Key Roles and Responsibilities of a Technical Program Manager

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Program management is sometimes referred to as “project management on steroids” because program management involves managing multiple projects at the same time, often with complex interdependencies and a larger scope and impact than individual projects. Program management requires strong leadership and organizational skills, as well as the ability to effectively communicate and coordinate with various stakeholders in order to ensure the successful delivery of the program’s goals.

Lets understand through this blog the Key Roles and Responsibilities of a Technical Program Manager.

Table of Contents

As a Technical Program Manager (TPM), you are responsible for driving the development and launch of complex, cross-functional projects. In addition, you manage the various stakeholders and teams involved in the project to ensure smooth and efficient delivery. Your responsibilities include

  1. strategic activities such as road mapping, establishing best practices and processes, and implementing change and automation;
  2. operational activities such as release management, planning, communication, stakeholder management, risk management, conflict resolution, escalation, and data and metrics;
  3. deliverables such as plans, trackers, and communication artifacts;
  4. And stakeholders, including the Product Manager, engineering team, leadership, business, and customers.

If you are looking for a practical TPM certification that can help boost your career, Check out here.

 

As a Technical Program Manager (TPM), you are responsible for driving the development and launch of complex, cross-functional projects. In addition, you serve as the orchestrator, managing the various stakeholders and teams involved in the project to ensure that it is delivered smoothly and efficiently. In this role, you will have a variety of responsibilities, including road mapping, stakeholder management, risk management, conflict resolution, and more. In this blog, we will delve into a TPM’s key roles and responsibilities, including both strategic and operational tasks.

 

As a Technical Project Manager (TPM), there are four main areas of focus in your work:

  1. Strategic activities
  2. Operational activities
  3. Deliverables, and
  4. Stakeholders

Strategic activities include:

  • Road mapping: Developing and approving annual or quarterly roadmaps for the year’s planned programs and projects.
  • Best Practices: Implementing best practices, standardized frameworks, and tools across programs and projects.
  • Processes: Designing repeatable and predictable processes for initiating, tracking, governing, reviewing, and delivering programs and projects.
  • Change Agent: Transforming traditional processes and tools into agile processes and tools to ensure timely and high-quality delivery of programs and projects using iterative, feedback-based development paradigms.
  • Automation: Automating product development and deployment using modern DevSecOps processes and toolchains.
  • Kaizen: Establishing a culture of continuous improvement and data-driven decision-making.

Operational activities include:

  • Release management: Planning, scheduling, and managing the software build through various stages and environments from ideation to release.
  • Planning: Preparing a detailed program or project plan with the Product Manager.
  • Communication: Establish communication modes and schedules with various stakeholders, conduct planned and ad-hoc meetings to ensure project milestones are on track, communicate the latest status, and share meeting minutes and regular updates with stakeholders.
  • Stakeholder management: Identifying stakeholders and their roles, keeping them updated on the project’s progress, addressing their concerns, and implementing feedback.
  • Risk management: Identifying risks and developing a mitigation plan to ensure that the project stays on track or is brought back on track in the event of delays or blockers.
  • Conflict management: Identifying destructive conflicts and resolving them using various conflict resolution approaches such as compromising, smoothing, confronting, and forcing.
  • Escalation: Raising issues and blockers to the appropriate stakeholders at the right time to remove roadblocks and ensure that the project or program is back on track.
  • Data and Metrics: Defining critical metrics related to process, product, and customer that need to be tracked and communicated to stakeholders, analyzing data using tools such as Excel, SQL, and JQL, and creating reports, charts, and dashboards.

Deliverables include:

  • A plan document detailing the business justification, scope, technical resources, risks, risk mitigation plan, stakeholders, and a program or project timeline.
  • A tracker with a detailed breakdown of the project into a backlog of requirements for the entire project and prioritized backlogs for each iteration typically maintained in tools like Jira and Confluence. This should include dashboards, visualizations, and reports to track key metrics (project metrics, customer metrics, and product metrics).
  • Communication artifacts such as documents, presentations, and spreadsheets keep the team informed about project progress, blockers, risks, and mitigations.

Stakeholders

  • Product: The Product Manager is responsible for setting the vision for the product and ensuring its success, adoption, and evolution. You will work closely with the Product Manager on backlogs, prioritization, sprint planning, release planning, and launch and post-launch activities.
  • Engineering: Members of the engineering team are responsible for the architecture, development, testing, deployment, and release of the product. You will work closely with the engineering team on estimation, sprint planning, release planning, testing, and release.
  • Leadership: Stakeholders from the leadership and management team who are executive sponsors for the program or project. You will keep the leadership team updated on the progress of projects and programs, risks and mitigation plans, and seek sponsorship and support as needed.
  • Business: Cross-functional stakeholders from other teams that have input into or are impacted by the outcomes of the program or project, such as UI/UX Design, Sales, Marketing, Customer Success, Operations, Legal, and Alpha & Beta Customers. You will keep these business teams updated on the progress of projects and programs, risks and mitigation plans, support needed, launch preparedness, training plans for business teams, and planning and execution of post-launch activities.

As companies grow and the need for cross-functional programs and collaboration increases, the complexity of programs and the number of stakeholders across the business requires an orchestrator who can drive, manage, and track programs from inception to launch (and even post-launch) to ensure smooth and efficient delivery. That orchestrator is the Technical Program Manager.

CONCLUSION : Key Roles and Responsibilities of a Technical Program Manager

In conclusion, the role of a Technical Program Manager is crucial in the successful development and launch of complex, cross-functional projects. TPMs are responsible for managing the various stakeholders and teams involved in a project to ensure smooth and efficient delivery. Their responsibilities include a range of strategic and operational tasks, development and management of deliverables, and relationships with key stakeholders. By effectively carrying out these responsibilities, TPMs ensure that projects are delivered on time, on budget, and to the desired quality standards.

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