Program Management Officer

Project Management Chicago, Illinois


A program management officer oversees the day-to-day operations of a collective organization’s remit from start to finish. This professional develops a clear plan, detailing step-by-step processes (with well-defined tasks) to ensure the team stays on time line and solves any complications that might arise during the course of the program execution. This role requires strong analytical and problem-solving skills. This person is leads through influence (somewhat intangible) but can validate success through cost controls and team performance metrics.

Responsibilities of the program manager
  • Daily program management throughout the contract life cycle
  • Defining the program controls
  • Manage the workflow of the overall program tasking and monitoring the progress
  • Monitor and optimize the QA/QC Plan; implement tracking mechanism for internal audits
  • Managing risks and issues, mitigation plans and corrective measures
  • Managing the program’s budget at a high level
  • Coordinating the projects and identifying their interdependencies
  • Managing Project Delivery (Project Management Oversight)
  • Align all processes and protocols for team’s role in invoicing, contracting, execution & communication and training
  • Managing important client communications
  • Aligning the deliverables to the program’s contractual requirements through coordination with the Contracts Director
  • Oversee resourcing and utilization requirements and goal management
  • Managing the main program documentations – which is critical on a government contract
Skills and attributes of the program manager

The program manager has strong practical experience in project management, which was gained through managing large and complex projects. He or she must have the following:

  • Good knowledge and handling of project and program management methodology and techniques
  • Good understanding of the wider objectives of the program
  • Ability to work positively and with the wide range of individuals
  • Strong leadership and management skills
  • Good knowledge of project budgeting, resource allocation and utilization procedures
  • The ability to find innovative ways to resolve problems
  • Knowledge of government contracts and programs

Regulatory Compliance – Importance of

It is the duty of a program management officer to ensure that all project orders meet the required legal standards.

Efficiency Strategies

The PMO role leads a team of operational leads to coordinate, communicate and implement consistent policies and best practices throughout the organization

It is the responsibility of the PMO to obtain pertinent information or case studies that can be used to make effective decisions.

Example: A PMO may have an initiative to provide a staff training, they would research strategies that other organizations have used to identify whether it's more cost-effective and efficient to contract a training firm, send employees to workshops in shifts or identify alternative methods, such as sending middle level managers to workshops and asking them to share the acquired knowledge with junior staff (i.e., train the trainer method).

Development of Thorough Communication Strategies

A program management officer develops an effective communication strategy that facilitates sharing of information with all levels of project staff and external audiences. To help manage that communication, the PMO develops or utilizes client facing tools and/or software to provide reporting and visually appealing tools to provide transparent views into the program.

Just some examples:

  • Dashboards
  • Campaign Calendars
  • Risk Reporting
  • Budget / Contracting Status
  • Burn Reporting
  • Task Order Management Tools