When we encounter a large project that is made up of multiple smaller projects that are corelated on each
other, it becomes something more sizeable — a program. Programs can often become quite
overwhelming and stressful for one person to manage, so chunking down the project management
activities into smaller, more digestible chunks and monitoring them closely becomes very important.
Setting objectives, running the operations, monitoring execution and reporting on the project status are
just a few of the functions, involved in carrying out a successful program.
Projects are time bound undertakings that generally come with a cost, time, manpower and other
resource constraints. Meanwhile, programs generally consist of several underlying projects. Programs
normally focus on meeting one higher goal and business objective. For example, a program to roll out a
new marketing campaign is comprised of several different projects, including generating content, media,
promotions, and all the necessary assets to carry out that campaign. This is an example of a situation
where both a program and project manager come in. Similarly, in the case of an ERP rollout, the
implementation project consists of several different sub-projects, so to say.
But, what exactly happen to be the responsibilities of the different roles?
What does a Program Manager do?
A program manager can be seen as the visionary leader for the overall program. They communicate the
goals and objectives of the program and how it will affect the business. Their role is to map out and define
the list of dependent projects that need to be completed to reach the final goal. When it comes to the
program, they focus on strategy followed by an implementation plan. Delegation and people management
happens to be an important part of program management.
An example: if the program is a ERP rollout, some possible goals the program manager might define
while implementing a system could be 1) minimization of inventory losses, 2) automating the warehouse
operations or 3) optimizing logistics costs by implementing the right supply chain strategies.
The program manager’s role extends beyond the completion of individual projects and looks at the long-
term benefits of the whole program.
What does a Project Manager do?
The project manager manages the operations of an individual project within the program. He or she
coordinates time, budget and resources and delegates tasks across the team. The project manager
reports to the program manager on progress and changes made to the initial project plan.
While the role of the project manager is more tactical, the role of the program manager is often very
strategic. Project management mainly focuses on the operational elements of the project such as
completing deadlines, sticking to a budget, and finishing deliverables.
In general, the project manager’s role is complete once the project is complete, although it is helpful to go
back through the processes to review what worked and what didn’t.
We at Hashtag believe, both a project manager and a program manager are mandatory for truly
delivering a successful ERP system, that stays within the cost and time budgeted and agreed upon at the
time of selection of the ERP partner. Hashtag’s program’ manager’s work closely with ERP
implementation partners and monitor the project at every stage involving both ERP consultants and
project managers and ensure these resources deliver their responsibilities. At Hashtag, our highest
priority is to make sure that we protect our customer’s ERP investments and guarantee a return on the
investment within the time frame promised.
Is your team competent enough to run the project management? Need an expert for project planning and execution who can bring back your ERP project timelines back on track and ensure a smooth delivery?