Project Management vs Program Management: A Closer Look

Project management vs Program Management are two terms that are frequently used together, but they reflect different fields within the field of organizational management. 

Therefore, Project management jobs involve careful preparation, effective execution, and completing a task within a specified time frame and budget, while Program Management is responsible for managing related projects that are aligned with organizational objectives.

For businesses looking for efficiency and effectiveness, it’s essential that they understand the differences between these roles. Hence, in this article we will discuss Project Management vs Program Management. 

Make sure to check: Agile Methodology in Project Management: Ways to Implement it!

Project Management vs Program Management

Project management involves providing incremental value by combining products and deliverables with strategic planning. Hence, project managers must strategize in order to meet initial goals, track progress, allocate resources, manage risks, and communicate effectively. 

Therefore, Program management is responsible for several related projects within long-running, possibly permanent programs that are linked to strategic initiatives. These programs remain throughout organizational change, helping to achieve multiple goals by delivering specific components of the larger strategic effort.

Project Manager Responsibilities

These are the following responsibilities of project manager:

  • Plan and execute the project concept
  • Create and secure your desired team
  • Keep track of project progress as well as establish deadlines
  • Resolve any issues that arise
  • Management of money
  • Maintain stakeholder satisfaction
  • Assess the success of the project
  • Team up to achieve a common goal
  • Documentation and report management
  • Coordination with clients

Program Manager Responsibilities

These are the following responsibilities of program manager:

  • Assess the portfolio’s current state
  • Control risks
  • Handling finances and assets in collaboration with the project manager
  • Maintaining the program’s core elements, which stem from team charters and other establishing documents
  • Engage stakeholders to gain an understanding of the wider context that supports goals
  • Refine the business model
  • Examines results to identify areas for enhancement in systems, processes, or outcomes

Project Management vs Program Management: Required Skills

Project Management Skills

In Project Management the project manager must possess the following skills: 

  • Accountability
  • Clear Communication
  • Adaptability
  • Budget Management
  • Decisiveness
  • Creativity
  • Delegation
  • Forecasting
  • Problem Solving
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Leadership
  • Organization
  • Management
  • Stress Management
  • Time Management

Program Management Skills

The program manager must possess the following skills: 

  • Leadership and management
  • Project Management
  • Operations or business knowledge
  • Decision-making skills
  • Critical thinking 
  • Strong communication 
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Data Analysis
  • Budgeting and accounting

Project Management vs Program Management Salaries

Here is the annually average salary of project manager and program manager:

Project Management and Program Management Certifications

1. Project Management Professional (PMP): 

Acquiring the PMP certification, administered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), globally validates your project management expertise, making it the most widely recognized certification.

2. Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM): 

The CAPM, also from PMI, is tailored for those aspiring to secure entry-level project management roles, providing a foundational certification to kickstart a project management career.

3. Google Project Management: 

Professional Certificate: Available on Coursera, this Google program is a six-month or less certificate course aimed at preparing individuals for entry-level project management positions, offering practical skills and knowledge.

4. Scrum Master Certifications: 

Becoming a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) or Professional Scrum Master through various certification programs solidifies your expertise in Scrum methodologies, crucial for effective agile project management.

5. Program Management Professional (PgMP): 

For experienced program management professionals, the PgMP certification by PMI is tailored to enhance skills and validate expertise in handling complex program management responsibilities.

You may also check: Product Management vs Project Management: Which Earns More?

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What exactly is project management?

ANS: Project management includes the planning, execution, and completion of individual projects in order to achieve specific goals within a specified time frame.

2. What exactly is program management?

ANS: Program management is concerned with the coordination and management of multiple interconnected projects in order to achieve strategic objectives and benefits.

3. Are the terms project management and program management comparable?

ANS: No, they are separate fields with different scopes and objectives.

4. Is a program manager superior to a project manager?

ANS: Program managers typically have more managerial responsibilities than project managers because they may manage multiple projects.

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