10 Best Things Every New Program Manager Should Know

Many organizations are in need of new program managers, so if you are looking for a challenging and rewarding career in which you can make a real impact on people’s lives, the area of program management may be for you.

Program management is the process of planning, organizing, leading, and managing the execution of programs or projects. It is a complex field that requires both technical skills and management abilities.

In this article, we will discuss what a new program manager knows to become a successful program manager.

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How To Succeed As A New Program Manager: Start By Knowing These Crucial Things.

1. Define The Problem

In order to fix a problem as a new program, it must first be identified and then defined. A problem definition should include what is wrong? why it is wrong? and how it can be fixed. 

After a problem has been defined, root cause analysis can be used to determine its cause.

Read also: What Every Manager Needs To Know About Succession Planning

2. Set Achievable Goals

In order to be successful in any field, it is important to set achievable goals. As a new program manager, it is especially important to have manageable objectives that you can accomplish in a given time frame.

This will help you build a positive track record and reputation within your organization. Additionally, setting achievable goals will help you stay motivated and focused on your work.

When setting goals, it is important to make sure they are realistic and specific. For example, don’t just say “I want to improve my skills.” Say “I want to improve my skills in project management by taking a course online.” 

Furthermore, make sure your goals are aligned with the overall vision and strategy of your organization. That way, you can be sure that everything you do contributes to the larger goal.

3. Manage Expectations

When taking on a new program manager role, it is important to manage expectations. You may be new to the organization and lack experience, or you may be coming in with a specific plan that is not aligned with what others expect.

 In either case, communicating early and often is key to avoiding frustration down the road. 

Some tips for managing expectations: 

  • Set realistic timelines and goals. Explain why you need the time allotted and what you hope to achieve.
  • Get buy-in from stakeholders. Show them how your plan benefits them and how they can help contribute. 
  • Be transparent. Keep everyone updated on your progress, challenges, and changes in plans. 
Read also: What Is A Curriculum Vitae [CV] – All You Should Know

4. Build And Manage The Team

As a new program manager, you will need to build and manage your team. Managing a software development team is hard work. Building and managing the right team is even harder. 

So how do you go about finding, building, and managing your software development team?

  • The first step is to find the right people. This may take some time, but it’s important to take the time to find the right fit.

Look for people who are passionate about software development and who have a track record of success.

  • Once you’ve found the right people, it’s important to build a strong team culture.

 This includes things like setting expectations, defining roles and responsibilities, and establishing a code of conduct.

  • Finally, it’s important to manage the team effectively. This includes things like providing feedback, coaching and mentoring, and helping team members grow and develop their skills.

5. Communicate Effectively

In any organization, communication is key. When different departments don’t communicate effectively, it can lead to confusion and even conflict.

In order to be an effective New Program Manager, you need to be able to communicate with your team, your boss, and other stakeholders.

One of the most important things to remember is to be clear and concise. Use simple language that everyone can understand. Avoid using jargon or acronyms that may be unfamiliar to people outside of your department.

Another key aspect of communication is listening. Be sure to listen carefully to what others are saying, and ask questions if you need clarification. Show interest in what others are saying, and be open to feedback.

Finally, always be respectful. Address others in a professional manner, and avoid raising your voice or becoming defensive.

Read also: Family, Friends, and Career ( work-life balance)

6. Stay Organized

Just because you have a  job title as a new program manager doesn’t mean you’re suddenly organized. 

Here are a few tips to help you stay on track.

  • Start by creating a system for tracking your work. Whether it’s using a calendar, task list, or software program, find something that works for you and stick to it.
  •  Don’t try to do everything at once. Start with one or two tasks and add more as you get comfortable with the new system.
  • Ask for help when you need it. Your colleagues and supervisors are happy to help when they can.
  •  Take time for yourself. Even if it’s just 10 minutes each day, use that time to relax and recharge your batteries.

7. Be Flexible

In today’s fast-paced business world, companies are looking for employees that can be flexible and adapt to changes quickly. With the ever-changing technology landscape, companies are looking for employees with new skill sets that can help them stay competitive.

 A recent study by CareerBuilder found that 57 percent of employers said they would be more likely to promote a worker who is flexible and able to adapt to change.

The role of a Program Manager is no exception. As businesses move from project-based work to product-based work, the role of the Program Manager is evolving. 

In order to be successful in this new role, you need to be flexible and able to adapt quickly. You also need to have a strong understanding of the business and how it works.

8. Handle Conflict Resolution

When you become a new program manager, you may be required to handle conflict resolution. It is important to understand the different types of conflict and how to address them.

Conflict can arise from different sources, such as competing goals, scarce resources, or personality clashes. It is important to identify the source of the conflict and address it head-on.

There are three main approaches to conflict resolution:( compromising, accommodating, and dominating.)

  •  Compromising involves finding a middle ground that meets the needs of both parties
  • Accommodating involves putting the needs of the other party first. 
  • Dominating involves making decisions that benefit oneself at the expense of others.

The best approach depends on the situation and the personalities of the people involved. It is important to be flexible and willing to try different approaches until you find one that works.

Read also: 10 Things To Do Right In An Interview

9. Be A Leader, Not A Dictator

When you become a program manager, you take on a lot of responsibility. You are responsible for the success of the project and the people working on it. 

This can be a lot of pressure, but it also comes with a lot of power. It is important to use this power wisely and not become a dictator. 

A dictator is someone who makes all the decisions unilaterally and doesn’t listen to others. This can lead to frustration among team members and can cause them to lose motivation. Instead, try to be a leader. 

A leader listens to others and takes their opinions into account. They also inspire team members to work together towards a common goal.

As a program manager, it is important to remember that you are not alone in this role. You have a team of people who can help you succeed. Use their expertise and ideas to make your project successful

10. Celebrate Successes

One of the things you need to know as a new program manager is your ability to celebrate the successes of your team. Whenever someone on your team accomplished something, you should make a big deal out of it.

One way of doing this is by recognizing them publicly and thanking them for their hard work. This type of behavior creates a positive environment and encourages people to do their best work.


In conclusion, every new program manager should be aware of the critical aspects of their role. 

By understanding the key components of program management, new managers can be successful in their positions and provide value to their organizations.

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