Diving into Program Management

Learn about programs and how to manage them in various phases.

As you progress in your career as a TPM, your scope and impact will increase. One way in which your scope will increase is through running programs. Instead of just the day-to-day operation of one project, you will manage or oversee multiple projects with a shared goal.

What is a program?

A program is a combination of multiple projects, often spanning multiple years, that achieves a common goal. Each project may have its own goal, but it will also contribute toward the goal of the program.

Though seemingly straightforward, let’s take a look at it from the perspective of a large, multiple-month project, instead of a program. The first thing you would do is break the project up into smaller deliverables, or milestones. Each of these should deliver a feature or functionality that, when put together with all the other milestones, achieves the goal(s) of the project.

A program is very similar to this concept, but usually on a much larger scale. Instead of a multi-month single project, the end goal may take multiple years. Each of the milestones may be different enough to warrant different personnel or strategies. In that sense, each of these becomes a project in itself (with its own milestones) that spans the program timeline. They all come together to deliver the goal of the program.

To better demonstrate this concept, let’s take a look at a visual representation of a program and the projects that comprise its body of work:

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