The term program manager is one that has been appearing more and more frequently in recent years as this role is adopted in an increasing number of organizations. This article will attempt to define what the role of a program manager is by looking at the typical tasks one might undertake day-to-day.
At a high level, a program manager is essentially someone who coordinates multiple projects towards the same goal. By coordinating the group of projects as a group the aim is to realize benefits which would not have been realized otherwise.
To achieve this the most important things a program must do are as follows:
1. They must manage dependencies between the different projects. A dependency exists when one project is waiting on a task in another project to be complete before a task in its project can start. By efficiently managing dependencies, or making trade-offs where necessary, they aim to ensure that their programs run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
2. They must manage benefits. A benefit is something positive the organization gets for running the program. Typically, this will be a financial, but it could be any other type of benefit, for example, strategic. The program manager must structure the projects which make up the program in such a way to maximize the benefits to the organization. This will mean for example going for early wins quickly.
3. The must manage communication. At all times they must ensure communication flows smoothly to those who need to know. This will comprise of communication upwards to the management team, and down to the individual project teams. Communication will also need to go to other important stakeholders regularly.
4. They must manage risks. Program managers must keep a keen eye on risks ensuring that thy are managed in such a way so as they do not adversely affect the program. At a minimum they must ensure the management team is aware of the key risks. They will also look at risks and think about how they can potentially turn them around and into opportunities.
5. The must manage the program business case. The business case the justification for the program and the reason the program was started in the first place. At all times they must ensure the program is viable and moving towards its goal, whether it is financial or strategic.
6. They must manage stakeholders. They must ensure that the win conditions of key stakeholders are being met by the program. This will also help the program manager gain the assistance of important stakeholders such as departmental heads who need to be on side in order to get things done and make the program a success.
Those are most important things which a program manager will do on a day-to-day basis. Essentially they are drying to do whatever is necessary to best realise the benefits to the organization.
Original Author : Arval Deco
Courtesy : http://EzineArticles.com/6319979