What does a Program Manager do?

In order to maximize organizational output, a program manager coordinates, manages, and maintains various initiatives or programs for an organization. The technology industry employs the most program managers. Program refers to software in this industry, and it is part of the program manager’s job description to ensure that all new software specifications are included in the most recent release. A capable technical manager is essential for a software company to produce reliable and effective products. Years of experience and a strong educational background, including certification, are required for program management.

This professional is frequently seen juggling several different programs at a time in industries other than technology, such as manufacturing. Such programs might include leading a new product design initiative, selecting and obtaining the type of machinery required for the product, communicating any process changes across various manufacturing departments, and assisting the product development team with any new tasks. In this sense, a program manager is someone who manages programs or products rather than people.

Companies in the technology industry are always looking for qualified program managers. Even the smallest, localized software programs necessitate a significant amount of planning and preparation to be successful. Program managers are tasked with organizing project stages and setting completion deadlines for each stage. Many factors must be in place before a piece of software can be released to the public. A program manager must rely on his or her excellent communication skills, broad knowledge of all company departments, and the needs of the client or market to do everything from assigning specialists to mapping out the documentation and specifications for the product to brainstorming ideas on better user intent (UI) design.

Top program managers have 5-10 years of experience in their respective fields and industries. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college is usually required. In addition, many companies now require program managers to have a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) degree in addition to their previous experience. An MBA degree is particularly useful in training aspiring program managers on how to effectively execute a process, saving the company time and money.

Obtaining program manager certification is essential for progressing in this field. Many program managers enroll in classes to prepare for the Project Management Professional (PMP®) exam. The Project Management Institute, an international organization dedicated to training program and project managers around the world, offers this exam and certification.