So, you must be a Program Manager or are intrigued about its role and responsibilities. Before we start discussing the skills that a successful Program Manager must have, let’s take a brief look at what program management and program management plan are, so that it is easier to talk about the skills of the program manager.
Program management creates benefits for the organization. It concentrates on simultaneous management of varied projects. Programs are usually always managed with program management software within an organization, in accordance with strategic goals. However, they are a part of a larger business.
Programs are a collective group of similar projects that are simultaneously managed for producing benefits that cannot be generated individually. A program management plan manages, executes, and controls the objectives of multiple projects. It includes a strategy and outlines the scope of work to be aligned to the required objectives of the program. Planned by a Program Manager through program management software, it focuses on the benefits than deliverables. More specifically, it focuses on the benefits that cannot be achieved individually.
Read on to know about the skills that program managers should have.
8 Most Important Program Management Skills
1. Leadership skills
We start off with one of the most challenging skill sets for Program Management – that of a leader. While some people are born leaders, some others are molded along the way and hone the skills with time. However, everyone can be a leader provided they know or are trained to learn leadership skills as they move ahead in their careers. Everyone moves up the ladder in due course of time. Hence, it is an absolute necessity to be up for leadership responsibilities as one progresses in their professions, otherwise prepare for stagnancy.
A leader sees projects to their logical end, that is, towards their completion. As a leader, he/she leads the team till the end of projects through able management skills and consistent motivation. Hence, leadership entails far more than just managing tasks. It is about people management.
2. Knowing the objective
Unlike project management, a program management plan does not emphasize meeting required deliverables or budget, as we have already discussed earlier. It is all about meeting the unique objectives of the program, which comprises several similar projects. It is of utmost importance to be aware of the objectives to be able to make a reliable program management plan. Without that awareness, even a program management tool would not be of any help to a Program Manager.
3. Critical Thinking
We, as humans, are usually programmed to behave the way we do. We react as per the accepted norms that have been taught to us or have been learned through observation. Gradually, we act on an impulse basis on the thoughts and ideas that have become ingrained in us. This happens to the extent that we forget to analyze and make use of our critical thinking for more effective business solutions. This is applicable for Program Managers as well.
Leadership remains incomplete without effective communication. An open communication channel that a leader establishes with his/her team goes a long way in the efficient execution of multiple projects that they are working together simultaneously. A robust program management tool plays an important role in maintaining transparent communication regarding upcoming, impending, and finished tasks, as reflected in the software interface.
Such tools help in keeping communication open at all times with relevant stakeholders, customers, vendors, etc. These tools not only help in group communications but one-to-one communications as well like presentations and meetings.
Now, imagine how difficult communication would have been for Program Managers during COVID times have they not had program management tools to simplify business processes!
5. Risk Management
Every task is accompanied by risk, irrespective of how big or small it is. A Program Manager should be able to identify and predict risks for every before way before they can arise. That way, he/she will have the time to navigate through the imminent risks with the use of program management solutions. However, a manager may not be able to anticipate every risk in advance. In such situations, he/she should have a way forward set to overcome risks and impediments.
6. Task Management
Task management sounds like a tedious job. It includes creating tasks, assigning them to relevant team members, and managing them to meet the objectives of the program. Even one mismanagement may lead to the program going haywire. Hence, multiple follow-ups may be required at the right time to ensure that every task gets completed within the expected deadline.
However, fret not! With program management tools to the rescue, task management has become an easy responsibility. These software have automated features for every task and their respective start and end dates. As a result, not just managers, even stakeholders receive automated triggers regarding every task, thus, simplifying program management. This ensures complete transparency in work processes and makes every employee across levels to be responsible for themselves and to each other during the course of projects.
7. Quality Management
Quantity can be seamlessly managed, as per the objectives of a program, with a program management system. But, how about quality? Quality is as important as meeting deadlines. Hence, it is one of the most essential skills that program managers should have.
How Ignatiuz Program Management Tool Puts Program Management Skills to Use?
Ignatiuz specializes in offering personalized solutions to assist businesses in strategizing objectives of programs. It enables Program Managers to integrate stakeholders and data to deliver measurable business outcomes. It makes use of capable program management tools like Smartsheet, Leankit and MS Project, either standalone or integrated with each other. These tools assist the managers to achieve transparency and seamless communication between the projects in a program.
The following USPs of the Ignatiuz Program Management Tool, one of the best program management tools, that enables managers to put their skills to use are as below:
- Centralized document management
- Seamless collaboration
- Automate routine tasks
- Gain data-driven insights
- Real-time reporting
There may be several Program Managers but there are ascertain skill sets that separate the most successful ones from the rest. Program Managers can put the above skills into action to experience the difference in themselves.
If you are a program manager and looking for an autonomous and user friendly program management tool, contact us now!