Saturday 17 July 2021

Project manager

The project manager is the person appointed by the executing organization to lead the team and responsible for achieving the project's goals. The role of project manager may be different from that of a functional manager or, even operations manager. 


Typically, a functional manager is focused on overseeing a functional or business unit, and operating managers are responsible for ensuring the efficiency of business operations.

Depending on the organizational structure, the project manager may be accountable to the functional manager. In other cases, the project manager may be one of several project managers accountable to the portfolio manager or program manager who is responsible for enterprise-wide projects. 


In a structure of this type, the project manager works closely with the portfolio or program manager to achieve the project goals and ensure that the project management plan is consistent with the program's overall plan. The project manager also works closely with other roles such as business analyst, quality assurance manager and subject matter experts.

The responsibility and competence of the project manager

In general, project managers are responsible for meeting needs: needs, team needs, and individual needs. Because project management is an important strategic discipline, the project manager becomes the link between strategy and team. 


Projects are essential for the growth and survival of organizations. Projects create value in the form of improved business processes, are required to develop new products and services, and facilitate companies' response to environmental changes, competition and market conditions. The role of project manager is thus becoming more and more strategic. 


However, understanding and applying knowledge, tools and methods recognized as good practice is not enough to manage the project effectively. In addition to the industry skills and general management skills required for the project, project management requires the following competencies:

  1. Competence in knowledge is what the manager knows about project management.
  2. Competencies in execution is what the project manager is able to do or achieve by applying his knowledge of project management.
  3. Personal competencies are how a project manager behaves during a project or related activity. Personal performance encompasses installations, core personality characteristics, and leadership qualities - the ability to lead a project team when achieving project goals and balancing project constraints.
  4. Project manager's interpersonal skills

Project managers work with the project team and other stakeholders. Successful project managers are characterized by a balanced balance of ethical principles, interpersonal and conceptual thinking skills that help them analyze situations and interact appropriately.

The personality of the manager largely determines the success of the project. At the same time, its capabilities depend heavily on his position in the organization and in the project team. Therefore, it is recommended that the rights and responsibilities of the manager be recorded in writing in order to avoid disputes about this.

The position of project manager in different organizations and projects can range from project team representative to full project manager. In the first case, he presents the project in an external environment, and within the team remains the executor of the project, as well as all others. In the second extreme case, he has the same authority over the project's subordinates as the line managers, and is fully responsible for the work and results of the project.

It is very important for the success of the project that the goals of the project manager are identical to the goals of the project, which, unfortunately, does not always take place. If there are large scissors between the personal goals of the manager and the goals of the project, then such an employee is unsuitable for this post.

The tasks of the project manager are very extensive:

Clarifying specified goals for quality, timing, costs, resources, etc.;

Fixing agreed goals in a design assignment and getting approval from the customer.

Checking the feasibility of the project's goals

Agreeing on the organizational structure of the project and how it is implemented.

Organize a planning, management and information system according to the type and scale of the project.

Project planning

Control and management of the project

Decision on alternatives to both the subject and the project process.

Preparation and decision-making, such as suspension;

Providing the resources you need

Employee management and motivation

Delegation of tasks and tasking to counter parties;

Coordination of all project participants, both within the project and in the external environment;

Periodic information of the company's management and the customer in accordance with the deadlines or in connection with the needs of the project.

The project manager can only successfully solve all these tasks if he has the full support of a senior management.


The rights of the project manager to choose employees and make decisions, the administrative rights, both disciplinary and substantive, must not only be clearly and unambiguously defined, but, as mentioned above, it is best that they be written.

The risk and responsibility of a project manager can sometimes be much higher than that of a line manager, as he often has to make decisions in the face of uncertainty. He is responsible for the consequences of his decisions, actions and inaction. The main areas of responsibility of the project manager are the results, personnel, timing, material resources and budget of the project.

In addition, the project manager is subject to a number of special requirements. He is an intermediary between the project's executors and the management of the organization or the customer, as well as other stakeholders. To do this, it requires the ability and ability to lead people and ensure cooperation. He must have sufficient professional qualifications on the subject part of the project to understand its contents well. Finally, he must have a project management methodology.

As a team leader, the project manager must have the same set of qualities that are required of any senior manager: the ability to convince, the ability to "punch questions", endurance, reliability, sense of responsibility, contact, ability to work in a team, creative skills and abilities, ability to make decisions, initiative, ability to negotiate. This list goes on for a long time.

