How to move from project management to programme management

By David Lawrence |

Just like in any career, project managers look for ways they can grow and expand their skills. One of the opportunities available to them is getting into programme management. But how does one go from project management to programme management? The steps are not always clear and that is why most project managers struggle with this transition. But why is it hard? We are going to share with you seven steps that will help you move from project management to programme management.

1. Focus on the business delivery

In programme management, the main objective is business delivery. The programme manager’s work is to focus on fulfilling the requirements of the customer, identify what is changing, and how the organisation is reacting to this change. In project management, the focus is often on a particular task at hand in a business.

2. Think about relationships and not situations

Programme managers should focus on identifying relationships between different departments of an organisation. If you focus on the relationship between departments, you will better understand how certain situations in an organisation arise and will be best equipped to resolve any problems and offer support where necessary for the best outcome.

3. Plan on looking at escalations and not reporting

As a programme manager, your work should be to educate the staff on how to manage escalations. One of the important roles of a programme manager is not to focus on the specific details, but how this information is distributed through various channels.

4. The strategy should be the goal, not the scope

Strategic management is an important role in any business. That is why programme managers should learn how to communicate strategy and manage how others engage with the established programme strategy.

5. Conflict is primary to a crisis

For programme managers, conflict is a new process of change management. Conflict should be used as a constructive tool to deliver key points. Conflict in an organisation should go through a particular process where the parties involved all actively engage with each other for a constructive outcome.

6. Consider governance instead of thinking in terms of teams

The transition from project management to programme management is not complete if a programme manager is not able to effectively communicate the governance of the programme. A programme manager should be able to focus on governance as well as managing the feedback loop, to help all the participants understand what is required from them.

David Lawrence

Written by David Lawrence

David is the founder of Vine Resources.


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