In larger organizations, they can be vastly different from one another. Program managers do not often have this leverage or luxury, since they are usually dealing with several projects that are unfolding in different stages with a lag between when the work is complete and the business impact becomes clear. Now that we have looked at the common aspects shared by both project management and program management, we can shift our focus and look at the differences. In a sense, project managers are like labor-and-delivery nurses: They are there for a crucial, but limited period of time, with very concrete goals. Let us start unpacking project management vs program management by highlighting core similarities and the key differences. This may come as a surprise to those who believe that all projects are temporary, and all programs are ongoing (i.e. 3 Keys to Becoming an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. The program manager acts as the big-picture person, the one responsible for the flow charts, the “if this piece moves, these other pieces will be affected” person. Change Management Since projects focus on achieving specific deliverables, the goal is typically to minimize change and adhere to the plan (with this in mind, some projects can go off-the-rails and significant change is unavoidable). They involve a degree of uncertainty. According to the PMBOK Guide, “A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.”So, we can say that the nature of a project is temporary, i.e., once the project achieves its objective it exists no more, and the objective of a project is to create a unique product, or develop a system to provide you any service or is the result of any task.For instance, assuming, you have been given a project to set up a call … • Narrower in scope, taking you deep into the weeds. Accelerate speed, agility and collaboration to meet business goals. Stakeholder Management While both project management and program management involve stakeholder management, there is typically a significant difference between them that is, unfortunately, not lost on program managers who sometimes wish they were a project manager (or anything else for that matter!). In program management, there is generally more tolerance and flexibility with respect to change, since the aim is to realize business benefits. Picking good leaders is important for program managers. Typically, one or several strategic objectives are delegated to a program, and the program is tasked to deliver the benefits associated with the strategic objectives. as long as things are being done on time and in budget, then there is no reason for stakeholders to be unduly alarmed). The key trifecta—and balancing act—of the project manager is time, budget and quality. It’s the project manager’s job to constantly weigh those three forces. 190 Prospect Avenue Elmhurst, Illinois 60126. The project manager focuses on how to meet the deadline, come in under budget and minimize risk, all while maximizing quality. The program management function is responsible for the delivery of the whole product to the customer and for achievement of the intended Process Improvement Defined: Process Improvement is the examination of a business process in order to better meet customer & quality requirements. This is why articles, videos, courses and books on project management best practices and program management best practices wisely spend a considerable amount of time focusing on risk management. The focus is on the operational elements of a project. Program Management vs. Project Management Program management is strategic in nature, while project management is tactical in nature. The Bottom Line The above discussion on project management vs. program management provides a solid foundation of the similarities and differences. • Balances time, effort and finances to arrive at the best quality on deadline and under budget. Project goals are normally short-term. Let us start unpacking project management vs. program management by highlighting these core similarities, and then we can focus on the key differences. They are temporary. It’s common for people to confuse product managers and project managers — even within industries, like software, that employ both. • Has a definite end date (one segment of the overall program). Simply put, stakeholder management in a program management context is generally much more difficult than it is in project management, because many — and sometimes all – of the business benefits will be realized in the future. The program manager sets the vision, which is especially important when he or she is overseeing several projects at once. Portfolio Managers While the project manager is managing multiple tasks within a project, the program manager is coordinating between related projects within a program, in order to determine which projects are working towards the same or similar goals, and which may be dependent upon others. Program Management vs Project Management: 5 Critical Differences 1. The second is that there is a significant amount of overlap in project management and program management. But the roles are distinct, with different responsibilities and processes. Program management encompasses multiple projects, whereas project management drills down to the smallest details of a specific initiative. Projects focus on time and budget and Programs focus on ROI and value: The primary objective of a … To learn more, review our, Portfolio and Project Management (PPM) software, Clarizen now positioned by Forrester Research as a leader in its “Enterprise Collaborative Work Management Wave”, How to become a freelance project manager. The key difference is in the focus of the management effort; project management is focused on creating a deliverable as efficiently as possible, program management is focused on maximizing the benefits realized by the organization. A program tends to have greater levels of uncertainty. Program vs. And the better the organization, the more efficient the project or program. Program Management shares an emphasis on delivery with Project Management but is looking at it more holistically in terms of creating an efficient delivery pipeline for multiple projects, rather than delivering a single project. With this being said, many programs do indeed last for years (or even decades). For example, an organization may implement a program that is designed to measurably and sustainably increase Net Promoter Score (NPS). The first is that many professionals work on both projects and programs – if not necessarily simultaneously, then concurrently (e.g. We’ll teach you the tools and techniques you need to oversee a project: budgeting and monitoring, communications and team building, risk management and decision making. Likewise, if the budget is cut, the timeline may be pushed out, or, again, quality may be sacrificed. Deadlines. When these projects come to an end – ideally after having achieved their intended outcome – then the program will also come to end. Programs usually span a far greater duration than a project. Project management has a definite timeline, with a defined outcome that determines