Face off Series: Product Manager vs Program Manager!

Dhaval Thakur
3 min readSep 19, 2021

So, I have thought to start a series called Face off series, in which I would be comparing two similar things or two very different things and talk about those things every week.

image credits: thinkful.com

So this time I am going to talk about two professions which may look similar but they are kind of different in many ways!

Who are Program Managers?

Before I deep dive into who are Program Managers, I would like to have some talk about what “Programs” really are?

Program is a set of projects which are linked to one another, in a sequential manner to attain the combined benefits. You can think of a program manager (PM) as an architect who sketches a blueprint. You might know that while architects don’t install plumbing or drywall, they make sure all these pieces come together to create a beautiful home. The program manager’s role extends beyond the completion of individual projects to the long term realization of the whole program.

Responsibilities

Their responsibilities include enlisting teams, implementing strategies, measuring ROI, and other big picture initiatives. Going back to our CIO example, a program manager’s duties might include overseeing collaboration across project teams and defining whether or not an uptick in CIO lead conversion is a good success metric.

So in brief, the responsibilities are:

  • Formulate, organize and monitor inter-connected projects
  • Decide on suitable strategies and objectives
  • Coordinate cross-project activities
  • Lead and evaluate project managers and other staff
  • Develop and control deadlines, budgets and activities
  • Apply change, risk and resource management
  • Assume responsibility for the program’s people and vendors
  • Assess program performance and aim to maximize ROI
  • Resolve projects’ higher scope issues
  • Prepare reports for program directors

Average Salary Ranges

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Dhaval Thakur

Data Enthusiast, Geek, part — time blogger. Every week 1 new Data Science/ Product Management story 🖥 I also write on Python, scripting & blockchain