Program Management is where a number of individual projects are brought together in an umbrella. This grouping occurs because the projects are linked through a common governing strategic objective. By creating a joint program to manage multiple projects, easier and more effective oversight is achieved, improved teamwork results, and stakeholders have greater transparency across the program as a whole.
Broadly speaking, tasking and communication across all-inclusive projects is better and serves both tactical and strategic planning more productively. Conceptually, a uniform level of governance can be administered across a whole swathe of individual projects, thus creating a new category for it - Program management.
The Program Manager is positioned more strategically above the more finite role of the Project Manager and is therefore in charge of the program management. Their remit typically encapsulates multiple single projects so that that person is able to service a strategic plan, adhere to schedules, report to stakeholders, assess projects as they progress, provide counsel to project managers, and quality assurance project planning. With the Program Manager being sat in a more strategic perch, their view is elevated so that they may assess interrelated projects and objectives and determine how they impact the wider business.
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Ultimately, as a business expands, the role of Program Manager tends to be seen as less of extravagance and more as a necessity as the number of products and projects increases. In this case, business objectives - and therefore planning - become more complex and involved.
Due to the strategic positioning of Program Management, it is common for financial decisions to be made at this level. In doing so, this also eradicates the need for project managers to pitch for individual funding or resource allocations. Furthermore, when an organization launches a big initiative or needs to change commercial direction, having comprehensive program management in place is vital.