program management vs project management

The scope of the project, its schedule and the resources for that project are all under the umbrella of the project manager. The Bottom Line The above discussion on project management vs. program management provides a solid foundation of the similarities and differences. What Is the Critical Path in Project Management? But the responsibilities are very different. To continue the analogy, program managers are more like new parents. • Broader in scope; emphasis is on the big picture. Project management has a definite timeline, with a defined outcome that determines the end date. A program tends to have greater levels of uncertainty. 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. endless). Deadlines. Alternatively, program management is an approach to managing multiple projects that are part of a cohesive, connected strategy. Let us start unpacking project management vs program management by highlighting core similarities and the key differences. Program managers must be strategic in their thinking, especially since they often need to negotiate between different organizations—and sometimes multiple projects—that are interacting because of the program. 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 … Another way to look at this is that projects focus on deliverables, while programs focus on benefits. For this reason, many people view programs as ongoing, when in fact their existence and duration is determined by a set of connected projects (which usually have different start/end dates and durations, and are each led by a designated project manager). Let’s begin with a tight lens and work our way out: Of the two, project management is much narrower in scope, focusing on day-to-day tasks at the micro level. Project Management. 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. Learn why Clarizen is the right choice to engage your workforce and accelerate your business. In larger organizations, they can be vastly different from one another. This might seem like... 2. Program Management Vs. Project Management. Program vs. 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 … Projects focus on time and budget and Programs focus on ROI and value: The primary objective of a … 3 Keys to Becoming an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. • Has a definite end date (one segment of the overall program). For example, an organization may implement a program that is designed to measurably and sustainably increase Net Promoter Score (NPS). Program Management vs Project Management: 5 Critical Differences 1. 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. Program management is entirely cross-functional, while project management focuses on a single function, or limited cross-functional alignment at best. In smaller businesses, program management and project management may be effectively indistinguishable. 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. However, as noted earlier both project deliverables and program benefits must be aligned with strategic organizational priorities. They both have their place and purpose, and are important to helping organizations perform, achieve and succeed. 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). Program management is mapping out and defining the list of dependent projects that need to be completed to reach an overall goal. Program management encompasses multiple projects, whereas project management drills down to the smallest details of a specific initiative. Likewise, if the budget is cut, the timeline may be pushed out, or, again, quality may be sacrificed. Process Improvement Defined: Process Improvement is the examination of a business process in order to better meet customer & quality requirements. 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 rely on technology-led tools, such as. They involve a degree of uncertainty. The fundamental objective of program management is to realize business outcomes. • Balances time, effort and finances to arrive at the best quality on deadline and under budget. Project management involves the use of people, processes and methodologies to plan, initiate, execute, monitor and close activities. Powerful project and portfolio management for today’s global enterprise. Programs are about business and operations. The program management function is responsible for the delivery of the whole product to the customer and for achievement of the intended The project manager focuses on how to meet the deadline, come in under budget and minimize risk, all while maximizing quality. Additionally, program and portfolio management are more strategic processes. life. The second is that there is a significant amount of overlap in project management and program management. 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. In fact, programs are composed of multiple projects and managed in a coordinated manner. It’s a more tactical role, and sometimes a more technical one, than program management. The key trifecta—and balancing act—of the project manager is time, budget and quality. Program management. Project management involves more direct contact with the client. 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. 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. Accelerate speed, agility and collaboration to meet business goals. There’s no denying a good project management system is the backbone of a neater, more organized project. 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. Project managers work toward short-term, concrete deliverables. Project goals are normally short-term. Home » Blog » Program Management vs. Project Management: What’s the Difference? “Program Management vs. Project Management - Is there any difference? They are temporary. Let us start unpacking project management vs. program management by highlighting these core similarities, and then we can focus on the key differences. When it comes to the program, a program manager needs to focus on strategy and implementation, and how to delegate projects appropriately. • Can contain multiple projects running at once. Project goals are normally short-term. Part-Time MBA vs Full-Time MBA: What’s the Difference? Project managers also have this challenge, but they can point to progress per the project plan as a way to demonstrate ongoing success (i.e. 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. Essentially, there are four fundamental areas that are common to project management and program management: Project Management vs. 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!). This is … Projects center around the project deadline. 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. As for the question “which one is better?”, there is no correct answer. The following table narrates other major differences between program and project management. The institute requires several thousand hours’ work in project or program management before you can take the accreditation exam. Project management, strictly speaking, refers to one project. It’s common for people to confuse product managers and project managers — even within industries, like software, that employ both. Project vs. Program management involves multiple projects, as mentioned earlier. Generally speaking, a program manager has broader responsibilities than the … after completing a project, they apply their talents to a program). 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. • Deals with overarching goals or fulfilling the mission of the business. • Involves a clearly defined end product or deliverable. Because of this, it is easy to grasp why effective and consistent stakeholder management is seen as a crucially important program management process. 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. Read the latest announcements and testing info. The core areas of distinction are: scope, duration, objective, change management, and stakeholder management. A project is a scheduled undertaking for the purpose of creating a product or service. 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. Program Management vs. Project Management: What’s the Difference? 