In this video, we discuss the ITAM Program Lead role.  This includes understanding some basics of structuring an ITAM Program and what activities this role is expected to perform.

You’ve likely noticed we are using the term Lead and not Manager or Director.  This is only to highlight that in your specific organization, the role defining and running the ITAM Program might be at a Manger grade, or at a Director grade.  Regardless of the job title, the responsibilities of this role are what we want to discuss.

At the basic level, the ITAM Program Lead is responsible for ensuring that the ITAM Program delivers against its chartered mandate in the organization.  When setting up an ITAM Program, as a Program Lead you will work with your Executive Sponsor and Stakeholders to define the expectations for the Program as well as the measures of success.  This is a critical first step, and without this your Program will be doomed to fail.  For example, if you set up a Program and deliver a new management capability that allows you to generate license balances for Oracle, what do you think would happen if your Executive Sponsor instead was expecting extensive cost control and management of M365 instances in the cloud, or management of your organization’s mobile assets?  Therefore, in order to be a success as an ITAM Program Lead, you need to first define what the Program’s mission is (Charter) and what the expectations of success look like, and ensure these are aligned with your Executive Sponsor and Stakeholders.  Best practice is to also understand and align the organizational strategy and goals with the ITAM Program to ensure sufficient support from all areas.

Secondly, before we get into responsibilities of a Program Lead, it is important to understand the difference between a Project and a Program.  A Project is a structured set of activities with a defined start and end date that is designed to deliver a work product or deliverable that adds value to the organization.  An example of a Project might be to implement an ITAM Repository such as SNOW License Manager.  There would be a definite start date, and a definite end date to the Project – and by the end date, a new operational capability would exist in your organization – you would have a functional instance of SNOW License Manager.  A Program, on the other hand, may have a start date but there is no end.  A Program should be viewed as a continual set of activities that delivers against a chartered mandate or mission.  In other words, you might have several discrete Projects running under your ITAM Program, but it is ultimately the ITAM Program that coordinates all of these Project activities to ensure that the deliverables or work product are adding value to the organization.  A Program should be viewed as an Operational Service.

Aside from championing the Program charter and mandate, the ITAM Program Lead will be focused on potential problems, escalations, and removal of roadblocks.  In fact – these topics should not be shied away from – the ITAM Program Lead should be running TOWARDS these tough topics to ensure that the Steering Committee of the Program is educated and involved.  If the ITAM Program exists to create value for the organization, the ITAM Program Lead’s focus should be on removing any and all roadblocks that prevent this value creation – and making sure they are leveraging the Steering Committee’s executive support to make that happen.

This means that the ITAM Program Lead will be proactively and periodically communicating targeted content and messaging to the Steering Committee, on Risk Management, Optimization Realization, and overall program progress versus goals.  This also involves escalating issues that require Executive support to ensure they have the necessary visibility to get resolved.  The ITAM Program Lead also helps to facilitate and manage any topics where the Steering Committee would vote – for example on budget, program strategy and scope, follow up remediation or optimization actions, and managing escalations.

The ITAM Program Lead is a lynchpin that connects the Executive Strategic layer of the organization with the tactical/operational layer of the ITAM Team.  The ITAM Program Lead ensures that the Program Sponsor and Stakeholders are provided with actionable business intelligence in the form of Trustworthy Data – and the ITAM Team is provided a confirmed and mandated strategic direction from the Steering Committee.