Program Management Consulting: An Overview
Studies show that by the year 2030, 25 million new project management roles will be needed in the workforce. Project managers are incredibly important to efficiently completing projects in your organization.
Program managers are equally important to organizations. These professionals manage many different projects at once. They also align their teams' work with the main goals of their organization.
If you don't currently work with a program manager, you're missing out on profits for your company. But what do you do if you don't have the resources to bring a program manager onto your staff?
This is where program management consulting comes in. Program management consulting services give you all the same benefits of having a program manager on staff. Plus, you won't have the hassles that go with a full in-house hiring process.
But what exactly is program management consulting? And how can a program management consultant help your business? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and more.
What is Program Management?
To understand what a program manager does, it's helpful to begin by understanding what a project manager does.
A project manager, as the title suggests, manages projects. Generally, a project manager only manages a single project at a time.
Project managers put together the project timeline and make sure the project stays under budget. They also manage any changes that occur over the course of the project.
A project is any product or deliverable created by a team within a specific time frame. The project manager ensures the project team completes their tasks on time and manages team communication. The project manager is also responsible for delivering a satisfactory product at the end of the project.
A program manager also manages teams. However, they are in charge of programs, rather than single projects.
A program is a collection of projects. They are often directly related to the strategic goals of an organization.
Program managers often supervise a team of project managers. These project managers are each team leads on individual projects within the program.
However, it is up to the program manager to ensure that all the project teams complete their work on time and well. They also have to make sure that all teams stay in alignment with the ultimate goals of the program.
What Are the Benefits of Program Management Consulting Services?
It can be convenient to have a dedicated program manager on your staff. It can also be costly to hire a full-time team member for this work. Program managers are highly skilled and therefore deserve high rates of compensation.
Additionally, your organization may only complete a few projects or programs a year. In this case, you may not be able to justify the cost of a full-time salaried worker for this role.
If this sounds like your company, working with a program management consultant could be the most economic option for you. They'll meet with you to learn about your company's strategic objectives. They'll ensure that your projects and programs stay in alignment with those goals.
Hiring a consultant will also relieve you of a huge administrative load. The program manager will be responsible for managing the budget of the program. They'll also communicate with the program team and ensure that the final product or products meet the quality standards that you have established.
This will leave you with more time and energy to focus on high-level strategy and relationship-building for your company.
What Should You Look for in a Program Management Consultant?
Now that you know the benefit of hiring a program management consultant, it's time to hire one. It's very likely you've never hired a program management consultant before. If so, you may be wondering how you know whether you've hired a good one.
An effective program management consultant will have knowledge of program management best practices. They will demonstrate excellent communication and interpersonal skills. They will also have established their credibility within the field.
The most important thing to look for is the consultant's program management experience. A valuable program management consultant will have a strong program management portfolio. It should include the projects they have managed and the outcomes of those projects.
They may have trained in one of many program management consulting training programs. They may have even graduated from formal project management consulting certification programs.
An effective program manager will also have excellent interpersonal skills. After all, they will need to communicate regularly with you, your project teams, and other stakeholders.
All these different constituents require consistent, but differing, communication strategies. Your program manager will need to be able to execute all these different strategies at the same time.
Finally, a program management consultant that's going to be able to help take your business to the next level will have credibility within their field. Check their credentials and any publications they may have online. See if they are affiliated with any formal project or program management organizations. Request a list of references from them during your initial consultation.
Use Program Management Consulting to Take Your Business to the Next Level
Now you know everything you need to know about program management consulting. The benefits of working with a project management consultant far outweigh the costs. A good program management consultant is worth their weight in gold to your company and its bottom line.
Looking to get in touch with a consultant as soon as possible? Fill out our contact form today, and we'll get in touch to discuss your project!