Chapter 13. Program Manager Core Competencies

What was your motivation for choosing the program management model for developing products? We posed that question to Gary Rosen, vice president of engineering for Varian Semiconductor Equipment. Rosen responded by stating the following:

When observing the differences between poorly-run product development efforts and well-run efforts, I noticed the difference was that the well-run programs had a true program manager in charge. These people had a broad skill base that is needed in the capital equipment industry—good people skills, good business acumen, and good system (integration) skills. Unfortunately, not a lot of people have these broad skills.

It is a rare program manager that comes to the role totally qualified to fulfill all aspects of such a broad and encompassing set of skills and competencies. The successful program manager is constantly seeking to learn and broaden his or her knowledge and experience to take on more complex and critical programs. Senior management, in turn, needs to create a positive learning environment to encourage program managers to continually seek improvement and growth.

We developed the program management competency model, which addresses the breadth, depth, and complexity of the program management role. This model provides senior management with an excellent aid for developing program management as a true discipline that can provide competitive advantage through business efficiency. As the capability ...

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