Are you born with the ability to lead? Do you have strong communication abilities and enjoy solving problems? Then a career as a program manager could be in your future! Program manager jobs are gratifying and in-demand positions in which you’ll help your organisation’s vision, strategy, and outcomes achieve long-term value.
Who is a program manager?
Program managers make sure wider corporate objectives are met. They coordinate efforts across many projects without overseeing them personally. Rather, they oversee the main program, paying close attention to program strategy, project delegation, and execution. This manager is in charge of ensuring that all team members understand how to collaborate and coordinate their efforts in order to achieve a greater goal.
Program managers assist organisations in staying on track, within budget, and ultimately on a path of growth and success.
In many businesses, achieving a single broad, overarching aim necessitates the completion of several smaller projects. It can be difficult to keep these projects organised when they are all interconnected. Here’s where a program manager comes in handy.
Responsibilities of a program manager are; but not limited to:
- Planning and structuring the program, as well as proactively monitoring its progress, addressing challenges, and taking appropriate remedial action are all tasks that must be completed.
- Establishing the program’s governing structures
- Providing effective quality assurance and the program’s overall integrity – focusing both internally on the program’s internal consistency and externally on its coherence with infrastructure planning, interactions with other programs, and corporate, technical, and specialist standards.
- On behalf of the SRO, managing the program’s budget and tracking expenditures and costs against delivered and realised benefits as the program proceeds.
- Assisting in the appointment of people to project teams
- Ensuring that new products or services from projects are delivered to an acceptable degree of quality, on schedule and on budget, in compliance with the programme plan and program governance processes.
- Ensuring proper allocation of shared resources and expertise across all of the program’s individual projects.
- Coordinating contributions from third parties to the program
- Manages communication with all stakeholders.
- Managing project dependencies as well as project interfaces
- Managing the program’s risks to ensure its success.
- Assisting with the transition to the new business as usual position with the help of the business change manager or an equivalent.
- Reporting on the program’s progress at regular intervals to the SRO or program director.
Profession Outlook for Program Manager Jobs
Program managers might operate in a variety of businesses. Some program managers work in the fields of technology and healthcare, while others work in the fields of education and nonprofits.
In 2022, the average yearly income for a program manager will be $138,000. The highest ten percent of earners earn more than $178,000, while the bottom ten percent earn slightly under $100,000. A program manager’s job might be financially beneficial.
Program manager jobs are predicted to rise by 9% between 2020 and 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than 906,000 new employment will be created as a result of this.
Program Manager Jobs vs Project Manager Jobs
The job description for a program manager includes designing a program’s objectives and strategy as well as examining how it will affect their department, business, or organisation. A program manager is responsible for defining and overseeing the projects necessary to achieve the a program’s objectives. That is how program management differs from project management.
Program managers guide projects and project managers. Project manager job descriptions, on the other hand, are focused on managing particular projects within a program. A program manager is similar to an architect who prepares the blueprint for a program before delegating project execution to one or more project managers.
Skills for Success on Program Manager Jobs
In the Big Picture Appraisal and Delivery of the Vision
The idea of program managers selling anything makes most of them shudder! Successful program managers do require this key competence. After all, not everyone will agree that the program is significant, at least not to the degree that the program manager believes it is. As a result, the program manager must constantly and consistently pitch the program. In addition to designing the program’s vision and mission statement, he must be good at selling the program’s vision and benefits to diverse stakeholders.
Influencing and Negotiating
It’s all about getting what you want and need for the program through persuasion and negotiation. The goal is to get individuals to say “yes.” Negotiation and tradeoffs influence people’s behaviour. It’s a skill that takes years of practice to master. Programs work in a political context. Hence, a program manager who is politically astute and engages in internal politicking is most effective.
Excellent Analytical Capabilities
Most projects create huge amounts of financial, statistical, metric, and other data, the program manager must be able to gather and integrate information, distil and synthesise needs, and explain program conclusions promptly and thoroughly. Although a program manager in charge of a significant effort does not need the formidable analytical talents of, say, Warren Buffet, any program manager in charge of a major endeavour must be exceptionally knowledgeable in this area. Executives nowadays seek experts who make “fact-based” decisions rather than those who “fire from the hip.”
Teamwork and Leadership
Without this vital skill, no list of key skills would be complete. Although we may grow tired of hearing and reading about the importance of such skills, the truth is that they are more necessary now than ever. Every one of our clients expresses the difficulty in finding qualified program managers; their programs are becoming more sophisticated; and the virtual nature of work necessitates experienced program managers who can work across cultures. As a result, the capacity to establish connections and empower team members are more vital to overall success.
Communication is a constant on lists like this, just like leadership and teambuilding; however, we’re not simply talking about being able to give a lucid, cohesive presentation. In today’s always-connected society, program managers must aspire to be like Ronald Reagan. President Ronald Reagan, dubbed the “Great Communicator,” had an unusual ability to engage with people from all walks of life and make his point in a plain manner. Communication skills, such as the ability to communicate with stakeholders, explain priorities and restrictions, and communicate effectively utilising various methods, are essential for any program manager’s success.
If the idea of program management excites you, trust me it is high time you started applying to program manager jobs.