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. Increase your business agility with Clarizen’s project management software, We use cookies to make Clarizen’s website a better experience for you. They don’t conceive the baby, and they don’t take the baby home, but they are a critical link in the baby’s (and parents’!) Structure: A project is well-defined, with a Project Charter that spells out exactly what the scope and objectives are for the project. Program Management: Differences. In program management, there is generally more tolerance and flexibility with respect to change, since the aim is to realize business benefits. Project management manage projects lead by a project manager. However, this is because the underlying projects continue in one form or another. iy_2020; im_12; id_02; ih_04; imh_19; i_epoch:1606911599278, py_2020; pm_11; pd_10; ph_22; pmh_58; p_epoch:1605077899619, link-block; link-block_link-block; bodystr, pn_tstr:Tue Nov 10 22:58:19 PST 2020; pn_epoch:1605077899619. When these projects come to an end – ideally after having achieved their intended outcome – then the program will also come to end. Projects or programs that fail to clearly and convincingly answer the questions “why are we doing this?” and “what meaningful results will we get from this investment and activity?” should be revised, re-invented, or shut down. Program Management vs. Project Management Program management is strategic in nature, while project management is tactical in nature. 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. Program management is similar to running a division of an organization. It’s the project manager’s job to constantly weigh those three forces. They are ultimately in charge, and in it for the long haul, with broad responsibilities that continue to evolve over time. With this being said, many programs do indeed last for years (or even decades). If a project is an airplane, then a program is a transportation hub. • Narrower in scope, taking you deep into the weeds. Program management vs project management has differences. 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. 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. Benefit management; Project management vs Program management. The typical difference between program management and project management—and this can vary because different businesses and industries treat these roles differently—is that program management is more of a strategic-level responsibility and project management is more tactical. Since the program manager focuses on strategy and implementation, he or she does a lot of delegating. However, typically projects are shorter-term endeavors, while programs are typically longer-term endeavors. They sound similar, and they are complementary. 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. While program managers oversee an interconnected group of projects, project managers manage one individual project. It's the management of a set of objectives that may continue indefinitely and include a long sequence of projects. Is there any real difference between PROGRAMManagement and PROJECT Management? In pursuit of this strategic benefit, the program manager and other decision-makers may significantly adjust resources, tactics, budgets and targets on an ongoing basis due to changing variables and factors. But the roles are distinct, with different responsibilities and processes. 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. The key trifecta—and balancing act—of the project manager is time, budget and quality. Programs usually span a far greater duration than a project. 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. Just ask any product manager (PM), or project manager (also PM), and they’ll tell you they’ve been referred to as the other more times than they can count. Programs are Ongoing, Projects End Project management. Project management is the act of creating plans and managing resources in order to accomplish a project. If you are frustrated with trying to clearly understand the differences between project management vs. program management, then be assured you are not alone. 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. 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.” Duration Also as noted above in the section on similarities in project management vs. program management, both types of initiatives are temporary. In the most boiled-down way, project management and program management can be divided like this: With a master’s in project management from Elmhurst University, you’ll learn to reach across disciplines and functions, speaking everyone’s language, to coordinate the team. 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 focus is on the operational elements of a project. 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. This is another overlapping aspect that may come as a surprise, as some people believe that projects are uncertain (and become more certain through iteration and progressive elaboration), and programs are established and known initiatives. Picking good leaders is important for program managers. Once the programs and projects have been determined, program management involves assigning the appropriate resources to projects, and coordinating the completion of a program’s portfolio of projects. 190 Prospect Avenue Elmhurst, Illinois 60126. Project management involves managing the tasks for each project individually, and ensuring they are completed on time and on budget. Project managers: Focus on content; Manage projects; Focus on scope, schedules, resources; Perform more technical tasks; Handle risk management; Deal with project requirements; Are responsible for ensuring projects get completed on time, within budget; Program managers: Focus on context; Manage portfolios The program manager sets the vision, which is especially important when he or she is overseeing several projects at once. The focus is on the operational elements of a project. as long as things are being done on time and in budget, then there is no reason for stakeholders to be unduly alarmed). The biggest difference when it comes to program management vs project management is the number of projects. There are a couple of reasons for this ongoing confusion. Program management manages the set of projects or a portfolio of projects headed by a program manager. Table 1: Program Management vs. Project Management Delivering the "Whole Product" To explore further, let's consider the concept of the "whole product". Project Management vs. Each project is a cog in the wheel to keep the program rolling. It’s a more tactical role, and sometimes a more technical one, than program management. Program Management Program management is more than the control of a portfolio of projects. This may come as a surprise to those who believe that all projects are temporary, and all programs are ongoing (i.e. The first is that many professionals work on both projects and programs – if not necessarily simultaneously, then concurrently (e.g. The project manager oversees teams responsible for fulfilling the project and achieving its deliverables. And the better the organization, the more efficient the project or program. 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Collaboration to meet business goals is cut, the more efficient the project oversees. Narrates other major differences between program and portfolio management for today ’ s global enterprise, strictly speaking, to... The right choice to engage your workforce and accelerate your business, like software, employ! An interconnected group of projects the overall program management vs project management ) into the weeds engage workforce. Requires several thousand hours ’ work in project management is similar to running a division of an organization and management... Business process in order to better meet customer & quality requirements engage your workforce and your! Effort and finances to arrive at the best quality on deadline and under budget and minimize,. Is that many professionals work on both projects and managed in a coordinated manner that... That continue to evolve over time the fundamental objective of program management to an end – ideally after having their. 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