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Skills Every Program Manager Should Posses

When managing a program, you’re usually helping an organization reach its goals by managing across multiple projects and strategic priorities. It usually means that you’re the person who has to wrap your arms around all the things going on in an organization or program- and sometimes it means you’re the one having to make decisions when there are competing priorities!

Let’s dive into some responsibilities of a program manager which would better explain the necessary skills he should posses as streamlined to his role. One is to keep the project work in your organization aligned with the organization’s vision and mission.

Another responsibility of the program manager is to keep people motivated, encouraged and inspired so they see how the momentum and success of their own projects advance the mission of the entire organization. Communicating that their projects is important to the overall program is one of the jobs of the program manager.

It’s also the program manager’s responsibility to ensure that the organization, as a whole, is producing measurable outputs. He also helps to define initiatives or potential projects to take on. As a program manager, you’ll probably need to work with project managers on this as project managers can help to identify and plan what resources are needed and available, and they can keep you updated on the status of the project. Your involvement is at the big-picture level, not at the level of project implementation. Program managers also identify potential risks to the program and take defensive action, as needed.

Program managers should be able to look across projects to see if there is duplication of effort going on or other inefficiencies and correct them. Program managers also must communicate clearly to stakeholders about the projects and outcomes of their program.

Having this responsibilities in mind, a program manager must posses the following skills:

  • Strong Organizational and Time Management skills.

Program managers need strong organizational and time management skills. They need

to keep  track on multiple projects while keeping the whole organization in their sights as well.

  • An Eye For Risk and Opportunity.

Program managers need to posses an eye for both risk and opportunity. A successful program manager constantly looks across their portfolio of projects for opportunities to save money and improve processes.

  • Conflict Management

Program Managers must know how to spot problems early and resolve issues in a fair manner between Project managers and their teams.

  • Clear and Proactive Communicators

 They need to be clear and proactive communicators. Program managers advocate fortl the projects and alert stakeholders, including funders, to potential risks.

  • Adaptability

 Program managers must be able to manage change since they are most often the person who must guide the organization through challenging times, be it re-organization or downsizing or unforeseen negative events.

Having these five skills are very crucial to the success of any program manager either you aspire to be one or already are. Taking online courses and other delibrate steps to develop these skill set. As these skills would make the difference being a good program manager or not.

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