A project becomes a program when it involves several other components, which are dependent on each other. A program can overwhelm someone and be stressful for one person to manage. Therefore, delegating some duties is ideal to ensure efficiency. However, in the current system, confusion still exists on the roles of different persons in program management. The article by Zein (2010) clarifies the issue of program management by clearly outlining the roles and responsibilities of program managers.
Job description defines the roles and responsibilities that a person should fulfill. The program directors role is to oversee the operations and ensure its successful delivery. As such, the responsibility of a joint program manager is to provide planning, control, and coordinating different components of the program to ensure its successful delivery. Program managers are required to fulfill specific operational support of all participating components. In that regard, a joint program manager should have management skills and practical experience for him or her to manage the large and complex initiatives (Zein, 2010). Furthermore, a joint program manager ensures that resources required for the program are utilized properly while minimizing risks and making corrective measures. Joint program management also involves coordination of a programs interdependencies (Zein, 2010).
Program management focuses on the outcomes, which are achieved by integration of different components. The lead component is central to this process of acquisition and administration to fulfill the objective of a program. The lead component and business change manager perform similar roles. Like lead component, the business change manager integrates business practices and capacity to ensure the realization of benefits in accordance with strategic objectives. The BCM has knowledge of project management because he or she defines the strategic objectives and tracks the performance indicators (Zein, 2010). As such, the business change manager will advise program manager on whether the output will become beneficial. To fulfill his or her duties, the lead component manager should have knowledge and experience on operational responsibilities that in the respective areas affected by the program. Furthermore, he or she should have a good understanding of the politics, management structure, and culture of the organization skills to enable him or her to manage the complicated situation and achieve the programs objectives (Zein, 2010).
Participating Component is also central to the realization of a programs purpose. The participating component provides support to the lead component during the implementation of a program. The participating component and Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) in Zeins article share the same features and perform similar roles. The SRO approves the funds that will be used in a program in addition to representing the interests of sponsors in the management team (Zein, 2010). The participating component is appointed by sponsors to serve their interests as well as ensures the program meets its objectives. In this regard, the participating component should embody the clear vision of strategy and knowledge. Furthermore, the participating component should demonstrate support for the program and management team.
It is apparent that there are roles within project management that have distinct functions and responsibilities (Zein, 2010). As such, it is necessary for the board of an organization to be aware of the functions of the Lead Component, Participating Component, and Joint Program Manager. Although some management skills can be learned, others can be hard to acquire especially for someone who does not have.
Zein, O. (2010). Roles, responsibilities, and skills in program management. Retrieved from Project Management Institute: https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/roles-responsibilities-skills-program-management-6799
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