Most people have had at least a cursory introduction to project management. Maybe you’ve planned a wedding, built a house, or even just completed some sort of project on the job. If you’ve overseen a significant task from start to finish, you’ve probably tried your hand at project management. However, much more goes into managing a project or program than many people think. Luckily, the experts at netlogx are here to help you navigate the ups and downs of your next project.
What Is the Difference Between Program and Project Management?
According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), a project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result, with a defined beginning and end time, and therefore defined scope and resources. Project management, on the other hand, is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to meet the project requirements. For example, a mission to get to the moon could be considered a program, but the connected pieces needed to get there are projects: crafting the space shuttle, developing the spacesuits, etc. If you’ve ever managed a budget, timeline, or resources for any sort of temporary endeavor, you’ve participated in project management!
Although they sound similar, there is a difference between program and project management. According to the PMI, a program is a group of related projects managed in a coordinated manner to obtain benefits not available from managing them individually. Program management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to meet program requirements. The roles and responsibilities of a good project manager, while related, are different from those of a program manager. Here are two major differences:
Project management staffing focuses on finding the right resources for a particular project and taking all the proper steps toward success. Often this means escalating staffing issues upward to find an appropriate resource. Communication is also a crucial part of staffing for a project. Managers must make sure that all team members are on the same page.
While the project manager hones their skills for one project, a program manager focuses on balancing resources among multiple projects. Sometimes this involves making difficult decisions, such as reallocating resources. Rather than focusing on finding the right resources for your project, program management often requires balancing those resources among multiple different projects.
One of a project manager’s main responsibilities is making sure that the scope of the project is contained to what is described in the charter. They ensure that the scope doesn’t extend beyond the boundaries of the project. Without a project manager’s expertise, a team could expend too many resources on a small project, hurting future potential for growth.
A program manager, meanwhile, considers scope at a higher level. While a project manager may successfully deem a portion of work as being outside of their project, the program manager would need to identify the next steps. Sometimes, the work needs to be moved to a different project, while other instances require the work to be cut entirely. Thanks to a program manager’s leadership, the team should be set up for a strong finish.
Take a Look at Your Programs with netlogx
Clearly, project and program management is more than just periodic check-ins with your team members. Supervising all aspects of a program takes lots of elbow grease and plenty of expertise. With netlogx’ approach to project and program management, our clients are set up for success. We have experience in a wide range of industries, and we’re excited to offer our knowledge to you. Schedule your consultation today.