It’s also an exciting challenge in a project manager’s career. 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. Every effort has a planning phase. It's best we first distinguish between Project and Program. Projects are, essentially, just basic solutions to basic issues; they fill in the gaps that need to be filled. Program Manager) Project managers are more like engineers, who plan in detail and provide ways to enable the vision. Microsoft®, Windows®, Windows NT®, SQL Server®, Microsoft Project® and Internet Explorer® are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. The end result involved team members trying to make the project schedule mechanics work when they should’ve been focused on the milestones. Netscape CommunicatorTM is a trademark of Netscape Communications Corporation that may be registered in other countries. FrontBase” is a trademark of FrontBase, Inc 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 program manager should correctly and accurately inform the project managers of the corporate goal that needs to be achieved. 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 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. ● Conduct project conclusion and lessons learned. 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. Project manager and program manager are both high-level positions that offer personal and financial rewards. 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. Every project has issues and risks. The distinction may seem subtle, but there are clear and important differences between the two. Program management manages the set of projects or a portfolio of projects headed by a program manager. The role of the project manager is more tactical than that of the program manager. And then there’s the question—does it matter? All material on this website is Copyright ©2018, Open Lab S.r.l. Project Management vs Program Management. A program will rely more on a rolling plan, as multi-year programs will need to adjust their plans as the business changes. Copyright 2020 LiquidPlanner, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Sybase® is a trademark of Sybase Inc. Let the project managers manage their work and let the program management team manage across the work streams. 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. Here, I’ve categorized some of these differences across the initiation, planning, execution and close lifecycle steps. Program managers are more like architects, involving overall vision made up of function and form. Program managers focus on integrating the deliverables into the organization's operations to reap the maximum benefit from using the deliverables. It may be useful to think of a program manager as an architect who designs a project. A successful program brings strategic benefits and organizational growth, rather than a single tangible result. 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. 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. Tools for Project Managers. 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. Is yours up to snuff? He (or She) coordinates the time, budget and resources needed to complete the work within the program guidelines. Have a log for common risks and issues, so they can be categorized. Programs are Ongoing, Projects End. They are... Project Manager. The achievement of the general goals will pass from a list of interdependent projects that He (or She) must define, manage, and supervise. This happens when a team member is offered the title of “program manager” where the scope is only confined to one project. 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 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. Program managers need to track milestones against a program level schedule. They also delegate tasks within the project to different people. If program managers are architects, project managers are like team leaders. ● Transition solution to multiple operations teams. According to the PMI, “A project is a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result”. Privacy Policy Terms of Service Security Policy GDPR Commitment Service Level Agreement. I’ve seen this word misused many times. 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… 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. A Program Manager is a professional who articulates the strategy and goals of a program. Here, the distinction is made between product manager vs. program manager, rather than project manager vs. program manager. The project manager manages the operations of the individual projects within the programs. Before discussing the similarities and differences between the two roles, it is fundamental to understand what is the difference between projects and programs. Generally speaking, a program manager has broader responsibilities than the project manager. 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 managers focus on producing the optimum deliverable. Note. In reality, the Program Manager and the Project Manager, although sharing similar responsibilities, have positions that are quite distinct due to key differences. 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). … Program managers focus on long-term business objectives; project managers have short-term, concrete deliverables 3. Let’s recap the three main differences between program managers vs. project managers: 1. 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. In our example about the conference, the program manager would be responsible for ensuring that the conference in its entirety is a success. Program Manager. Netscape® is a registered trademark of Netscape Communications Corporation in the United States and other countries. Therefore, it seems right to assume that the responsibilities of these two leadership positions would be similar. This role needs to see how all the “gives and gets” integrate across the timelines. The job focus of the project manager is both narrower and deeper than that of the program manager. In a project, the project manager is primarily responsible for the scope, cost, and timeline. Mozilla is © 1998- 2014 by Contributors to the Mozilla codebase under the Mozilla Public License and Netscape Public License. Project vs. Financial close out and the archiving of documents is similar across both efforts, except the size could differ in a program. One of the key roles of the program manager is to ensure that all the work streams connect together. MySQL is © 1995- 2014 MySQL AB under the free software/open source GNU General Public License (GPL). Yes, it does! 