Roles and Responsibilities of a Project or Program Director

March 29, 2012
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, aspirants to the position of Project Director may have to face tough competition to get the through 2018. However, candidates with diverse work experience are expected to get an edge over those with a specialized skill set. A project or program director is often responsible for the overall management of one or more programs that are running under the administration of the organization. They often supervise the financial and human resource requirements of various projects. In this article, we will take a look at the different roles and responsibilities of a project or program director.

Responsibilities of a Project Director

Depending on the requirements of the industry, the roles and responsibilities of a project director may vary to a great extent. A program or project director needs to supervise a group of employees, including the project managers, to ensure that organizational strategies are followed. The most common responsibilities of a project director include:

  1. Reporting to the higher authorities – A company may have one or more program directors. In cases where you are the only program director of the organization, you usually need to report to the Board of Directors of the company. However, if there are many directors, each of them needs to create individual progress reports and submit it to the director of operations or the program sponsor or committee. Depending on the company structure and project governance structure the reporting will continue on up the hierarchy. Usually, a program director looks into the hiring requirements of a project. He also needs to identify the financial risks associated with a project, the strategic alignment of the project or program and report to the higher authority in advance.
  1. Recommend rules and regulations – The program director needs have knowledge of all the relevant government regulations or organizational policy. On the basis of this knowledge, he needs to recommend a set of regulations for the employees. When doing this, he also needs to ensure that the core values and ultimate mission of the organization are not violated.
  1. Monitoring data management – The project director is also responsible for the monitoring of different data management requirements, such as appraisal data, data on various metric and measures used to evaluate performance and processes within the organization, data on failure experiences within processes and projects, product information data management and more.
  1. Evaluation of project or program – It is important to assess the progress of an existing program as well as evaluate the potential of upcoming projects. A project director is responsible for doing this job. He may need to conduct a survey or assess feedback of end users to identify the potential of an upcoming project.
  1. Training of employees – At times, it becomes necessary to train existing employees in order to meet with the requirements of a new project. The program director takes on a major role in ensuring that employees receive the required training. First of all, they need to identify the knowledge gaps of individual employees. On the basis of this information, they usually decide on who should be trained. Moreover, they also play a major role in arranging the training program, such as making schedules, inspiring the employees to take part in the training program, etc.
  1. Each project is appropriately resourced and supported – A project or program is only successful if the right people are involved and the right tools are available.  A project or program director has the responsibility of ensuring this occurs.

Maintaining relationships – A program director may also need to attend community events and other social events in order to create and maintain relationships with the financiers or sponsors of the project.  Keeping good, open and honest relationships is vital to the success of the program.

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