‘Project manager’ is a common term in daily business. Whether it is a construction unit, Production, architecture, IT, petrochemical and various other business sectors – all are familiar with this job title –‘project manager’. Who is a project Manager? What does project manager do? What’s his role? All this questions comes to mind very often. The answer is – ‘a person who takes the whole responsibility for the successful commencement, planning, designing, monitoring, execution, regulation and completion of a project is a project manager. In simple terms, – He is a leader who guides the team towards a shared vision from the beginning to the end of project life cycle.
The project manager must have a blend of skills comprising the knack of asking piercing questions, recognizing tacit assumptions and resolve misunderstandings and conflicts, as well as more general management skills.
Sometimes people ask – do I need technical knowledge to become a project manager or should I be an expert? A project manager does not have to be an expert in the field he is managing, but he does need to have enough knowledge to be able to understand what needs to be done and communicate effectively with his team. It definitely makes sense to have a candidate with experience in the field you are operating in, but you end up employing experts. A project manager should not be an expert in engineering or IT or otherwise -because expertise requires you to be incredibly focused on the minutiae, and if you are focused on the tiny details, then you cannot possibly be looking at the big picture and properly enabling change.
A PM is there to ensure that the teams responsible deliver on their milestones. Not to know everything about everything. In fact, having too much technical knowledge can be a detriment. Obviously, you don’t let people pull the wool over your eyes but you also don’t need to go very deep in every activity. A lot of people end up in project management by accident; or rather they were never destined to be there, but happened to get to that position through promotion from other positions. Most lack the leadership skills required to deal with conflict or enable change in an environment that is resistant to the very thing you are trying to achieve.
It’s tough to know which way to go. In my opinion, the project manager doesn’t need to have a complete understanding of the engineering, the software, or the business (prior to appointment) but with appropriate subject matter experts advising him/her throughout the requirements spec and planning process there is no reason he/she cannot successfully manage any of the above.
Key factor within a project manager’s responsibilities is the in-time identification of the risk that straightly influences the probability of success, and also that this risk must be both formally and informally measured all through the project lifespan.
Risks ascend from uncertainty, and the successful project manager is the one who focuses on this as his prime concern. Most of the issues that impact a project result in one way or another is from risk. A good project manager can minimize risk significantly, usually by sticking to to a policy of open communication, ensuring every significant participant has an opportunity to express opinions and concerns. A project manager is a person who is responsible for making decisions, both large and small. The project manager should make sure they control risk and minimize uncertainty. Every decision the project manager makes should directly benefit their project.
Project managers use project management software, such as Microsoft Project, primavera to organize their tasks and workforce. These software packages allow project managers to produce reports and charts in a few minutes, compared with the several hours it can take if they do it by hand. So having a hands-on these tools is really beneficial.
Roles and Responsibilities
The main role of the project manager comprehends various activities stated as:
- Project Planning:
- Basic Planning and Defining Scope
- Activity Planning and Sequencing
- Resource Planning
- Defining Structure:
- Developing Schedules
- Time Estimating
- Cost Estimating
- Developing a Budget
- Creating Charts and Schedules
- Team Leadership
- Strategic Influencing
- Business Partnering
- Risk Analysis
- Managing Risks and Issues
- Monitoring and Reporting Progress
- Controlling Quality
- Scalability, Interoperability and
- Portability Analysis
- Working with Vendors
- Benefits Realization
Lastly, Upper management must provide a project manager the required support and authority if he or she is going to be successful.
Still doubts about project managers role. Get registered to any of our project management courses and acquaint yourself with the best PM skills.