The Hierarchy of Program Management


As we discussed in last week’s blog, program management is used to consolidate the efforts and goals of multiple projects under a unified management system. This system is the program management system. Project management is focused on the direct allocation and usage of resources under its domain. These include human resources, physical resources. The project must be conscious of the time frame under which it is operating and utilize its resources efficiently in order to meet requirements imposed by funding and to meet a product delivery schedule. Program management is focused on similar objectives, but on a much larger scale over the scope of several projects. In addition to overseeing these goals (though with less micro-management than project management), program management must align the goals of all projects involved and unify them into a single direction that can drive the success of the operation as a whole. In order to do this, the responsibilities of program management are divided into three different levels.


The Hierarchy of Program Management


Program Sponsors/Steering Committee


This is the highest position on the totem pole of program management. The top of the executive group of program management, the program’s sponsors and steering committee defines the overarching business and IT strategy for the program, and how the program will integrate with the business direction of the enterprise. It does so by creating policy, ensuring momentum can be sustained, and reviewing progress and making adjustments as needed.


Program Manager/Director


The program manager/director is charged with seeing that the efforts of individual programs are aligned and meeting the goals set by the steering committee. The program manager is involved in all facets of the operation, from coordinating different projects, reviewing progress, integrating goals, and implementing changes in plans if necessary.


Project Manager


The third level in program management hierarchy is the project manager. The project manager manages one individual project and allocates and utilizes resources to achieve a desired output within a desired time frame.


program management hierarchy

Program success hinges on the clear definition of roles, authority, decision making ability, and structure. Program management is essential for these concepts to be delineated and actualized so that the program may reach its goals. To learn more about program management, contact DHA Group today. An award-winning management consulting and contracting firm primarily serving federal, civilian and defense agencies, DHA group supports clients’ mission-critical work by delivering expert professional services. Follow us on social media onFacebookLinkedInTwitter or Google+.