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What does an IT Program Manager do?

A. Garrett
A. Garrett

An information technology program manager is responsible for presiding over several separate, but related, projects all designed to satisfy one primary goal or objective. Essentially, an IT program manager acts as a liaison between two or more departments working on a project. This allows for certain aspects of a project to be outsourced, divided into parts and assigned to teams or sent to specialists while simultaneously ensuring that synergy is maintained. The IT program manager develops the overall plan for the project, monitors progress and participates in the implementation of the project.

The first duty of an IT program manager is preparatory in nature. During this period of time, team leaders and other project members may be hired. Consequently, the information program manager will spend a lot of his or her time evaluating the resumes of prospective candidates and conducting interviews.

Woman doing a handstand with a computer
Woman doing a handstand with a computer

Some projects leave the final hiring decision to the IT manager’s discretion, while other projects require the IT manager to submit a list of possible candidates for further review. Once candidates are hired, the IT program manager is responsible for educating project members about the rules and regulations related to the project. This includes workplace behavior, corporate governance procedures and federal regulations.

Once the project staff is in place, the IT program manager defines the overall goals and expectations related to the project. After the objectives of a project have been adequately identified, the program manager divides tasks amongst team members or assigns certain aspects of the projects to independently-hired contractors. At this point, information program managers are responsible for delegating and overseeing the work done by these separate entities and resolving any problems that may arise during the course of the work. The program manager may also have to report to his or her superiors about the tasks performed and progress made by each separate group.

In addition to managing people and the actual project, the IT program manager also handles intangible aspects of the project. For example, the program manager may be responsible for securing necessary funds, designing a budget and allocating resources. Consequently, the project manager may be responsible for monitoring expenses, resolving financial discrepancies and redirecting funds when necessary.

This position usually requires a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience. The IT program manager should also be an effective communicator. Finally, some experience in personnel management may be considered a plus for those seeking employment in this field.

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