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3 Program Manager Job Description Samples, Guide (2022)

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Stephen Greet, Co-founder

February 11, 2022

A program manager (similar to a portfolio manager and a strategic program manager) is the person who leads, oversees, and coordinates activities concerning a set (portfolio) of projects for an organization. They are accountable for ensuring that all projects are accomplished according to company project guidelines and for fulfilling project and program strategies. 

Their main duties include initiating, developing, planning, running, and closing projects, programs, and tasks to achieve the goals and objectives for each. The program manager may also be responsible for creating and maintaining the policies and procedures for the project management organization within a company.

Recruiting an outstanding program manager for your organization can be a tough and frustrating process, from scouring for talent to filtering through program manager resumes, but BeamJobs is here to assist you. It all starts with your job description. Check out our excellent examples and guidance on how to create a great program manager job description, so you can attract and hire the best people.

Program Manager Job Description Example

The job: Super Goods is an up-and-coming producer and supplier of durable goods for original equipment manufacturers. Our program manager position needs someone who can step up and lead programs with gusto and drive teams to deliver outstanding results. Our PMO is a very busy and dynamic area. We are looking for someone who is a self-starter and can have an immediate impact by taking the lead to enhance the organization and discipline in our project portfolio. They must also be able to strongly partner with our business leaders to create successful products and expand our market share. 

What you’ll be doing: The mission of this role is to oversee numerous initiatives and ensure all project management processes are followed according to best practices. You will work with our project teams (business and technical) to deliver world-class results and business outcomes.

  • Organize daily program activities according to the business objectives and goals for each project.
  • Assess new initiatives to support the organization’s strategies.
  • Identify and use appropriate metrics and KPIs to effectively track project/program success.
  • Collaborate with project teams and the business to develop budgets and plans for programs and initiatives.
  • Evaluate and address the programs’ risks, strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.
  • Monitor projects’ progress and oversee project managers, ensuring that schedules, budgets, and overall goals are met.
  • Organize and lead meetings with all stakeholders to communicate program status and remedy any issues.
  • Partner with the product development teams to review and improve strategies.

Benefits: We offer a competitive compensation plan with salary and bonus, health insurance, 401(k), option plan, and unlimited vacation policy.

  • Job type: full-time
  • Salary: $70,000.00 to $90,000.00/year
  • Additional compensation: bonuses
  • Other: dental insurance, vision insurance, retirement plan

Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Highly organized and detail-oriented
  • Management experience (preferable)
  • Project management certifications (preferable)
  • Manufacturing industry knowledge or experience (preferable)

About the company: Super Goods was founded in 2010 in Killington, Vermont, and we are expanding rapidly to supply a growing number of major companies in the northeast. Our extensive product lines require an increasing number of initiatives to support them. We rely heavily on the program management organization to effectively deliver our new products. Our company is a traditional manufacturing business, but we are a highly team-oriented group. We are looking for a strong, innovative team player to join our family.

Technical Program Manager Job Description Example

Job details: Gaming the World is a software development firm focused on creating cutting-edge online games for computer and mobile platforms. Our company was established in 2018 and is headquartered in historic Montgomery, Alabama. The technical program manager function is a key role within our company and is a business-facing position that provides mission-critical services in support of our products.

Role: This position requires high levels of expertise, aptitude, and enthusiasm in executing multiple crucial functions. 

  • Organize programs and initiatives to support the organization’s mission, goals, and objectives.
  • Develop new programs to drive strategic initiatives and business processes.
  • Create and manage long-term goals for development efforts.
  • Develop budgets and operating plans for programs and projects.
  • Institute methods to assess program performance and identify areas for improvement.
  • Partner with the business to author program and project funding proposals and presentations for executive-level reviews and buy-in.
  • Manage teams with diverse arrays of talents and responsibilities.
  • Ensure program and project goals are met in areas such as customer satisfaction, schedule, quality, budgets, and team member performance.
  • Implement and manage scope changes and issues to ensure project goals are achieved.
  • Meet and facilitate decision-making with stakeholders on a regular basis to ensure clear and transparent communication regarding project risks/issues.
  • Produce complete, accurate, and timely reporting of program and project statuses throughout their life cycles.
  • Collaborate with the marketing team on strategies and campaigns.

