As we are already aware, technology is growing rapidly like a disease with a huge load of technical projects. We are in dire need of someone who can control and manage these complex projects to run them smoothly. So, this is where the technical program manager comes to the rescue. TPM executes programs that assist a company in achieving its business objectives. This article is all about what a technical program manager does and how to become one with excellent skills.
What is a Technical Program Manager?
The technical program manager (TPM) manages everything in the technical projects. Moreover, he also organizes everything running within an organization. However, the most crucial responsibilities of a TPM are to present the plans for projects. Along with this, they can set various objectives, coordinate teams, and ensure the successful completion of the projects successfully.
All in all, they have a comprehensive understanding of the technology being used. They are also efficient in problem-solving tasks for the company’s success.
Technical Program Manager vs Product Manager
The technical program manager and the product manager both play a key role in the productivity of an organization. However, some precise differences in their work and objectives put them in separate categories. This section will discuss some of those differences to make you familiarized with them across various categories.
1. Focus and Objectives
A technical program manager is mainly concerned with the management and progress of a technical program. This is to ensure that it is executed on time and within budget. In comparison, a program manager is responsible for the overall strategy and success of the product. However, they also define the product’s features and market positioning.
2. Technical Expertise
A TPM has a comprehensive knowledge of technology and its relevant tools for projects. These allow them to execute and manage complex projects efficiently. On the other hand, technical knowledge isn’t the primary expertise of a product manager. Rather, they are experts at understanding customer needs and market dynamics.
3. Planning Horizon
The overall work of a technical program manager is generally based on a shorter timeframe. This helps them to mainly focus on technical aspects, including planning and project schedule management. In contrast, a program manager operates on a longer time horizon. The focus on maintaining product roadmaps and meeting customer needs drives the evolution of the product over time.
What Does a Technical Program Manager Do?
Now you know what a technical program manager is and how it’s different from a product manager. In this section, we will let you know about what a technical program manager does exactly for the organization. Here are some key responsibilities that are specifically associated with a TPM.
- Planning of Project: A technical program manager develops detailed project plans with several vital elements, including timelines, milestones, and resource allocations. All of this is to facilitate the company in completing projects within time and budget deadlines.
- Program Management: One of the essential tasks of a TPM is the end-to-end management of technical programs. These include software development projects, infrastructure upgrades, hardware implementations, etc. The company’s ultimate success is the aim, and the scopes and objectives of the programs are clearly defined and managed.
- Crisis Management: Identifying and eliminating possible risks to prevent the company from crisis is another crucial role of a technical program manager. So, he assesses the potential challenges the company might face and develops strategies to solve them for a smooth workflow.
- Cross-Functional Collaboration: A TPM works in collaboration with the company’s various departments, such as engineering and quality assurance, to ensure effective alignment with the company’s objectives. This bridge-like action between the multi-departmental teams facilitates the company in teamwork and productive communication.
Skills for a Technical Program Manager
Operating as a technical program manager is not an easy task that everyone is capable of doing. You must have specific skills and learning experiences that could enable you to perform the duty of a TPM. In this section, we will highlight some significant skills that are required in technical program management.
1. Management Skills
These skills are required to create comprehensive project plans and set their objectives and timelines. In addition, you must be able to manage the resources of technology and budget effectively.
2. Expert in Technology
Understanding complex technology and its tools is another crucial skill required specifically for a TPM. This enables technical product managers to identify and professionally solve confusing technical challenges and issues.
3. Decision-making and Leadership Skills
A professional technical program manager has the sound ability to lead and motivate teams to ensure that everyone is working towards unified goals. Moreover, he must have the potential to make crucial decisions related to the project execution, significantly impacting the company’s progress.
How to Become a Technical Program Manager?
Becoming a technical program manager requires attaining a specific educational level and acquiring the necessary experience and skills for professional work. This section will introduce you to some requirements you must fulfill to be a TPM.
1. Get Proper Education
You can start your career by graduating with at least a bachelor’s degree. Some of the relevant degrees in this field are Computer Science, Business Management, and Information Technology, which you can do from any desired institution. Furthermore, you can pursue a master’s degree optionally if you want to enhance your qualifications and career prospects.
2. Gain Technical Expertise
To fulfill the specializations of a TPM, you must develop a solid technical background in the areas that are relevant to this post. Not only this, but you should also keep updating your technical knowledge and expertise to stay on pace with the evolving technology.
3. Build Managerial Skills
You must start working on your project management skills to fulfill the desired role. Also, it’s crucial to have strong communication and leadership skills to be able to motivate the team, solve conflicts, and make decisions for the company.10 Best Product Management Software
4. Job Hunting
After clearing the educational and technical requirements, a person should look for job openings in any desired niche. For this purpose, you should create a resume highlighting your educational background, gained skills, and working experiences. Plus, you should stay in touch with the emerging trends and technologies and the opportunities for this field to apply.
5. Demonstrate Your Potential
When you get your desired job as a technical program manager, you should demonstrate your potential by successfully managing various projects and delivering them on time. In addition, highlight your achievements and successful outcomes in your portfolio to let others know about your capabilities and efficiencies.
Best Collaborate Tool for Technical Program Manager
To develop various management skills, effective communication and leadership capabilities are the key elements to be a successful TPM. But, if you further intend to maximize your output, Docuo is a powerful tool to assist you in this field.
This tool lets you handle several projects and documentation easily and effectively. You can even create directories with its AI technology to assist you in keeping your projects organized and easily accessible.