Project Management Institute

What's in a name?

Many people are uncertain about the difference between a project and a program, because the words are so similar. This article features two project professionals discussing the confusion between projects and programs. It begins by defining a project and a program and looks at the confusion between the terms projects and work effort. It then explains how programs may address organizational problems and describes how to ensure alignment with executives in language and concepts. The article looks at the disadvantage when a true program is treated as a large project. It explores the roles of a project manager and a program manager, noting why moving from project to program manager should not be automatic. It also examines how the confusion may affect budgets and schedule elements.
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