Benefits: Our strong compensation plans include salary and bonus, full benefits including health insurance, 401(k), option plan, and unlimited vacation policy.

  • Job type: full-time (flexible with work from home)
  • Salary: $100,000 to $150,000 per year
  • Additional compensation: bonuses and incentives
  • Other: dental insurance, vision insurance, retirement plan

Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s degree (math, science, computer science)
  • Over 5 years of technical development and/or engineering experience
  • Over 5 years of project management experience
  • Over 2 years of program management
  • Team leadership and/or management experience—preferred
  • Very strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent knowledge of software development and methodologies (Waterfall, Agile)
  • Experience managing designers, developers, and programmers—preferred
  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) and/or Project Management Professional (PMP)—preferred

About the company: 

Gaming the World leverages cutting-edge technology and methods to create market-leading games. Our tech is a key tool, but our team is the most important advantage we have. We need a strong leader who is team-focused and can work with highly creative and skilled developers to create the best products. The technical program manager not only provides technical expertise but must also be strongly knowledgeable in project best practices for program management. If you want to work in a fast-moving and challenging creative environment, then this is the place for you!

Senior Program Manager Job Description Example

Job details: Solid Products Industries’ main headquarters is located in busy downtown Houston, Texas, and is a manufacturer of industrial and oil field tools. We are seeking a senior program manager who is an expert in assessing business requirements and devising program strategies to achieve organizational objectives. You must be highly results-driven and able to work in a very fast-moving and dynamic environment.

Responsibilities: As a key position within Solid Products’ organization, this position is a leader and an individual contributor. The senior program manager also examines marketing analysis, research initiatives, and go-to-market strategies to ensure that all projects and programs are aligned with the company’s strategy. They also serve as a PM subject-matter expert, providing direction and guidance to all project managers within the organization.

  • Plan and monitor project and program execution, ensuring that organizational goals and objectives are met.
  • Execute coordination of the project portfolio and management of project interdependencies.
  • Create forecasts and manage program budgets.
  • Manage cross-project and departmental resources.
  • Identify, mitigate, and address risks and issues.
  • Oversee and maintain program, portfolio, and project documentation.
  • Handle stakeholder communications, buy-in, approvals, negotiations, and problem management.

Benefits: Our compensation packages are very competitive, commensurate with experience, and include salary and bonus, full coverage insurance, and vacation time.

  • Job type: full-time (Central Standard Time), some travel (15%) required
  • Salary: $160,000.00 to $200,000 annual
  • Additional compensation: bonuses
  • Insurance: health, dental, vision, life
  • Retirement: 401(k)

Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s degree (business, engineering, IT)
  • 10+ years of project management experience
  • 5+ years of program management experience
  • Proven leadership experience, minimum 3 years
  • Extensive experience leading and managing initiatives
  • Very strong analytical and reporting skills
  • Project Management Professional (PMP) (preferred)
  • Program Management Professional (PgMP) (preferred)

About the company: Solid Products Industries has been providing outstanding products and services for over 20 years. We are a leading manufacturer of tools for the oil industry and are a large company but operate as a close-knit family. Our company is looking for a talented manager and program leader who can develop business and product lines. If you are looking for a fun, challenging, team-oriented organization with great opportunities, then look no further than Solid Products Industries.

Write Your Best Program Manager Job Description

Job description writing is not easy. This goes for any role, but it can be especially difficult for the program manager role because it covers such a large set of skills, and that can be very different from company to company. It is challenging to create a job description that sufficiently describes the role but is not too long.

Brevity is paramount. Jobseekers tend to skip job descriptions that are very long. Or, they will quickly scan through them and may miss key points that make your company or job role superior to other opportunities. Make sure to include all the information that shows how your job and/or company is unique, but keep the overall description as short as possible. Do not include generic skills or tasks that almost any job would have. The goal is to sell the job and your organization to the reader. You want to make them want that job!

