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Topics: Career Development
Program vs Application Manager

I'm somewhat new to this whole world of IT/PM responsibilities. This site has been helpful, so I'm hoping that someone can answer for me what the difference between and application manager and a program manager is... I have an inkling, but not specifics. Thanks!
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Dear Brianne,

Regarding "what is the difference between and application manager and a program manager..." Some organizations in the context of software project management use the terms "Application Manager" and "Progam Manager" interchangeably, but they really are a bit different. In many organizations, an application manager is a line manager with a team of direct reporting resources. For example, an ERP application manager. The program manager is the person with authority to manage a program; that is a collection of projects. Note that the program manager is a role, not a line management position. The program manager may manage projects within the program acting both as project manager on some projects as well as the overall program manager. And, typically, the project managers within the program report to the program manager for the duration of the program. Great post. I hope we hear and learn from others. Regards,

Mark Perry

VP of Customer Care

BOT International


Brianne, In my experience, Application Managers are "permanent" functional managers with responsibility of maintaining and supporting a computer application or function (i.e. Payroll, Data Warehouse, Development, etc..). A Program Manager is more of a manager that is "temporary" for the development or deployment of a strategic program (i.e. Implementation of a Data Warehouse). Each scenario can have multiple projects but the implementation of a strategic program generally spans several years and consists of multiple projects to accomplish the mission. As opposed to enhancements and changes to a computer application.

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