What is Program Management? - Definition & Examples

Instructor: Brianna Whiting

Brianna has a masters of education in educational leadership, a DBA business management, and a BS in animal science.

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.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account