One of the best ways to describe what a job role requires is to give examples of issues a program manager in your company needs to be able to handle. Another way to show the challenges a role needs to address is by explaining why you are hiring for the job or describing a gap that needs to be filled. Give specific examples. If the role is open because you are expanding, then use that. Always be specific and brief.

Avoid listing too many job requirements. Having a long list has been shown to lower the diversity of the candidates that will apply. In today’s world, it is important to encourage diversity in your company and remove anything that may dissuade women and minorities from applying for your opening. Always use wording and phrases that don’t reinforce preconceived biases in your job description. 

Program managers must be able to drive many complex tasks simultaneously. They have to be able to quickly and efficiently identify essential tasks and clearly communicate goals and objectives to diverse sets of people. Program managers also have to motivate people to get work done. Your job description needs to effectively communicate what your program manager role is about. 

Writing concisely can be a tough skill to master, but it is especially significant with job postings. Choose your words wisely, and make sure they are clear and easily understandable. This article from Research Degree Insider has some good tips on how to write more concisely. For example, share about the program manager role with active verbs, such as "partner,” “develop,” or “mitigate,” and avoid passive sentences that can be clunky and grow too long.  

A crucial last step to creating a great job description (or writing in general) is proofreading. Reread it and then reread it again. Have someone else proofread it, too. Get one or more people in program management and/or related areas to check it over. There is nothing worse than posting a job description with bad wording, grammatical errors, or even inaccurate information such as a salary range with one too many zeros. 

If at all possible, let your program manager job description sit for a day or two. Looking at it with fresh eyes will go a long way toward making appropriate revisions. Taking the extra time to make sure your job description is 100 percent right is well worth the effort and will ensure that you attract high-quality talent.

The framework for your program manager job description

Crafting your job description doesn’t have to be a painful endeavor. Sometimes we all just need a place to begin. Below is an outline that covers the items for a program manager job description. You’re welcome to copy the outline and fill it in according to the specific role you want to fill.  

Job details: Use this section as an introduction to your job opening and the company. Leverage this area to promote the role and your organization. Do not make it too long. You will have an opportunity later to provide more company information. You should provide one or two sentences briefly describing the what and why of the program manager role. Also, give the candidate a quick snippet of why your company is great. Again, you are trying to attract the best people to this role. Give them something that will make them want the job.

What you’ll be doing: You may also title this section as “Roles” or  “Responsibilities.” Create a bulleted list of the most significant tasks that the person in this job will perform. Keep the list short and each line brief and clear. Be sure to have anything unique and critical to your program manager role. You should always use active verbs, and be as specific as possible. Avoid using filler words.

Examples:

  • Organize programs and initiatives to support the organization’s mission, goals, and objectives.
  • Develop new programs to drive strategic initiatives and business processes.
  • Create and manage long-term goals for development efforts.
  • Implement and manage scope changes and issues to ensure project goals are achieved.
  • Meet and facilitate decision-making with stakeholders on a regular basis to ensure clear and transparent communication regarding project issues.
  • Produce complete, accurate, and timely reporting of program and project statuses throughout their life cycles.

Qualifications: This section is critical because it is where the applicant will quickly know whether they are a good fit for the job. The typical things to include are education, experience, certifications, and specialization requirements. Ensure you have listed all the requirements that are absolute deal-breakers. While it’s okay to list preferred qualifications, be sure to label them as such and avoid going overboard.

When referring to soft skills, use relevant personality words like “driven,“ “self-starter,” “persuasive,” and “dependable,” but avoid using too many. A program management role will have many standard requirements, but don’t waste valuable space listing generic skills. Do make sure to include special and non-standard qualifications your company may need. As with every section, keep it brief, specific, and clear.

