achieved, the role of the project manager, with respect to that single project, ceases. The program manager therefore does not manage the projects, but rather provides the necessary supervision to ensure that the pieces of each project are completed in an effective and efficient way. For example, a toy manufacturer could have a different project manager to handle each new product it introduces. . Project managers are used to tracking tasks against a project schedule. However, a program manager is typically a more senior role than a project manager. Through these different perspectives, the correct identification and segregation of individual projects arises in order to achieve the company goal. (Project Manager vs. In describing the product manager’s role, our friends at Mind the Product cite Marty Cagan’s book Inspired, which explains succinctly that the job of a product manager ● Transition solution to multiple operations teams. Copyright 2020 LiquidPlanner, Inc. All Rights Reserved. ● Provide performance feedback on PMO/project lead resources. However, the overall objective of both is to add value to the operations of an organisation. A project typically exists within one team or an organizational boundary. A program will often cross multiple organizations, and this has an impact on stakeholders, sponsors, funding sources and even assigning the right program manager. . In reality, a program manager must wear different glasses in order to look at the program from different perspectives and thus have an overview. Stakeholder management is a far more complex and important issue for program managers, as most benefits can be realized only in the future. A successful program brings strategic benefits and organizational growth, rather than a single tangible result. A program manager has to review a program from multiple perspectives to properly measure the success of its strategy and the impact it has on the company. One of the key roles of the program manager is to ensure that all the work streams connect together. It’s also an exciting challenge in a project manager’s career. The achievement of the general goals will pass from a list of interdependent projects that He (or She) must define, manage, and supervise. Program vs. Here’s something project and program managers have in common: the need for a reliable project management tool! I’ve seen this word misused many times. The program manager focuses on the strategy and implementation plan and, as a result, delegates projects according to these factors. Every effort has a planning phase. Portfolio Managers. For starters, the fundamentals of good project management build the foundation for making a successful transition into program management. A project manager focuses mainly on the execution and management of the functional elements of the project, this includes meeting deadlines, respecting the budget, delegating activities and achieving results. Project vs. Program managers are more like architects, involving overall vision made up of function and form. Do you believe there are further noteworthy differences between these two? If I dust off my PMI standard, we know that a project is a “temporary endeavor used to create a unique product or service.” A program is “a collection of related projects managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits and controls not available from managing them individually.” It might seem like running a program is similar to running a bunch of projects, but there are several key differences between how a project and program moves through the project lifecycle. Netscape® is a registered trademark of Netscape Communications Corporation in the United States and other countries. Is yours up to snuff? Project plans, project execution, and change control techniques are all used to steer each project in the right direction. Project Management vs Program Management. Twproject is a highly flexible project management tool for teams of all sizes. The distinction may seem subtle, but there are clear and important differences between the two. The global marketing team would develop different sites based on the components delivered. Project Size In Relation to Program Vs Project Management: At times, the size of the project impacts the end output to a point where it is not possible to work on the project anymore. It may be useful to think of a program manager as an architect who designs a project. Financial close out and the archiving of documents is similar across both efforts, except the size could differ in a program. Differences between Program manager and Project manager: the two roles compared, The responsibilities of the Program Manager, The digital project manager: when the project meets the web. An architect does not install the electrical system and does not build the walls of a house, but makes sure that all these pieces come together to create a solid and usable building. Privacy Policy Terms of Service Security Policy GDPR Commitment Service Level Agreement. A program manager is a highly qualified leader with a vision towards the future of the company. A Program Manager is a professional who articulates the strategy and goals of a program. This role needs to see how all the “gives and gets” integrate across the timelines. In short, a project manager has a more focused view on work within a single project; on the other hand, the program manager has a broad view of all workflows that lead to a “higher” goal. In contrast to project managers, program managers are responsible for overseeing the entire program. Both are “structured” roles that require heterogeneous skills and individuals who want to strive to make a difference in the business and industrial world to which they belong. Here, the distinction is made between product manager vs. program manager, rather than project manager vs. program manager. Programs usually span a far greater duration than a project. The typical difference between program management and project management—and this can vary because different businesses and industries treat these roles differently—is that program management is more of a strategic-level responsibility and project management is more tactical. While program managers oversee an interconnected group of projects, project managers manage one individual project. Therefore, it seems right to assume that the responsibilities of these two leadership positions would be similar. Successful execution is all in the details! Informix® is a registerd trademark owned by IBM (International Business Machines Corporation) Netscape CommunicatorTM is a trademark of Netscape Communications Corporation that may be registered in other countries. Programs are more susceptible to market changes and shifting business goals.