Project & Programme
Management

Project & Programme Management Careers Path

Career Paths helps you research and navigate the main project, programme and portfolio management job areas in today’s marketplace, and to map out the path you want to follow. 

Select any of the positions below to:

As you develop along the career path, the skills profile becomes more demanding.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Project Coordinator

What they do:

For those new to project management, the support roles offer a possible first step. As the name implies, the Coordinator / Administrator role is responsible for supporting a project / programme team in all areas of a project’s activities.

Working as a Coordinator provides opportunity to build familiarity with project tools and the project environment, and how to work successfully in the project environment. The role is likely to combine general administration with basic project management.

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Project Manager

What they do:

The Project Manager is the person responsible for driving forward the delivery of a project to achieve an effective outcome. By grouping project activities into phases, the Project Manager efficiently plans and organises resources, measures achievement of goals and makes decisions on how to move forward and when to take corrective action.

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Senior Project Manager

What they do:

The difference between a Project Manager and a Senior Project Manager usually relates to the complexity of project they manage.

More complex projects carry higher levels of risk, are intended to have greater business impact and will usually involve multiple stakeholders. They are too complex to be managed as a whole, and will usually be broken down into sub projects and stages, each with its own manager.

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PROGRAMME MANAGEMENT

PROGRAMME MANAGEMENT

Programme Coordinator

What they do:

For those new to project management, the support roles offer a possible first step. As the name implies, the Coordinator / Administrator role is responsible for supporting a project / programme team in all areas of a project’s activities.

Working as a Coordinator provides opportunity to build familiarity with project tools and the project environment, and how to work successfully in the project environment. The role is likely to combine general administration with basic project management.

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Programme Manager

What they do:

Organisations set up programmes when there is a need to manage a group of related projects to bring about a significant business change and set of benefits. They are large bodies of work that can span offices, timezones and involve strategic relationships and alliances with internal and external stakeholders, business sponsors and providers.

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Programme Director

What they do:

The title Programme Director might be used if the programme is particularly complex or high profile. Programme Managers may also choose to follow the portfolio management career path, with responsibility for ensuring programmes and projects across the organisation are successfully delivered, or they may use the significant skills they’ve built up to move into other senior management/executive roles.

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PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT

PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT

Portfolio Manager

What they do:

Project Portfolio Management is a set of business practices that allows an organization to manage a group of projects or programmes as a strategic portfolio. It is mainly applied when projects and programmes draw upon a shared set of resources as a method for helping the organisation set priorities and focus its use of resources and funding.

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Portfolio Director

What they do:

Although the terms Portfolio Manager and Portfolio Director are used fairly interchangeably by organisations, the Portfolio Director is typically a more strategic role.

Typically, the Portfolio Director has a greater level of responsibility for the portfolio strategy and for providing clear leadership and direction through its life. They work closely with the business to ensure that agreed benefits and other objectives are met or exceeded.

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PROJECT, PROGRAMME, PORTFOLIO OFFICE (P3O/PMO)

PROJECT, PROGRAMME, PORTFOLIO OFFICE (P3O/PMO)

PMO Coordinator

What they do:

For those new to project management, the support roles offer a possible first step. As the name implies, the Coordinator / Administrator role is responsible for supporting a project / programme team in all areas of a project’s activities.

Working as a Coordinator provides opportunity to build familiarity with project tools and the project environment, and how to work successfully in the project environment. The role is likely to combine general administration with basic project management.

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PMO Analyst

What they do:

The Project Management Office (usually called the P3O or PMO) is the nerve centre and information hub, coordinating support activities for a specific project or programme, or for a portfolio of projects and programmes. The PMO adds value through the knowledge, skills and experience of its staff, and through the development of consistent standards and procedures.

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PMO Manager

What they do:

The Project Management Office Manager (PMO Manager) leads the project, programme or portfolio support office. Often abbreviated to P3O or PMO, is the group or department that defines and maintains standards for project management within the organization.

The Project Office Manager is responsible for providing expert guidance, support and coaching to project, programme and portfolio managers.

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TECHNICAL SPECIALISTS

TECHNICAL SPECIALISTS

Project Planner

What they do:

The planner is a specialist role dedicated either to a project or programme, or working from within the project or programme office to support a number of projects.

Project Planners are essentially navigators. They are involved throughout the lifecycle of the project, working closely with the Project Manager initially to scope the project, and create master plans and schedules. They identify which activities are critical to successful delivery (the critical path), and which can move without risking project outcomes.

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Business Analyst

What they do:

Business Analysts investigate business needs and problems, capturing requirements for business improvements and translating these into solutions that align with business goals and strategy. Through research and consultation with business stakeholders, Business Analysts build up a solid understanding of how the business is currently operating and carefully analyse the information to identify the best way to effect business change.

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Risk Manager

What they do:

The purpose of the risk role is to take the lead in ensuring that a programme or project has effective processes in place to identify and monitor risks, has access to reliable and up-to-date information about risks, and uses the appropriate controls and actions to deal with risks.

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Project Estimator

What they do:

The Project Estimator’s job is to estimate or forecast the cost of a project over its lifetime. They work most commonly on the preparation of bids and tenders for large projects and programmes, and the role is most widespread in the construction industry where they work with architectural designers and engineers to determine the materials and labour the project will need. Given the scale and risk of some construction projects, it’s easy to see the value that a professional estimator can bring to the team.

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Benefits Analyst

What they do:

The purpose of the benefits role is to ensure that a ‘fit for purpose’ approach to benefits measurement and realisation is applied within a project or programme so that the organization is able to optimise its investment from change.

All projects and programmes should have a robust business case setting out the case for change and defining the benefits that will result.

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Quality Analyst

What they do:

Quality Analysts use their skills for gathering, analysing and presenting data to improve the quality of products and services for business users. Although the specifics of the role will differ depending on the industry and organization, the main duties are likely to be similar.

Quality Analysts focus on planning and conducting audits against important measures of product and service quality.

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