Program management analysts are business specialists who help organizations to overcome problems which management is unfamiliar with and which threaten their opportunities for growth and stability. In many cases, these analysts work for firms that specialize in niche areas, such as information systems or manufacturing processes, although larger organizations with multiple entities and interests might keep full time program management analysts to regularly consult with high level managers and executives. A program management analyst normally begins by meeting with managers to learn about which problems are concerns and to determine how these problems threaten an organization and why these problems occur. It is common for a program management analyst next to research solutions, present solutions to management, then act as a project manager who oversees implementation of new systems or practices and conducts employees training and assessment. A program management analyst might also evaluate new processes or systems once they have been in effect for some time to learn about their effectiveness.
Most program analysts have graduate degrees in fields such as business administration. In many cases, however, they might also have more specialized areas of interest, such as information systems, logistics, or engineering. It also is common for a program management analyst to be an expert in his or her field. He or she might belong to professional organizations, have special job certification, and even write articles or books about program management.
Once a program management analyst learns about a problem, the next steps he or she takes depend largely on the nature of the problem and its degree of complexity. For instance, if there are problems with an organization's telecommunication system, an analyst might begin analyzing data that shows levels of productivity and how they relate to communication among various departments and entities in an organization. In this scenario, a program management analyst most likely is an information technology specialist, so he or she might research new technologies, programs, and practices related to the sharing of communication and present several options for optimized systems. An analyst who specializes in supply chain management, on the other hand, might monitor the performances of different vendors and distributors.
If a program management analyst is able to convince management that his or her proposed solution is worth trying, he or she might take the role of project manager. In other words, an analyst might meet with leaders from different departments and discuss needs and concerns related to the implementation of new systems. He or she might then begin training employees to use new systems. Once an organization has begun to adapt a new new system, it is common for a program management analyst to monitor productivity and tweak a new system as necessary.