Program Manager and His Responsibilities
A program manager is a person who is accountable for several related projects, each of which has a project manager. From this definition, the main difference between the program managers and the project manager’s duties becomes clear. A program manager is a leader of a large program incorporating several minor projects. He/she is accountable for a bigger part of work. A project manager is responsible for a particular project within a large program.
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Program managers enunciate the program’s objectives and its influence on the company. The function of a program manager is to delineate a list of projects which have to be carried out to achieve the general purpose. Program managers concentrate on the plan of action, its application, and the procedure of designating the projects.
A project manager performs the less important duties. He/she manages the stages of a particular project as a part of a program. This person’s obligations include regulating the budget, time, and resources and dividing the duties among the team members. A project manager is accountable to the program manager about the project’s development and any modifications made to the original proposal. A project manager’s role is more tactical than the function of a program manager. Project managers concentrate on the operational features of the project.
RACI Matrix and Its Usefulness for a Project Manager
A responsibility assignment matrix (RACI matrix) allows to combine the benefits of pure project organization with the advantageous elements of the functional organization and to avert the limitations of the two organization forms. Being a blend of two options, a RACI matrix may be employed in many particular forms by its similarity to one of the two types (pure object or functional). The project matrix is closer to the pure project form, and the functional matrix is closer to the functional form. The balanced matrix is between the functional and pure project organization.
RACI matrix shows the participation of different employee ranks in fulfilling the project’s objectives. Matrix is useful to a project manager because it indicates the tasks which need to be performed and the people who bear responsibility for these tasks. The usefulness of a matrix is especially justified in cross-functional projects with many stakeholders and duties.
A strong matrix project does not presuppose being detached from the parent company. The people from various departments may take part in such a project. These people come from their functional departments and are appointed to the project full- or part-time by the project’s requirements.
A weak matrix project involves a limited number of people. Sometimes, a project manager may be the only employee working on such a project full-time. Instead of appointing more people to the project, the functional sections work on providing the project’s capacity. The core objective of a project manager under these circumstances is to regulate the project schemes performed by the departments. For instance, a manager of a project aimed at organizing a new personnel database may require that the core design should be performed by the systems analysis group. In such a case, the personnel job would be connected with the usual workload of the systems group. The priority of the decisions may require negotiations between the project manager and the systems group leader.
Thus, a matrix is beneficial for a project manager since it helps to organize the work and differentiate between the duties.