I recently brought my little red sports car (a 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder which I named Boris) into the shop for repairs. Boris had been sitting in my garage for almost five years. He needed extensive repairs and money was in short supply. I know you’re asking, “what’s this have to do with program and project management?”, so let me continue.
I’ll start with the difference between the two. A program manager manages multiple projects, and sometimes multiple programs having multiple projects. A project manager manages the deliverables and the team responsible for fulfilling the project. In other terms, program managers focus on the macro while project managers focus on the micro.
Program managers oversee multiple projects, manage multiple project teams and their managers, and deliver program status and outcomes to upper management. Program managers are strategic in their thinking and deliverables.
Project managers manage project scope, schedule, and resources. They assemble and manage the project’s team and its performance. Project managers deliver project outcomes and progress ensuring it’s on time and under budget. They are responsible for the day-to-day task management at a more integral level.
Now back to Boris and my analogy. At a very basic level, think of the person that takes my repair request as the shop’s program manager. He or she is looking over all repairs coming into the shop, not just those needed for Boris. So, he or she “program manages” those repairs. Now, consider that each car coming is a project. The repair person could be looked at as a project manager. They could do some of the work themselves, pulling in others in to assist, or turning over a particular repair type to another repair person.
At netlogx, we work with our client’s program manager and project manager to ensure that projects are on schedule and budget. We provide subject matter expert assistance when knowledge, experience, and expertise is required for particular areas or subjects.
When requested, netlogx has the expertise to fulfill the program manager and project manager staffing needs of our clients.
On a happy closing note, Boris is up and running now. I zip around town with the ragtop down in the hot New Mexico sunshine. It’s great to have him back again!