How to be an Effective Program Manager


A program with a bad Program Manager is like a ship without a captain. The crew can’t see where they are going, the ship spends a lot of time going around in circles, and there is mutiny afoot.

So, what exactly does it take to be an EFFECTIVE Program Manager?


Lead by example

A Program Manager is first and foremost a positive leader.  They must have a vision which is clearly conveyed to all, and they need to be able to build and motivate their teams to do what is needed to be done…and to even go that extra mile.


“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others, it is the only means.”  

~ Albert Einstein    


Asking questions

Make no assumptions – ALL Programs need strong leaders who question the information they are presented with. Don’t just take what someone tells you as gospel.


Communicate clearly

Regular, clear communication helps programs succeed and helps to improve information flow and transparency.  This prevents surprises, gossip and misunderstandings along the way. The end result is clarity across the board – everyone is on the same page.  This leads to good morale within the program and project teams, and satisfied stakeholders.


Foster strong relationships – in ALL directions

Program Managers need to manage upwards, downwards and sidewards in order to achieve the desired results.  With strong relationships comes trust, cooperation and the willingness to help.  Oh, and most importantly support from those that count.


All of these tips can also be translated into any leadership or management role.

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