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By Denis G.

3 minutes

Program Manager Job Description

A program manager is someone who establishes and then coordinates a group of projects in order to realise benefits which would not otherwise be achieved. I thought I’d put together a generic program manager job description template that can be tailored as necessary to fit the position you’re hiring for, and your organization. This job description is for a business program manager as opposed to a technical program manager, or any other type of program manager. I’ll aim to write up the description for a technical program manager soon. The job description below is split into 3 parts:

  • Responsibilities: what duties must they perform on a daily basis.
  • Behaviours: what behaviours must they exhibit.
  • Experience: what past experience and qualifications do they require.
Let’s now go through each of these in tuen:


  • Lead the program team: build it, manage it, and motivate it as required. Coach and mentor the team, building their maturity and authority.
  • Manage the program budget. Ensure that costs incurred are monitored against plans and realize benefits as planned as the program progresses.
  • Plan the overall program from end-to-end. Monitor and report progress.
  • Identify issues and initiate corrective action as necessary.
  • Communicate regularly and effectively will all stakeholders, within the team, within the organization, and beyond.
  • Take overall responsibility for the benefits realization plan. Ensure that the plan realizes benefits in the best way for the organization.
  • Responsible and accountable for the coordinated management of multiple related projects directed toward strategic business and other organizational objectives. Approve the project plans of the project teams, negotiating work packages as required. Ensure the delivery of these work packages within the set time, quality, and budget constraints.
  • Manage and resolve dependencies between the projects of the program.
  • Manage the program risks, and embed a risk management process into the program from the outset.
  • Be responsible for program quality, and embed quality processes into the program from the outset.
  • Report overall program status to the steering group at regular intervals and on an ad-hoc basis.
  • Responsible and accountable for deliverables from third-parties as necessary.
  • Work closely with the Quality Assurance as necessary.
  • Create and maintain the program plan, showing an integrated realization of the key deliverables of the program.
  • Put in place the governance and operational working practices of the program team.

Behaviours Required

  • Able to create a sense of community and shared direction amongst a disperate and diverse program team.
  • Ability to build credibility, trust, and rapport with stakeholders at all levels, both within and outside of the organization.
  • A forward thinker who takes the initiative and identifies gaps in the program and makes recommendations.
  • Ability to influence at all levels.
  • A good listener.
  • Proactive and sophisticated management of key stakeholders.
  • A proactive communicator who will seek to communicate rather than wait to be asked. Proactive engagement within the organization to build awareness of the program.
  • Business focussed: always looking to maximize benefits for the business and minimize downside risk.

Experience Required

  • A track record of delivering complex programs.
  • Experience of working within, influencing within, and networking within a matrix environment.
  • Conversant with project management methodologies and IT service management (ITIL) standards.
  • Optional MBA.
  • Optional program management qualification (PgMP or MSP).
  • Experience of working with geographically dispersed teams.
  • 10+ plus years industry experience, with a minimum of 5 years in project and/or program management.
  • Experienced in leading large teams of 100+ people.
Again, you will need to tailor this job description to meet your own needs, adding and tacking away things according to the particular skills you are after and the organization in which you operate.

Cite this article

Minute Tools Content Team, Program Manager Job Description, Minute Tools, Aug, 2011,
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Denis G.

Originally hailing from Dublin, Denis has always been interested in all things business and started EPM in 2009. Before EPM, Denis held a leadership position at Nokia, owned a sports statistics business, and was a member of the PMI's (Project Management Institute’s) Global Executive Council for two years. Denis now spends his days helping others understand complex business topics.

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