There are people who might consider a program to be just a big project. In reality, programs and projects have both differences and shared features. To avoid any possible misunderstanding, it can be helpful to analyze the difference between projects and programs.
What is a Project?
A project can be defined as the temporary work required to create a unique product or service. It is also a set of correlated activities useful to achieve defined goals or objectives. Each project requires a certain amount of time, budget, and resources to reach its goals.
What is a Program?
A program can be defined as a group of interconnected projects. To obtain the desired benefits it is crucial to manage these projects in an organized way. In fact, managing the projects that make up a program individually prevents companies from obtaining the expected organizational or technical objectives. It is important to remember that a programme may also include parts of operational work.
Who manages Projects?
A project manager is a person who is responsible for managing projects. In fact, the project manager has the authority and responsibility for managing the project on a daily basis. He (she) has to deliver the required product or service within cost, time, and quality constraints.
Who manages Programs?
A program manager is a person who is responsible for managing programs. He (she) manages multiple project teams and, in some cases, the project managers for those projects within his (her) program. The program manager is responsible for the success of the program. Basically, he (she) has to ensure that all the projects, that are part of the program, meet the overall business goal.
Keep in mind
In general, projects have the objective to deliver a specific product or service. Whereas, programs can involve the entire organization in order to reach strategic and financial objectives.