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10 Things Every New Program Manager Should Know

Success and productivity of an organization depends not only on what you do, but also on how you do it. A program manager’s roles and behaviors affect business transformation and organizational performance in many ways. Elizabeth Harrin, in writing for the Balance, suggests ten tips to help you win people’s support:

  1. Program management is not the same as project management.
  2. Learn to deal with uncertainty.
  3. Watch out for burnout.
  4. Manage the pace.
  5. Train your team for success.
  6. Governance is more complex.
  7. Planning is harder–
  8. –but you don’t have to plan every line.
  9. Improve your delegating.
  10. Don’t be afraid of conflict.

Make Your Job More Rewarding Every Day

First and foremost, you need to differentiate between program management and project management. While project management is about planning, organization, and implementing tasks to deliver a specific objective, program management is the process of managing several related projects at a time in order to improve an organization’s performance. So you need a broader scope and organization skills to deliver multiple objectives. Uncertainty may naturally arise, but don’t be hesitant in dealing with it. You can reduce uncertainty by starting with detailed planning and expanding it at timely intervals as you implement the plan.

When you are delivering a program, you need to manage the pace of the work and keep things under control. It’s very easy to lose track of things when you’re juggling multiple tasks, so try to mix up the quick wins with the steady progress towards business goals. Early victory may not be the best victory.

The key to manage a program is still the people—who your team members are and how you lead them to success. You can train your team at early stages for new competencies when the writing is on the wall that they will be important long-term, but more temporary skill needs can be found through outsourcing. Additionally, your team unity and responsibility largely depends on you and how you delegate different tasks to different people. Task delegation is not just throwing away jobs to people; it’s about providing your employees with opportunities to do what they are skilled at and have passion for. You may consider having a dedicated program management office to support your transformative change.

Harrin says last but not least to not be afraid of conflicts—they are a natural part of every business and teamwork:

There are lots of strands to programs. From projects with difficult stakeholders to seeming unachievable deadlines, every day is going to give you opportunities for conflict. Watch out for the things that disrupt project performance and be prepared to step in when needed to head off a conflict situation before it starts.

For further elaboration, you can view the original article here: https://www.thebalance.com/new-program-managers-tips-4125206

About My Nguyen

My is a staff writer for AITS. She has a varied background in writing and marketing, having previously worked for the World & Vietnam Report among others.

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