The Project Management Role – Superhero? or Visionary Leader?

The project management role is arguably the most challenging of roles within the project team. As the project progresses through its various life cycle stages, project managers must be able to adapt themselves to the changing demands of the project and the team.

Much can be found on management theory and practice, when applied to projects; consequently everyone will have their own opinion, and will be right in their own contexts. That doesn’t neccessarily help you formulate a practical view based on experience.

We have distilled our experiences, beliefs, thoughts and opinions to what we believe the project management role is and the part the project manager plays in this.

First and foremost, project management is a TEAM SPORT, and in today’s modern society it relies on the principal players of the team taking responsibility and accountability for those aspects of the project they have been charged with. Indeed, this ethos should be passed down to all team members irrespective of their level of involvement in the project.

All Teams need a LEADER, our view is that this is THE principal role of the one commonly referred to as the ‘Project Manager’. We shall however, continue to refer to the principal project management role as the Project Manager.

Many organisations and project sponsors set their projects up to fail because they do not fully recognise how important the project management role is, to successfully manage a project through its life cycle. It is still common that project managers are appointed on a part-time basis, the assumption being they can manage the project on a part-time basis as a stretch to their other day to day duties and responsibilities.

To successfully manage the project management process, requires full-time commitment. Though in practice ‘time’ may be shared with other duties and responsibilities, when it comes to the crunch, the project must get the first call when a conflict of interest arises.

This leads nicely to the statement “The Mission is the No.1 Priority, no-one is bigger than the Mission!”, including the Project Manager!

Provided the project sponsors are serious about their commitment to the project. The project deserves the respect of having all the stops pulled out for it, including a full-time project manager.

Read the full post to understand some of the various Roles a Project Manager needs to be able to play out during the life of a Project…maybe not as easy as first thought?


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