What is Program Management? - Definition & Examples

Instructor: Brianna Whiting
The manager that oversees a project is often called a project manager. But what happens when there are multiple projects that need to be completed? Multiple projects that are managed together are done so under program management, and this lesson will teach you all about it.

A First Glance at Program Management

Let's imagine that you have decided to go back to college. The first class you enroll in requires you to perform some observations about employees in a company setting and write a paper about what you see. You decide to observe your mom and her coworkers at a large mattress corporation. At first, you think you have all the employees' job titles and duties figured out, but as the day progresses, you soon get confused about the roles of two employees, Mark and Maggie. Both seem to be in charge of projects and both seem to manage a small group of employees. However, Mark's title is Project Manager and Maggie's title is Program Manager. You begin to wonder what the difference is between the two positions. What does a program manager do? In this lesson we will learn all about program management and the roles of a program manager within an organization.

A Foundation of Definitions

Many of us have heard of the term 'project manager', but the term 'program manager' may be new. In order to fully understand the difference between the two, let's take a minute to define them. Project management is utilizing skills and knowledge in order to plan and carry a project from start to finish. Program management is the oversight of multiple projects which are grouped together so that a company can achieve benefits and objectives that cannot be reached as effectively if the projects are managed individually. In other words, project management is the oversight of one project, while program management is the oversight of multiple related projects.

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