What Does The Project Manager Role Entail?

Who Is A Project Manager?

A Project Manager is the person assigned to lead the team in charge of achieving the deliverables of the project. The Project Manager may also be described as the person in charge of leading the team responsible for delivering the objectives of the project.

The Project Manager is:

1. Formerly empowered to use the resources of the project in order to achieve the set project objectives

2. In charge of the project and is held responsible for the outcome. The Project Manager makes decisions about project execution and is in control.

Difference Between A Project Manager & A Functional Manager

Functional Managers deal with the day-to-day administrative work of the organization. They also deal with organizational operations, such as the ongoing production of goods, process/people management on a daily basis – Manaufacturing operations, sales operations, etc

Project Managers are different in the sense that they manage temporary endeavours, which have an impact on business operations.

Project Managers often find themselves in different organizational structures classified as follows:

  1. Functional Organization: In this structure, the PM reports to the Functional Manager and has limited power. The PM relies solely on the Functional Manager in order to get project resources.
  2. Matrix Organization: In this structure, the PM reports to both the Functional Manager and the PMO and also has limited power to perform functions/allocate resources.
  3. Projectized Organization: In this type of structure, the PM has absolute power in the organization in terms of resource allocation but may still need to report to the PMO.

One of the challenging aspects of the PM role is that PMs often lack real authority and need to negotiate for limited resources. They must also be able to manage the 6 competing project constraints of scope, time, cost, resources, quality and risk.

PMs must be able to manage project team relationships including the one with senior management, functional managers, customers as well as internal and external stakeholders.

The 3 core competencies of a Project Manager are:

  1. Knowledge – A PM must understand PM tools, techniques and project management methods

  2. Performance – A PM must be able to deliver on the objectives of the project.

  3. Personal – The PM's behaiour must be unquestionable

Project Managers must know how to:

  • Be Proactive

  • Manage competing constratins

  • Define priorities

  • Raise issues/risks

  • Communicate with stakeholders

  • Lead the project team effectively by keeping them focused

  • Delegate to the team members

PMs are also required to have interpersonal skills which include but are not limited to leadership, team building, motivation, communication, influencing, decision-making, political and cultural awareness, negotiation, trust building and conflict management.