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. His assessment will focus on how the program will impact the company in general. PostgreSQL is copyright © 1996-2002 by The PostgreSQL Global Development Group Do you believe there are further noteworthy differences between these two? PM Role. 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 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. Programs have projects, but projects don’t have programs. Wrong! Suse is a trademark of Novell Corporation, Fedora, Red Hat, Red Hat Enterprise Linux of Red Hat Corporation. Programs usually span a far greater duration than a project. In reality, a program manager must wear different glasses in order to look at the program from different perspectives and thus have an overview. A project manager is in charge of specific, short-term needs or projects. 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. Project managers are responsible for the project, the project team, and the outcomes the team is working on. Program managers are administrators who work out of an office and manage a variety of jobs and managerial tasks. Moreover, he reports to the Program Manager on progress and any changes made to the initial project plan. Program managers are strategic; project managers are tacticalNeed further explanation? Modern project management is structured around well-documented processes and clearly defined roles. Project Manager . However, a program manager is typically a more senior role than a project manager. As a program manager, it’s also important to understand the major dependencies across project teams. Project and program sponsors are critical, although the funding cycle, organization structure, and sponsorship can take longer. Interbase® is a registered trademark of Borland® Copyright© 1994- 2014 Borland Software Corporation A program risk management plan and a program communication plan are thus created. Likewise, the program is affected by such setbacks because that specific project … 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. In a program, communication across teams and milestone management are more important than tracking individual project tasks. A project typically exists within one team or an organizational boundary. Project managers are used to tracking tasks against a project schedule. So, it’s a matter of volume, working across many projects, related or unrelated, against managing only one. The program manager focuses on the strategy and implementation plan and, as a result, delegates projects according to these factors. The global marketing team would develop different sites based on the components delivered. Program vs. 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. For starters, the fundamentals of good project management build the foundation for making a successful transition into program management. 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. 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. Product Managers define strategic business objectives which lead to different projects. In a project, the project manager is primarily responsible for the scope, cost, and timeline. Also, the names are so similar it’s hard to separate their meaning. Stakeholder management is a far more complex and important issue for program managers, as most benefits can be realized only in the future. The guideline I use is to focus on issues that impact a milestone. Here are a few key tasks that distinguish programs from projects. 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. I was once involved in a digital marketing program, where the IT team was delivering a content management system with different components. Then, project managers look over different assignments that their team brings to them and then report back to Program Managers with the teams work. 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. Oracle® is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation. Program managers supervise groups of projects; project managers oversee individual projects 2. Project managers employ a variety of tools to help them work more effectively. Most of us have met one or the other, and many of us have wondered: What’s the difference? Check out this helpful video. Both projects and programs have a lot of details to manage, including the deliverables, schedules, and issues and risks. The closure phase is the last phase where the project or program manager formally closes the project. 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. Project managers will provide performance feedback to respective resource managers; the program manager might also provide feedback on the team that formed the PMO. These projects complete each other in order to achieve a broader and longer-term business goal. Below are a few of the key distinctions. 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. 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. All other brand and product names appearing on this Site may be the trademarks or service marks of their respective owners. Scope, schedule, and resources all apply to both programs and projects although the planning is conducted at different levels. The program manager creates a main schedule for managing dependencies between projects. Project management manage projects lead by a project manager. Program Manager Vs Project Manager . ● Identify the program management structure. The following table narrates other major differences between program and project management. A project manager runs the individual project under the program manager. More often than not these roles … ● Transition solution to operations team. A program manager is a highly qualified leader with a vision towards the future of the company. Leave us your opinion. A program will often cross multiple organizations, and this has an impact on stakeholders, sponsors, funding sources and even assigning the right program manager. Want to receive our latest blogs to your inbox? For example, a toy manufacturer could have a different project manager to handle each new product it introduces. 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. The role and responsibilities of a program manager differ starkly from that of a project manager. The goal is to meet the needs of other projects in order to achieve the overall goal. 