Project Managers are not just engineers with added responsibility!
Despite many different struggles, projects all over the world still have problems with delivering within the budgeted cost and time. Various authors point the finger that a lack of professional project managers is the reason. Instead of hiring educated project managers, companies tend to promote engineers with a title and added responsibility and thereby hand them a project, where they now have the responsibility of project management, and their previous tasks such as calculations, design etc. But by doing so the promoted engineer is not capable of having a clear overview of the project, which is needed from a project manager, on order to steer the project in the right direction (Jones, 2004) (Emam & Koru, 2008).
PRINCE2 defines the project manager role as the one who manages a project on a day-to-day basis and is the only one with this day-to-day focus on the project. As a result, this role can never be shared. The Project Manager runs the project on behalf of the Project Board within specified constraints and liaises throughout the project with the Project Board (PRINCE2, 2010).
Thereby stating that the project managers job is to fit into any project, hereby working with leadership and management across functional and organizational environments. Hereby is the project manager consequently seen as a person that should lead and steer a project group (Cleland, 1995). Figure 1 represents the seven essential factors in the project managers work. The figure was created from 69 in-depth interviews with project managers form various industries. From these interviews were the factors listed in a prioritized manner, as seen hereby, it shows that the definition of roles and responsibilities and communication are some of the most important factors when working as a project manager (Anantatmula, 2010).
1. Define roles and responsibilities
2. Communicate expectations
3. Create clarity in communication
4. Establish trust
5. Employ consistent processes
6. Facilitate support
7. Manage outcomes
These factors interrelate as seen as the outgoing arrows represent casual relationships and incoming arrows represent the result or effect.
Figure 1 - Seven critical factors for a project manager, (Anantatmula, 2010)
It is clear, that if the project manager is to both lead, manage, design, calculate etc. the project is doomed to fail. Therefore, if you want successful projects you should separate project management and project ‘work’ and employ professional project managers, which focus on the leading and managing parts in the project and project workers which focuses on their core competences (Anantatmula, 2010).
If you have any questions regarding this topic, please contact Benjamin Juul at DIS
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Anantatmula, V. S. (2010, March). Project Manager Leadership Role in Improving Project Performance. Engineering Management Journal, 22(1).
Cleland, D. (1995). Leadership and the Project Management Body of Knowledge. International Journal of Project Management, 13(2), pp. 83-88.
Emam, K. E., & Koru, A. (2008, October). A replicated survey of IT software project failures. IEEE Software, 25(5).
Jones, C. (2004, October). Software Project Management Practices: Failure Versus Success. CROSSTALK.
PRINCE2. (2010). PRINCE2 - Projektledelse med succes. Norwich: TSO, AXELOS.