About Program Manager
Tasks and Responsibilities:
Tasks and role of the program manager depend on the business model of the company where he works.At the outsourcing, it is often managing a portfolio of projects — in this case, a program manager is responsible for the progress of bundles of projects and supplying of relevant products. In the grocery and large service companies, such specialist is more comprehensively engaged in strategic initiatives aimed at changes in the organization. If the project manager is responsible for a particular project, its progress, timelines, budgets, resources;
Product manager —is responsible for the ultimate solution for a client or user, so the software manager is focused on the success of the overall program that can include many products, projects, and works. However, some works may be beyond the specific products or projects. Program Manager doesn’t lead the team himself — he works with the project managers. Receiving from project managers different metrics, the program manager coordinates project plans, manages risks, organizes the work of the people.
The main responsibilities of the program manager:
- To manage portfolio of projects in some area of corporate interests;
- coordination of managers that carry out projects on specific programs;
- elaboration and adoption of decisions on projects where a decision cannot be taken separately by a manager;
- the creation of an environment with efficient workflows and communication;
- financial and resource management.
"The special role of the program manager is that the focus his responsibility and attention shifts move from purely technical issues delivery to people management and budget. Responsibilities largely consist of the duties of the project manager, and long-term planning recruitment, budget, the task of getting new projects or expansion of existing ones, managing interviews, discussion and assignment of wages, the process of certification. Responsibilities also determine KPI, which spelled out the project's financial indicators, attrition and the level of customer satisfaction". Unlike to the project manager, program manager operates with such terms as benefits — sales growth, cost optimization, better alignment, high transparency.
The typical workday of the program manager includes:
- communicating with program participants;
- problems arising in the program;
- the collection of key performance indicators, clarification the status on the key objectives;
- analysis of data and metrics;
- developing further strategies, the updating of the plans;
"A typical day consists of meetings with client and project staff, and work with documents: planning, reporting, correspondence with the customer, management, and employees.I have the part of the time for individual meetings with employees to discuss current problems, opportunities, or motivation. Also, the part of the day is for the assessment of the situation, risks, issues, and prospects programs and considering further action".
"The project manager could solve the problem by himself or by talking to a specific person, the program manager the process is different: it’s needed to find people who can solve the problem, and together try to find a balanced solution, remembering that every change in the program leads to the potential risks. For example, an introduction for the development was given not in time for one of the projects, because of what the integration with another project will move, and as a result, the third independent project will be suddenly on the critical path of the program.The identifying and dealing with such problems is a significant part of the program manager work".’
The goal of program management is to create synergy between different business processes
Among the potential complications —there is the high level of responsibility, the high cost of failure:
"The disadvantage of any step up is an increase of the policies number and procedures around. The greater number of people you will contact in your the work, the more interests you can see but the more things you should take into account. However, this can be seen not as a disadvantage, but as a big area for growth."
The ability of program Manager to influence the result of the program at the beginning is great but it decreases with time, while the required effort is high and constant during the entire time of the program.