Organizations that have ongoing, highly complex projects that pull in work from a variety of teams across disciplines may employ senior program planners; employers can range from aerospace companies and defense contractors to city governments. These planners are responsible for designing the parameters of the program and making sure that it stays on track, as well as analyzing data and reports from team leads and managers to ensure maximum efficiency.
In the initial planning phases of a program, the senior planner works with other senior program managers to determine the scope of the project. They then forecast budgets and scheduling, determining the need for manpower, team types, and materials. The planner puts together a team of supervisors and uses their input to firm up deadlines for the various smaller projects that contribute to the program. A senior program planner also analyzes ongoing programs for areas of inefficiency and conflict, resolves any problems involving supply constraints, and makes any necessary adjustments to the schedule and workload of those within the program to ensure that deadlines are met. They also identify critical facets of the program and ensure they are given maximum attention.
To work as a senior program planner, a person typically needs at least a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, while many companies prefer to promote people to this position who also possess a post-baccalaureate degree in a management discipline as well. Senior program planners typically work in offices, although they may also be required to travel depending on the projects they oversee.
Senior Program Planner Tasks
Develop and maintain program plans and schedules within the constraints of scope, schedule, cost and quality.
Identify process improvement opportunities and make recommendations accordingly.
Provide planning support for projects including scheduling, budgeting, performance monitoring, analysis reporting, expediting, personnel planning and purchasing.
Track and analyze program performance and identify conflicts in resource requirements, schedules and approaches.