To understand the differences between program management and project management, you must first understand the difference between a program and a project.
A program is a large project that is made up of several smaller projects that are dependent on each other. Since programs are so large, they are often managed by a team of people, with projects and tasks delegated across team members. Some functions involved in launching a successful program might include outlining objectives, planning execution, managing operations, and reporting on status.
Projects are bundled together into a program when the benefits of managing the collection outweigh managing projects as individual units.
Projects are generally smaller and often come with a cost, date, and resource constraints. Project goals are normally short-term, whereas the objectives of a program are focused on a company mission or overarching goal.
Now that you know the difference between a program and a project, what is program management vs. project management?
Program management is mapping out and defining the list of dependent projects that need to be completed to reach an overall goal. When it comes to the program, a program manager needs to focus on strategy and implementation, and how to delegate projects appropriately. They need to articulate the goals and objectives of the program and how it will impact the business.
Project management involves managing the operations of an individual project within a program. Project management is a bit more tactical than program management: it mainly focuses on the operational elements of the project such as meeting deadlines, staying within budget, and completing deliverables. The project manager coordinates time, budget, resources, and delegates tasks across the team. He reports to the program manager on progress and changes made to the initial project plan.