The project manager is responsible for producing a specified deliverable using organizational staff & materials. The project manager role requires a wide variety of skills in planning, leading, scheduling, tracking progress and managing teams to produce that specific deliverable. This set of skills is very different from managing a department or a business.
Project Manager Role: Different Than Other Managers
Several things make a project manager’s job different. Working on the project is often not the team member’s full-time job. They may work on several different projects managed by different project managers or have a position in a functional area. Because of this, the project team often is not very committed to achieving the project’s goal. So the project manager must use their leadership and communication skills to motivate these team members.
Project managers must also build support for the project among the stakeholders. Stakeholders are the people who will be affected by the project. Very often the stakeholders are executives in the organization who have an interest in the project because it affects their area of responsibility. Project managers must be able to persuade stakeholders to loan their people to the project and possibly supply other kinds of support. What makes it more difficult is that the project manager is usually a relatively low ranking employee and has no formal authority over stakeholders.
The project manager role also requires technical skills and knowledge that are relevant to the project. The project manager does not have to be the most knowledgeable expert on technical issues. It’s not a problem if members of the project team have more technical expertise than the project manager. That’s why they’re needed on the team.
The project manager role requires the ability to use the special tools and techniques of project management. These include running the planning and status report meetings, scheduling people and tasks to finish the project as soon as possible, spotting variances to the plan and optimizing the schedule to finish as soon as possible. These tools and techniques can be quite complex, especially when managing a larger project. Becoming a project manager requires a lot of learning as well as mastering leadership and communication skills. These are the keys to a project manager’s success.
At the beginning, when you and Dick talk to design your program and what you want to learn, you will select case studies that fit the kind of projects you want to manage. Chose you course and then select the which specialty case study from business, or marketing, or construction, or healthcare, or consulting. That way your case studies and project plans, schedules and presentations will fit your desired specialty.
- 101 Project Management Basics
- 103 Advanced Project Management Tools
- 201 Managing Programs, Portfolios & Multiple Projects
- 203 Presentation and Negotiation Skills
- 304 Strategy & Tactics in Project management