Who are Project Managers?

The “P” in PM is as much about “People” Management as it is about “Project” Management – Cornelius Fichtner


project manager is a person that has the duty to execute project activities. Every manager has a different role and so has the project manager, functional manager and operations manager positions which differ.
For example, functional managers are managers who are responsible for the operation and results of the organisational unit of the company in which they perform equivalent tasks. They have “a birds-eye” perspective and provide oversight for an administrative area. Operations managers are delivery-focused and have to provide an oversight of their organisation’s production of goods and services – their core business.
The organisational structure differs in every organisation, so it can happen that a project manager may report to a functional manager. He can also report to a program manager. It is not excluded that more than one project manager has to report to the program manager.
The project can be construction, advertising, entertainment, consultancy, travel, distribution, manufacturing, etc. It can be a one-time project or on-going operations. One organization can be involved in a several mentioned projects; other will be involved in other few. Now, when the organisations confront major changes daily and need to adapt to fast-growing changes, they are more likely to respond by turning to projects.
Regardless of the type of industry every organisation has to the project that they need to be done, that could be writing a report about updated machinery, changing an appearance of the office, or it can be changing and improving CRM. The organisational structure is crucial when it comes to providing resources and delegating tasks.
The things that make one a successful project manager are: knowing what needs to be delivered, the cost of assigned project, who are the interested parties, satisfying expected standards of performance and respect the deadline. Additional, the more control a manager has over resources and people, the more he/she will be successful. His/her belief in this project realisation is vital.
They can be called the change agents: they bring change. They motivate other team members and with their skills inspire others. In that kind of atmosphere, the project is led by motivated people with common purpose to finish the project successfully. These agents of change live for adrenaline of new challenges and are people that you want around when major changes need to happen.
Two key features change agents have – they are comfortable when it comes to change and complexity in dynamic environments. They are flexible, and can change their perspective depending on situations. When the situation requires a broader point of view, they shift to it; the same stands when attention needs to be looked at small, but vital details.
They have to have skills to achieve good communication with stakeholders. With their people skills, they develop trust and maintain strong channels of communication with interested parties: project’s sponsors, parties who benefit from the project, the team members and those in charge for needed resources.
To be able to decompose activities successfully into tasks and sub-tasks, the project manager has to overmaster a broad and flexible toolkit of techniques. He/she documents, monitors and control these activities.
Project managers know that there is no sole way to approach and handle all projects, but to access bearing in mind that projects differ when it comes to context and limitations. Lessons-learned review when the project is completed is a practice where project manager and team members recognise and adopt new skills. They are inclined towards constant improvement.
Project managers have a place in every organisation, whether as a manager, contractor, employee or independent consultant. Once they gain enough experience, they can become either program managers or portfolio managers.
Growing demand for managers – Dynamic environment, globalisation and significant technological accomplishments demand organisations to adapt changes and they do that by having a growing number of projects, rather than routine operations.
HR managers and senior executives know that project managers represent a strategic competence vital for business prosperity. They are one among most valuable resources.
The fact that an average 1.2 million project management positions will have to fill in over the next decade says enough of increasing demand for project managers.


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