Program Management involves leading large initiatives from start to finish. These initiatives can vary depending on which part of the business a program manager supports, ranging from a new sales process to the integration of an acquired company. Program Managers set the scope, timeline and milestones of a project and make sure the right stakeholders are involved throughout the process. They lead cross-functional meetings to drive decisions and they are the first point of contact to resolve any issues or risks that arise throughout the project's execution.
Within the tech industry, there are 3 roles that perform a similar function - Program Manager, Technical Program Manager, and Scrum Master.
Program Managers make sure the goals, scope, and timelines are understood and the right people are involved in a project. They also recalibrate the team through any challenges, and frequently lead meetings to bring various teammates together.
Though the Program Manager doesn't necessarily participate directly in the activities that produce the end result, they are responsible for maintaining the progress, and act as the connective tissues to make sure the right people are working on the right problems to make the project a success.
Technical Program Manager
Technical Program Management is a subset of Program Management, with a focus on product-specific program execution. Technical program managers are generally more versed in the product development life-cycle, and facilitates a lot of cross-team management, milestone setting and roadmap management, and technical goal-setting across the product and engineering organization.
A scrum master shares many general responsibilities as a Technical Program Manager, but utilizes the Scrum framework to support the health of a software development team.
"Scrum" is an Agile methodology framework that allows software teams to work on complex projects and deliver work iteratively. A Scrum Master will use the scrum process to guide the team through program delivery while promoting a sense of communication and empowerment to teammates.