The Project Manager

The main idea is to start a serie of posts about Project Management, and I’ll start talking about the role of the Project Manager.

But before, we should clarify what is the Project Management, and above all, what is a Project.

The Project Management is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing and coordinating resources and people to meet the objectives, deliverables and success criteria of projects.

And a Project is a unique sequence of complex and interconnected activities that have a goal or purpose to be achieved within a given time, within a budget, and according to specifications.

A Project has a beginning and an end, and each project produces a unique product. (Not to confuse Project with Process).

“A project is a problem scheduled for solution” J.M. Juran

According to the PMBOK Guide, from Project Management Institute (PMI), a Project Manager or Project Leader is the person who has full responsibility for the successful planning and execution of any project.

Assuming that the most of projects (around 90% in Spain) are carried out poorly, we can deduce that the task of a Project Manager is not easy at all. In fact, it can even be frustrating. Some would say that being PM is vocational.

A Project Manager manages a portfolio of projects. It is important to manage the correct number of projects, recommended 4 (depending on the size of projects). Too many may mean not taking the proper monitoring of a project, and its following failure.

Can get a more friendly environment for project management following these practices:

  • Develop a strategy for project portfolio management.
  • Before starting, build or establish solid best practices / protocols.
  • Depending on the duration or scope of a project, you must divide it in manageable stages.
  • It is always good to determine the “Deliverables”.
  • Define an information system at a functional and enterprise level.
  • On large organizations, with needs in coordination, it is important to establish a Project Management Office or PMO.

In general, we could summarize the responsibilities of the Project Manager on the following points:

  • A PM must develop and control the timing to milestones with times and costs.
  • A PM must manage and lead the team under his command.
  • A PM should conduct meetings with internal clients.
  • A PM should develop planning schedules, once you have the project requirements and resources identified and replanning (if necessary).
  • A PM should carry a continuous and efficient communication with the team (the engine of the project) and those associated with the project.
  • A PM must keep track of the project, detect incidents and deviations, arranging follow-up meetings.
  • A PM must perform project status reports.
  • A PM must declare the closure of the project, verify the correct operation and prepare a monitoring plan (or guarantee).
  • A PM must conduct retrospective meetings for learning after the close of the project to carry out changes in procedures or ways of working, identify bottlenecks, etc.

Surely there are more things that could be said about the Project Manager, and specially on the Project Management, or life cycle of a project, etc..

I will add all the information that you think could fit this post. In any case, I hope you’ll find it interesting.