Project Manager vs. Program Manager
If you’re looking to complete a project from conception through delivery, then you’ll need a Project Manager. If you need to start or improve an existing set of projects or processes, a Program Manager is an ideal fit.
Many companies actually need both Project Management and Program Management skills, but there are distinct differences between these two positions.
A Project Manager will focus on deliverables, dollars and deadlines while setting timeframes, tracking milestones and reporting on progress with a specific start and end. Other attributes include:
Focuses on content
Managers a single or several projects
Tactile for overall success
Maintains scopes, schedules and deliverables
Monthly and daily company value
Maximizes budget and completes projects
Project Manager Responsibilities
Project Managers use principles and procedures to lead projects from conception through delivery of an outcome such as an application, event, product or service. This can include defining the project goals, intake and management of requirements, handling the breakdown and scheduling of tasks, creating the budget along with cost management, assigning and tracking project resources and communicating the project status against milestones.
Project scoping, scheduling and approvals
Status reporting to team members and stakeholders
Program Manager knows the importance of maintaining and sustaining value for clients and their outcomes while often supporting long term strategic initiatives.
Focuses on context then content
Manages several projects or programs
Strategic for overall success
Maintains relationships and strategic changes
Yearly and quarterly stakeholder value
Maximizes ROI and adds value for program
Program Manager Responsibilities
The role of the Program Manager varies depending on the organization. Some organizations emphasize the business aspects of the role. Others focus on IT or technology and highlight specific technical and project management qualifications. Program managers lead the end-to-end charge of the cross-functional program, from shaping the approach to delivery of the desired outcomes. Often reporting into an Enterprise PMO or Strategic Planning Office, Program Managers hold responsibilities for managing strategic initiatives that span departments and business units.
Prioritizing and funding initiatives
Defining a cross-organizational roadmap
Ensuring resource capacity and availability
Managing interdependencies between projects
Ensuring that program-level goals are achieved