Program manager role

The program manager is ultimately responsible for meeting customer requirements and delivering the program within schedule. The program manager provides leadership to the program team, ensures that the program meets product specifications, delivers the product on time and within resource constraints, and in general controls the "what and when" of the project. The program manager produces time-phased schedules for each program, tracks progress and anticipates future impact, and ensures linkages with related programs and projects.

The program manager requires that design reviews at every phase are conducted and documented to ensure integration, and all actions resolved.

The program manager has the primary responsibility for creating a program plan for each program and a program schedule composed of tasks and milestones. The program plan is created with support from the customer, program team members and department managers. After the program is underway, the program manager is required to keep the program schedule current, track progress, and incorporate changes as required. The program manager utilizes project management software to produce and update schedules and resource reports, and is expected to be proficient in the use of such software for control and presentation purposes.

The program manager has the primary responsibility to create and maintain a detailed program schedule that meets all program objectives. The schedule must be consistent with the generic WBS, and should include:

■ Summary tasks and task structure and key milestones that correspond to all major program objectives contained in the program plan

■ All product development activities and tasks required to execute a given program, including systems design, detailed design, certification, test equipment, reliability, safety, design reviews, manufacturing, procurement, test assets, and so on

■ Tasks detailed to the lowest practical level; activities and tasks should generally be built four levels down

■ Resources assigned to activities and tasks and leveled to reflect a realistic workload

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