An IT Program Manager plays a crucial role in corporations across the world, taking responsibility for the successful implementation and operation of all the company’s IT programs. A major part of this job will be the need to coordinate overall strategies often while managing several different programs, each of them designed to enhance overall operations.

Duties and responsibilities - What does an IT Program Manager do?

Several responsibilities will be held by the IT Program Manager, including:

  • Identifying potential risks and threats to current and future programs, often in collaboration with senior managers
  • Taking ownership of program and project budgets and managing overall delivery of them
  • Producing program reports for department heads, directors, end users and other stakeholders
  • Planning future program activity, including consultations with project sponsors, analysis of requirements and arranging timeframes
  • Managing program and project teams to ensure completion on time and within budget
  • Coordinating third party contributions throughout the life cycle of the program

Qualities needed for a successful IT Program Manager

This is a role that suits a highly organised individual, someone who can work well under pressure and will be adept at keeping a strong focus on the result. It is important to note that the required skills and responsibilities will often change at various times during the execution of a particular program. An understanding of planning techniques and how they relate to specific tasks will be a major benefit.

IT Program Managers will need to be extremely effective people managers as well. The role calls for decisive leadership allied to excellent interpersonal skills. There will undoubtedly be times when the pressure is ramped up, so an ability to remain focused while others may not will be important. Bringing together the various members of the program team will also be crucial.

In addition to everything else, all IT Program Managers will need to show a clear understanding and a broad knowledge of the company’s business, including of course in relation to how programs can affect the overall bottom line. Therefore, a commercial mindset will understandably be seen as an advantage.

Qualifications and technical skills - How to become an IT Program Manager?

This is rightly regarded as an important senior role, so successful applicants will usually have to be possess a background in a similar position, preferably with a prominent corporation. Some form of stakeholder management experience will often be a prerequisite for many employers.

A strong academic record can also be beneficial, preferably with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a relevant subject related to IT. Those subjects include the likes of computer science, information systems, information technology, business management and systems analysis. Experience of Project management software and processes is also often requested.

Career development - What is the next step after IT Program Manager?

Previous roles for successful IT Program Managers can include Project Manager, IT Manager, Systems Analyst and DevOps Specialist. Further up the career ladder, there may be opportunities to work as a Senior Program Manager, Portfolio Manager, IT Director, Lead Technical Program Manager or Director of Planning.

Salary and remuneration - How much does an IT Program Manager make?

This is a role of vital importance to many corporations, and the salary will reflect the fact that IT Program Managers are in great demand.

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