Project Management

Risk Management for Program Managers

PMI Toronto Chapter

Bruce is the founder of, a resource for growing IT project managers.

Program management is a relatively young discipline within the project management profession. That means there are fewer tools and techniques to address the challenges of program risk. At the same time, the larger responsibilities of program managers mean greater disruption from risk events.

The State of Program Management
Following the introduction of the Program Management Professional credential in 2007, there has been growing recognition of the importance of the program management specialization:

  • There are 1,091 Program Management Professional (PgMP) active certification holders as of August 2014
  • There are less than 3,000 PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP) active certification holders as of August 2014
  • The median salary for a program manager in the United States is $120,000 (source: 2013 PMI Salary Survey). The median program manager’s earnings put them in the top 10% of earners in the United States, according to Kiplinger.
  • Only 32% of organizations evaluated by PMI are highly performing in program management maturity (source: The High Cost of Low Performance 2014, PMI)

This data reveals a major opportunity for program managers to make an impact. The majority of organizations have limited program management capabilities. It is no wonder that the complexity and risk of programs are a growing concern for many in the …

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