Examples:

  • Bachelor’s degree (business, engineering, IT)
  • 10+ years of project management experience
  • 5+ years of program management experience
  • Proven leadership experience, minimum 3 years
  • Excellent knowledge of software development and methodologies (Waterfall, Agile)
  • Experience managing designers, developers, and programmers
  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) or Project Management Professional (PMP)

Benefits: Your goal here is to make the program manager position as attractive as possible. Always be specific, clear, and short with your benefits list, but make sure you include all of them. You probably shouldn’t open with the benefits, but you can put them anywhere else in the job description. If your company has something unique or special about its benefits, definitely highlight those, and (if this is the case) you may want to list this early on in the job description.

About the company: This section should be at the end of your job description. As we mentioned before, this is where you need to sell your company and make the reader interested in working there. Provide some details, perhaps about the history or culture of the company, but make sure they are relevant to the role.

A program management professional is going to want to know about the company’s project management and business strategies. Include a sentence or two with a brief synopsis of how the company approaches projects and initiatives in their strategy and how the program manager role fits in.

Program management roles and functions

Program managers are masters of managing schedules and groups of people to complete tasks. The program manager must be able to efficiently juggle many tasks and resources at one time.

Below are some sample roles a program management professional might fulfill as part of their job. One single program manager may not fulfill all these functions or roles, but this will give you some inspiration regarding things you can include:

High-level management and leadership

  • A program manager must have some level of management experience. They must also be very adept at not only managing projects but very strong at overseeing individual staff members and cross-functional teams.
    • Supervise direct and indirect reports and other project resources.
    • Manage highly matrixed and offsite teams with diverse backgrounds and skillsets.

Scheduling and managing tasks

  • Project management requires being highly skilled in creating and managing work breakdown structures. Program management moves to the next level of complexity due to the increased number of initiatives and projects managed as a program and/or portfolio.
    • Create and maintain complex schedules, tasks, and status updates for multiple resources, teams, and external vendors.
    • Assess and document technical and business efforts at a sufficient level of detail to clearly convey each task in a way that it can easily be understood and tracked.

Conflict resolution and problem-solving

  • Related to possessing strong people management skills, a good program manager must also be able to identify and resolve conflicts as well as deal with issues and problems as they arise.
    • Collaborate with stakeholders to recognize challenges before they become issues.
    • Proactively manage issues and problems to minimize project impacts.

Risk management

  • Risk management is a key function within project management, and a program manager must be excellent in this area. They need to identify, document, and address anything that may impact a project/program.
    • Work closely with stakeholders to proactively recognize both negative and positive events that could impact a project.
    • Devise mitigation plans to minimize the impact of identified risks.

Cost control and budgeting

  • One of the more difficult areas for most program managers is overseeing the budgetary aspects of projects. Having the financial acumen to manage all costs associated with projects and programs is a very beneficial skill to have.
    • Create, maintain, and report on project budgets, forecasts, and actual results.
    • Assess and address budgetary impacts due to project changes.

Teamwork and motivation

  • Directly related to people management and leadership is the ability to work with all stakeholders to effectively and efficiently complete project tasks. This is not just the mechanical, objective supervision of tasks. This is the more intangible skill that allows you to persuade and enable people, who may not even directly report to you, to get things done to achieve project objectives and goals.
    • Apply technical and business knowledge/expertise to evaluate quality and progress on tasks.
    • Guide, inspire, and/or persuade project resources to complete tasks on schedule, with quality, and within budget.

Organizational and multitasking

  • Multitasking is a very abused term, but it is truly relevant to project and program management. Directly related to task scheduling and management, the program manager must act at the next level because they are managing multiple projects simultaneously. This stretches individual and team capacity management to the maximum level and may create extreme pressure and stress.
    • Collaborate with many people (teams, departments, vendors, clients, etc.) to resolve business and personality conflicts.
    • Optimize scheduling and levels of effort for many disparate activities across multiple workstreams.

Communication

  • Communication is a key skill for many roles. It is especially important to a program manager because it is a prerequisite for almost all the previously mentioned roles and abilities. They must have a great aptitude for communicating effectively at all levels.
    • Leverage all media and forums such as meetings, presentations, e-mails, phone calls, and virtual meetings.
    • Communicate succinctly and clearly in all scenarios and especially when conveying very technical and/or complicated processes to technical experts, business process owners, management, and executives.