The programme manager can be thought of as a “super” project manager. The role is mainly operational since this person is responsible for planning and governance and for overseeing the successful delivery of the programme’s output/product.
Although knowledge of the business is important, there is more stress on his or her programme management skills. The program manager must have practical experience of having been a project manger for large and complex initiatives. The programme manager often manages multiple projects at any point in time with several project managers reporting.
Responsibilities of the programme manager
- Daily programme management throughout the programme life cycle;
- Defining the programme governance (controls);
- Planning the overall program and monitoring the progress;
- Managing the programme’s budget;
- Managing risks and issues and taking corrective measurements;
- Coordinating the projects and their interdependencies;
- Managing and utilizing resources across projects;
- Managing stakeholders’ communication;
- Aligning the deliverables (outputs) to the program’s “outcome” with the aid of the business change manager; and
- Managing the main programme documentations such as the program initiation document.
Skills and attributes of the programme manager
The programme manager must have strong practical experience in project management, which was gained through managing large and complex projects. He or she must have the following:
- Good knowledge and handling of project and programme management methodology and techniques;
- Good understanding of the wider objectives of the program;
- Ability to work positively with the wide range of individuals involved in programme management;
- Strong leadership and management skills;
- Good knowledge of budgeting and resource allocation procedures; and
- The ability to find innovative ways to resolve problems.