What Is Program Management

Program management is the process of managing several related projects, with the intention of improving performance and collecting benefits.

Welcome to the beginner guide to program management – where we’ll take you on a journey to unlock the secrets of managing multiple projects like a pro.

Picture this – you’re running a marathon, but instead of just one race, you’re running multiple marathons at the same time, each with its own set of rules, and a unique finish line. 

Sound overwhelming? 

That’s where program management comes in – it’s the ultimate tool for managing multiple projects and ensuring they all cross the finish line together, in perfect harmony.

In this post, you’ll learn about the role of a program manager, the benefits of using program management, and some best practices for implementing it in your organization.

So, whether you’re a project manager, a team lead or just someone looking to get ahead in their career, this post is for you. 

Let’s start with the basic thing:

What Is a Program and Why Program Management?

A program is a coordinated group of related projects that can be executed simultaneously and share resources, activities, and stakeholders.

“… A program is a group of related projects managed in a coordinated manner to obtain benefits not available from managing them individually. Program management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to meet program requirements. Organizations with mature program management are far more successful than those without it, according to our research…” – Project Management Institute

In program management, multiple related projects are executed and controlled strategically. The program manager must be an integral part of the organization’s strategic business.

By sharing resources, costs, and other project activities, it aims to drive benefits to the entire program at the same time and bring value and benefits to the organization.

In managing related projects simultaneously, synergies are possible that would not be possible if each project were managed separately. 

“… Program management is defined as the application of knowledge, skills, and principles to a program to achieve the program objectives and to obtain benefits and control not available by managing program components individually. Program management involves the alignment of program components to ensure that program goals are achieved and program benefits are optimally delivered. Program management is performed by a program manager who is authorized by the organization to lead the team(s) responsible for achieving program goals and objectives…” The Standard for Program Management, PMI

Due to the broader focus, it requires more complex management than managing an individual project.

While programs are created from a high-level business perspective, projects are much more detailed. 

According to the PMBOK® Guide, the definition of a project is “a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique project service or result.” Projects are temporary and close down on the completion of the work they were chartered to deliver.

The definition of a program given in The Standard for Program Management is “a group of related projects managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits and control not available from managing them individually. Programs may contain elements of work outside of the scope of the discrete projects in the program.

In program management, the scope of the program is much broader and more adjustable, whereas, in project management, the deliverables define the scope.  

Project management and program management (as practised by program and project managers) are also collaborative. 

In order to achieve program goals and deliver program benefits, program and project managers work together. 

Program strategies and high-level plans are used by program managers to define and authorize projects that will be overseen by project managers. 

It is through the outputs and outcomes of project management that the strategic direction of a program and its components can be reaffirmed or adapted. 

It is the responsibility of program and project managers to enable the delivery of benefits that the organization desires or requires for the organization.

7 Reasons to Learn Project Management Skills

Increased efficiency: Program management skills help to coordinate and manage multiple projects effectively, leading to increased efficiency and productivity.

Better communication: Program management promotes better communication and collaboration among team members, improving the overall project outcome.

Reduced costs: Program management helps to identify and mitigate risks, which can lead to reduced costs and increased savings for the organization.

Improved project outcomes: Program management ensures that all projects are aligned and working towards a common goal, leading to improved project outcomes.

Better risk management: Program management provides a systematic approach to identifying and managing risks, which can lead to fewer delays and unexpected issues.

Career advancement: Program management skills are highly sought after in today’s job market and can lead to career advancement opportunities.

Better alignment with strategic goals: Program management helps to align projects with the organization’s strategic goals, ensuring that resources are used effectively and efficiently.

In conclusion, program management is a powerful tool for managing multiple projects and achieving a common goal or objective. 

By understanding the role of a program manager, the benefits of using program management, and implementing best practices, organizations can effectively coordinate and manage their projects to ensure successful completion.

We hope this post has given you a better understanding of what program management is, and how it can be used to improve your organization’s project management process. 

Remember, program management is not only about managing multiple projects but also about creating a cohesive and organized system, where all the pieces work together to achieve a common goal.

Thank you for joining us on this journey, and we hope you will join us again for our next blog post. 

Happy program managing!

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