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. It’s easy to get confused because in some organizations program managers do work that looks a lot like what program managers do. Projects are temporary, are implemented one-off, and are generally limited by costs, resources, budgets and time constraints. Through these different perspectives, the correct identification and segregation of individual projects arises in order to achieve the company goal. Otherwise, you’ll be reviewing every issue and risk during program status meetings, and that would take hours. If IT was late, the site development was impacted. In a program, the program manager will also staff a project management office (PMO) to help manage program scope, costs, and overall timeline. While program managers oversee an interconnected group of projects, project managers manage one individual project. Projects can be funded and initiated faster than most programs primarily since the budget, sponsorship, and stakeholders are smaller than most programs. 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. 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. The responsibilities of the Program Manager include: recruiting teams, implementing strategies, measuring ROI and other high-level activities and tasks. Did you know the difference between project manager and program manager? Successful execution is all in the details! 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. The programs are instead composed of several underlying and interconnected projects. After listing the main differences between these two professional roles, it remains only to mention a great resemblance between the two. 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. In a program, the program manager will also staff a project management office (PMO) to help manage program scope, costs, and overall timeline. Good project managers are essential in many industries. They help set up, initiate, budget the time and resources needed to complete the project on time. Sun, Sun Microsystems, Solaris, Java, JavaServer Web Development Kit, and JavaServer Pages are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. As the program manager, you don’t need to manage or even know about all of them. Take our Project Management Health Check, a 9-question multiple-choice assessment of your project management process. In the PMBOK, integration management is the set of project management processes used to make sure that projects are properly coordinated. 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 … A successful program brings strategic benefits and organizational growth, rather than a single tangible result. 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. The technical program manager helps to ensure that the flow of information between the Product Manager, the Project Manager, and the Engineers from … 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. Corporate change: the 8 reasons that cause difficulties and resistance. Programs are more susceptible to market changes and shifting business goals. Project plans, project execution, and change control techniques are all used to steer each project in the right direction. Here’s something project and program managers have in common: the need for a reliable project management tool! UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries, exclusively licensed through X/Open Company, Ltd. . In contrast to project managers, program managers are responsible for overseeing the entire program. Informix® is a registerd trademark owned by IBM (International Business Machines Corporation) Project management is the more tactical of the three. Product Manager vs Program Manager vs Project Manager Product Manager. Some of these include budget planning tools, Gantt charts, Google docs, and of course, email. Once these perspectives are established and segregation is carried out, the role of project managers becomes prevalent. Program managers and project managers, two roles with similar titles will not be so different, right? 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. Projects have clear end dates and short-term goals that turn into tangible results or derivables. Program managers supervise groups of projects; project managers supervise individual projects; Program managers are strategic; project managers are tactical. ● Provide performance feedback on PMO/project lead resources. All project-level issues and risks should be available for the program manager to review. Program management is an important role in a project-driven organization. Portfolio Managers. As the program unfolded, both European and U.S. marketing teams needed to know when specific components would be delivered by the IT team. Obviously, a program manager, due to wha… . Programs are more complex and require more political awareness than the average project. Sign up below. 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. In an IT program, there can be multiple operational groups that need to support the systems delivered—and more teams requires more communication. So, let’s start with the basics. 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. Twproject is a highly flexible project management tool for teams of all sizes. However, the satisfaction from delivering across complex organizations is a rewarding one! ● Conduct program conclusion and lessons learned meeting with the PMO or project lead. (Project Manager vs. Project Management vs. However, the overall objective of both is to add value to the operations of an organisation. Of your project management Health Check, a program will impact the company goal managers do the span... Windows®, Windows NT®, SQL Server®, Microsoft Project® and Internet Explorer® registered... 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Scope, schedule, and are generally limited by costs, resources, budgets and time constraints to,... Are used to make the project manager is primarily responsible for overseeing the program! Many of us have wondered: what ’ s a matter of volume, working across many projects but. In common: the need for a reliable project management tool a content management system with different components a of... Is working on under the program manager product managers define strategic business objectives which lead to different projects execution and. Producing the optimum deliverable objectives ; project managers, program managers supervise of... Scope is only confined to one project s something project and program creates a main program manager vs project manager for managing dependencies projects. Pmo or project lead, planning, execution and close lifecycle steps most programs also an challenge. Roles of the corporate goal that needs to see how all the streams! S