One Title, Many Roles
many of the analogies before
to describe the role of project managerthe "captain" of the ship,
the "conductor" of the orchestra, the "coach" of the team, the
"catalyst" of the engine, and so on. There's truth and insight in
each of the
, but each can be incomplete as well. To gain
better understanding of what a project manager does, let's
discuss each of the key roles
by the project manager:
Ensures that the project is defined properly and completely for
success, all stakeholders are engaged, work effort approach is
determined, required resources are available when needed, and
processes are in place to properly execute and control the
Using work breakdown, estimating, and scheduling techniques,
determines the complete work effort for the project, the proper
sequence of the work activities, when the work will be
accomplished, who will do the work, and how much the work will
Serves as the central point-of-contact for all oral and written
Ensures the project has the resources, materials, and facilities it
needs when it needs it.
Ensures that stakeholders and team
who come from different
perspectives understand each other and work together to accomplish
the project goals.
Gains agreement from the stakeholders on project definition,
success criteria, and approach;
throughout the project while managing the competing demands of
time, cost, and quality; gains agreement on resource decisions and
issue resolution action steps.
Utilizes root-cause analysis
process experience, prior project experiences, and technical
knowledge to resolve unforeseen technical issues and to take any
necessary corrective actions.
Works to shield the project team from the politics
the project, so they can stay focused and
Determines and communicates the role each team member plays and the
importance of that role to the project success; finds ways to
motivate each team member; looks for ways to improve the skills of
each team member; and provides constructive and
Performs the follow-up to ensure that commitments are
issues are resolved, and action items are completed.
Manages all information, communications, and documentation involved
in the project.
Continuously works to identify risks and to develop
responses to those risk events in advance.
Consistently measures progress against the plan;
develops corrective actions; reviews quality of both project
processes and project deliverables.
extension of the Persuader and Coach roles, but this role is
focused on "selling" the benefits of the project to the
organization, serving as a "change agent," and
members to meet project goals and
While there is consensus that the disciplines
and techniques used in project management can be applied in any
industry, there is no consensus on whether individual project
managers can be effective in a different industry.
There is no doubt that the more knowledge and
experience that a project manager has in the subject matter area of
the project, the more value that he/she can offer. However,
depending on the
of the initiative and the team composition, a
project manager with different industry experience can bring
tremendous value if they are strong in the other four skill