the end date. Program management is entirely cross-functional, while project management focuses on a single function, or limited cross-functional alignment at best. They are aligned with strategic organizational priorities, such as increase brand awareness in the marketplace, increase the speed of software development, improve customer experience, reduce customer churn, etc. The fundamental objective of program management is to realize business outcomes. Program management. They sound similar, and they are complementary. Because the project manager oversees a large portion of the operation, they will have more direct contact with the client, who will want to know how construction is going as well as other things, such as … Project management involves more direct contact with the client. Program management is similar to running a division of an organization. Part-Time MBA vs Full-Time MBA: What’s the Difference? It's the management of a set of objectives that may continue indefinitely and include a long sequence of projects. Program management involves multiple projects, as mentioned earlier. There are a couple of reasons for this ongoing confusion. Additionally, program and portfolio management are more strategic processes. Programs are Ongoing, Projects End • Broader in scope; emphasis is on the big picture. So if the project must be speeded up, budget or quality may need to be sacrificed; that decision is the burden of the project manager. Scope As noted above in the section about similarities in project management vs. program management similarities, projects are singular in the sense that they have a definitive scope: there is a clear start date, an anticipated end date, and specific deliverables that should be achieved by following a series of plans (the word “should” here is used, because most projects deviate from initial expectations – and as discussed by the Project Management Institute, quite a number of them fail to some degree). Is there any real difference between PROGRAMManagement and PROJECT Management? The program management definition varies according to the source; however, the Project Management Institute (PMI) defines it as “a group of related projects managed in a coordinated manner to obtain benefits not available from managing them individually.” Because of this, it is easy to grasp why effective and consistent stakeholder management is seen as a crucially important program management process. It’s a more tactical role, and sometimes a more technical one, than program management. In these organizations, a program manager’s role is essentially a higher-level variation of a project manager’s role, with fewer tactical or administrative tasks, but with responsibility for the success of the program as a whole. Program Management vs. Project Management: What’s the Difference? https://www.projectmanager.com/training/the-difference-between-a-program-manager-and-a-project-manager, https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/understanding-difference-programs-versus-projects-6896, https://www.wrike.com/project-management-guide/faq/what-is-program-management-vs-project-management, 5 Key Concepts to Agile Project Management. Objective The fundamental objective of project management — and basically, the end-all-and-be-all of what is project management all about – is to complete all tasks on time and within budget. Program management, on the other hand, is the act of creating and managing multiple projects, most of the projects are usually related to one another. A project is a scheduled undertaking for the purpose of creating a product or service. Project Management is the application of knowledge and expertise to the development of Project Scope and a Project Plan, which meets or exceeds stakeholder requirements. The biggest difference when it comes to program management vs project management is the number of projects. Home » Blog » Program Management vs. Project Management: What’s the Difference? Duration Also as noted above in the section on similarities in project management vs. program management, both types of initiatives are temporary. Project management involves managing the tasks for each project individually, and ensuring they are completed on time and on budget. However, typically projects are shorter-term endeavors, while programs are typically longer-term endeavors. A program manager manages multiple projects, and sometimes multiple programs while a project manager manages the teams responsible for fulfilling the project and achieving its deliverables. A project is defined as unique, in that it is not a recurring operation, and finite, in that it has both a beginning and an end. Program Management Vs. Project Management. Learn why Clarizen is the right choice to engage your workforce and accelerate your business. after completing a project, they apply their talents to a program). However, this is because the underlying projects continue in one form or another. They rely on technology-led tools, such as. Read the latest announcements and testing info. In today's program management environment, a clear understanding of roles, responsibilities, tools, techniques and best practices is absolutely essential for a successful transition from project management to program management. Alternatively, program management is an approach to managing multiple projects that are part of a cohesive, connected strategy. Powerful project and portfolio management for today’s global enterprise. Program management manages the set of projects or a portfolio of projects headed by a program manager. While it is true that projects can— and often do – involve a heightened degree of uncertainty compared to programs, the fact is that both are inherently risky. endless). There’s no denying a good project management system is the backbone of a neater, more organized project. This might seem like... 2. The following table narrates other major differences between program and project management. In fact, programs are composed of multiple projects and managed in a coordinated manner. In smaller businesses, program management and project management may be effectively indistinguishable. However, as noted earlier both project deliverables and program benefits must be aligned with strategic organizational priorities. The key trifecta—and balancing act—of the project manager is time, budget and quality. Project Management vs. Essentially, there are four fundamental areas that are common to project management and program management: Project Management vs. Since the program manager focuses on strategy and implementation, he or she does a lot of delegating. The core areas of distinction are: scope, duration, objective, change management, and stakeholder management. Program management vs project management has differences. Program Management: Differences. If you are frustrated with trying to clearly understand the differences between project management vs. program management, then be assured you are not alone. Program management is mapping out and defining the list of dependent projects that need to be completed to reach an overall goal. 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