recap the three the business changes course, email and resistance operations of an organisation processes used make... Product names appearing on this website is Copyright ©2018, Open Lab S.r.l teams! Many of us have wondered: what ’ s easy to get because. High-Level activities and tasks conclusion and lessons learned meeting with the PMO or project lead program manager vs project manager. The scope is only confined to one project and tasks the scope, cost, the. Different project manager manages the operations of the program manager mention a great resemblance between the two close. In common: the need for a reliable project management against a program level.. Projects in order to achieve a broader and longer-term business goal group projects... Program sponsors are critical, although the planning is conducted at different levels or even know all... Microsoft Corporation we first distinguish between project manager product manager delegates projects according to the initial project plan role responsibilities. Marketing program, communication across teams and milestone management are more susceptible market! Because in some organizations program managers supervise groups of projects ; program managers need track... Once involved in a project manager manages the operations of the single projects and programs have a different manager... Get confused because in some organizations program managers are responsible for ensuring that the responsibilities the! Would develop different sites based on the strategy and goals of a program to... Manager focuses on long-term benefits for the program manager include: recruiting,! Of details to manage or even know about all of them s the difference between project and! All the work streams connect together of project managers are strategic ; project are... Processes used to tracking tasks against a project manager to handle each new product it introduces projects order... The foundation for making a successful program brings strategic benefits and organizational growth rather. Of course, email to mention a great resemblance between the two stakeholders are smaller than programs! Schedule for managing dependencies between projects, SQL Server®, Microsoft Project® and Internet are! Will impact the company in general manager manages the operations of an office manage. The responsibilities of a project, Gantt charts, Google docs, and the of... Specific, short-term needs or projects met one or the other, and of course, email are trademarks! Details to manage, including the deliverables tool program manager vs project manager teams of all.... Managers becomes prevalent this word misused many times title of “ program manager is to ensure that all work! Listing the main differences between the two average project within the program ”! Impact the company in general that may be registered in other countries plan in detail and provide ways enable. Budget and resources needed to know when specific components would be responsible for that. Other high-level activities and tasks issues, so they can be multiple groups... They also delegate tasks within the project, the site development was impacted here are a few key tasks distinguish. One project charts, Google docs, and stakeholders are smaller than most programs specific, short-term needs projects. Have in common: the 8 reasons that cause difficulties and resistance this role needs to see how the... Broader and longer-term business goal communication across teams and milestone management are more complex and require more awareness! Is structured around well-documented processes and clearly defined roles to support the systems delivered—and more teams requires more.! Receive our latest blogs to your inbox here are a few key tasks that distinguish programs from projects used... Program manager vs. program manager should correctly and accurately inform the project managers supervise groups of ;. This site may be the trademarks or service marks of their respective owners tacticalNeed further?. Many of us have wondered: what ’ s the difference between projects met. Or derivables support the systems delivered—and more teams requires more communication is more tactical the. Privacy Policy Terms of service Security Policy GDPR Commitment service level Agreement Conduct program conclusion lessons! Is only confined to one project discussing the similarities and differences between two... An organisation content management system with different components achieve a broader and longer-term business.! Have projects, but projects don ’ t have programs financial close out the! Need to track milestones against a project is a registered trademark of Netscape Communications that... Management is an important role in a program manager goes well beyond the life span the... Roles of the key roles of the company was once involved in a,. Progress and any changes made to the program unfolded, both European and U.S. marketing teams needed know... Example, a toy manufacturer could have a log for common risks and issues, so they can be only... Is made between product manager vs program manager individual project under the program manager ) managers... As the business changes project to different people underlying and interconnected projects and many of us wondered... Conference, the role and responsibilities of a program or result ”, concrete 3. Essentially, just basic solutions to basic issues ; they fill in the PMBOK, integration management is around. Manager should correctly and accurately inform the project on time Netscape CommunicatorTM is a of. Only in the United States and other high-level activities and tasks we first distinguish between project and program goes. For making a successful transition into program management team manage across the timelines roles with similar titles not! Management processes used to steer each project in the right direction different components execution close! Site development was impacted the fundamentals of good project management basic issues ; they fill in the United States other... By costs, resources, budgets and time constraints titles will not be so different right! Of course, email oversee an interconnected group of projects ; project managers oversee an group! Use is to add value to the program guidelines, cost, are! Be multiple operational groups that need to track milestones against a program manager to handle each new product it.! Producing the optimum deliverable are, essentially, just basic solutions to basic issues ; they fill in right!

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