A program manager is authorized by the performing organization to lead the team or teams responsible for achieving program objectives. The program manager maintains responsibility for the leadership, conduct, and performance of a program, and for building a program team that is capable of achieving program objectives and delivering anticipated program benefits.

Programs should be managed in a way that recognizes the need to adapt strategies and plans during the course of a program to optimize the delivery of benefits. A primary role of the program manager is to monitor the outputs and outcomes of a program’s component activities and ensure that the program adapts appropriately to them. Program managers ensure that program components are adapted as required to meet the organization’s strategic objectives.

A Program Manager interacts with each project manager to provide support and guidance on the individual projects. Management by providing leadership and vision, with a style that focuses on communication, conflict resolution and stakeholder relationships as well as leading multiple program team throughout the program life cycle.

The program manager also manages complex issues that may arise as programs seek to deliver benefits. Such issues may result from uncertainties related to outcomes, operations, organizational strategies, resourcing, the external environment, organizational governance systems, or the expectations and motivations of program stakeholders.

To manage a program effectively, program managers need to encourage the efficient completion of project and other program activities as planned, while simultaneously enabling the adjustment of the strategy or plans of a program or its components whenever it will improve delivery of the program’s intended benefits. Balancing these needs requires that program managers be competent in providing an integrated view of how the outputs and outcomes of program components will support the program’s intended delivery of organizational benefits.


  • Interacts with project and other program managers to provide support and guidance on individual initiatives conducted to support a program.
  • Interacts with portfolio managers to ensure that programs are provided with the appropriate resources and priority.
  • Collaborate with governance bodies, sponsors and, (where applicable) the program management office to ensure the program’s continued alignment with organizational strategy and ongoing organizational support.
  • Interacts with operational managers and stakeholders to ensure that programs receive appropriate operational support and that benefits delivered by the program can be effectively sustained.
  • Ensure that the importance of each of a program’s components is recognized and well understood.
  • Ensures that the overall program structure and the applied program management processes enable the program and its component teams to successfully complete the work and deliver anticipated benefits.
  • Integrates the program components’ deliverables, outcomes, and benefits into the program’s end product, services, or results, such that the program delivers its intended benefits.
  • Communications that enable effective exchange of information with a wide variety of program stakeholders, including program team members, sponsors, customers, vendors, and senior management, whether individually or in groups or in committees.
  • Stakeholder Engagement to support the need to manage the complex issues that often arise as a consequence of stakeholder interactions. The program manager should recognize the dynamic aspects of managing individual and group expectations.
  • Change Management that enables effective engagement with individual stakeholders and governance and review committees, to gain the necessary agreements, alignment, and approvals when program strategies or plans need to be adapted.
  • Leadership to guide program teams through the program life cycle. Program managers work with component managers and often with functional managers to gain support, resolve conflicts, and direct individual program team members by providing specific work instructions.
  • Analytical skills that enable a program manager to assess whether the outputs and outcomes of program components will contribute as expected to the delivery of program benefits, or to assess the potential impact of external events on the program’s strategy or plans.
  • Financial. Establishes a financial framework with proper monitoring and control of the program’s financials.