The primarily role that program management directors fill is providing leadership and oversight for the program or project managers within a company. As the programs that the managers lead have the potential for great diversity and varying scope, program management directors must be extremely flexible and adaptable with the amount of oversight and direction they provide.
The oversight portion of this position principally includes coordinating different programs and projects, as well as coordinating these efforts with other teams within the company. For example, a program management director who works for a technology company might be responsible for coordinating hardware development and software development teams to ensure compatibility of the final product, as well as overseeing the actual manufacturing process. This position is also likely to require coordination with sales and customer service teams.
Program management directors are responsible for ensuring the successful translation of projects from research and design projects to production teams. They must also be responsible for testing and final approval of any third-party technology that is required by the manufacturing process. Program management directors help coordinate the overall schedule of research, development, and release of commercial products. They are also responsible for reporting the status of various programs to upper management and interfacing with any other stakeholders, so both groups understand the design and production processes.
Most program management directors have prior experience working as a program manager, as well as at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field. They must also have expertise in the particular field in which they work, so they can effectively communicate with and provide leadership for various groups. The need to work with multiple teams and report to upper management demand that program management directors have excellent communication skills.
Program Management Director Tasks
- Define and disseminate organization-wide program management tools, metrics, and standards.
- Oversee testing, failure cases, documentation, and deployment to facilitate creation of the best products.
- Communicate between product and technology groups to ensure the program creates high quality products.
- Oversee a team of project managers to create products.