The project manager is also required to have the qualities of a leader, which implies, first of all, a pronounced cooperative style of leadership. In order for every project worker to work with full effort, make the best use of his potential and abilities, the project manager must be able to motivate employees and create conditions in which the employee will feel comfortable. To do this, it is necessary to give him the opportunity to work independently enough. At the same time, he should feel the support of the project manager and the management of the organization, and the tasks of the project should be interesting for him.

The professional qualification of the project manager covers all the knowledge, experience and abilities related to the subject of the project. It is desirable that he was a professional in the subject part of the project, and in any case he should not be an amateur in it. Of course, as a rule, he will have narrow specialists on individual tasks of the project, but without a deep understanding of the substance of the project to successfully manage the project is almost impossible.

Finally, the project manager must have the necessary qualifications in project management. To do this, he must be familiar with the methodology and technique of project management and have practical experience in project work. He, as the main person responsible for the project, should feel confident in this area, so that the work on the project was organized and could be successfully completed.

Choosing a project manager is a difficult task, especially since it is based more on personality characteristics than on the content of the project's work.


Desirable personality characteristics

Project Manager:

  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Preference for initiative and leadership;
  • assertiveness, confidence, persuasion, fluency in speech;
  • ambition, activity, strong will;
  • Efficiency as a communicator and integrator;
  • A wide range of personal interests;
  • stability, enthusiasm, imagination, naturalness;
  • The ability to balance technical solutions with time and cost factors, as well as the human factor;
  • High organization and discipline;
  • more of a general than a specialist;
  • the ability and desire to devote most of their time to planning and controlling;
  • The ability to identify problems
  • The willingness to make decisions
  • ability to maintain the proper balance in the use of time.


Any company and every project manager would be happy to have at least 70 to 80% of the qualities.


Typically, managers of large corporate units of the organization do not take part in the routine work of their employees. As for the project manager, he is usually personally involved in the development of design decisions, which is necessary because it should directly influence the outcome of the project. Its effectiveness is only achieved if it is directly involved in the project, as the results of the project are much less predictable than those of a line manager. This does not mean that the project manager should deal with a lot of details, but he should participate in the decision of principle issues.

To meet the many requirements, the project manager must at least be in good health and be able to maintain it. This is not easy, as it can often exceed 60 hours of workweek. In addition, his duties may require a long stay away from home. Studies have shown that in the United States, during the period of large rocket and space projects, the frequency of divorces among project managers and leading project team specialists was twice as high as the national average. As characteristic signs of workaholic ism, they were noted as follows:

  • every Friday they felt that they had two additional working days until Monday;
  • 5 p.m. they were seen as the middle of the working day;
  • they did not find time to rest;
  • When they went home, they always took work with them;
  • they always took work with them on vacation.


One of the difficult issues is the establishment of the salary level of the project manager. It seems reasonable that the salary of the manager should be roughly in line with the salary of those people with whom he needs to negotiate on a daily basis, usually the heads of functional units. Practice has shown that if the salary of a project manager is significantly more or less than that of line managers, conflicts usually arise. 


Line leaders often state that they cannot perform their duties and "still control these prim donas, who receive more money and have a higher level than a line manager." At the same time, salary and discharge should not stand in the way of creating an effective project team, and if necessary, a worker with a higher level for the duration of the project can be subordinated to a person with a lower level.


Choosing and appointing a project manager is a complex and responsible responsibility of the organization's senior management. If a person has shown the qualities of a potential project manager, the management of the organization has a number of alternatives:

  • To increase his salary and discharge and to entrust him with a leadership job in the field of project management.
  • Transfer an individual to a management job in the field of project management without any changes in salary and discharge. If in three to six months he demonstrates successful activity, he is increased salary and discharge.
  • They make a small increase in salary at the same category or increase the discharge with the preservation of the previous salary with the caveat that if he is successful, he will receive an appropriate increase in salary and discharge.
  • Many managers of organizations have reason to believe that if an employee is in the area of project management, he has only two further trajectories - up or behind the door. If he was promoted to pay and discharge, and he failed the case, then for him there is no place in the original linear structure. 


Therefore, most managers, and employees too, prefer the second of the above options, because it provides greater security for both. Of course, the employee may not want to go back with the stigma of a failed project manager. 


Many companies do not realize until it is too late that nomination to project managers is based on a different set of criteria than nomination to line managers. The first is based primarily on communication abilities, while the second is based on technical knowledge and skills. However, according to the author, this is true for the usual nomination of the employee for the position of manager.


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