Project manager

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The project manager co-ordinates the project on behalf of the project steering group and makes sure that it produces the required deliverables to the identified standard of quality, on time and within budget. To do this, the project manager develops an approved plan and then makes sure that all the milestones are achieved.

Commonly, a project manager's success is measured by whether the results required have been delivered on time, on budget and to the required standard of quality, but often changes are agreed during a project that may increase the costs or the time span needed to complete it. It would clearly be wrong to judge the project manager according to the original budget and timescale; it is better to measure how well the project manager has managed the changes and the expectations of those with a stake in the project.

Criteria for judging a project manager should include the extent to which:

e there is an authorised plan that shows progress to date and forecasts for time, cost and quality; e escalation conditions for time and cost have been agreed with the project steering group and are being applied; e there is a record demonstrating that changes to scope, timescale, cost and benefits have been approved by those with authority to do so; e there is a record of risks to the project, together with mitigation plans and actions; e the project steering group is kept regularly and sufficiently informed through progress reports and forecasts.

Some organisations assign several project managers to the same project, thinking this will lessen the risk. On the contrary, this means work is

duplicated, gaps go unnoticed, leadership is unclear and communication becomes confused. The risk of the project failing is increased. The project in Figure 3.2 is doomed to confusion.

The project steering group is responsible for delivering a viable outcome, but who is responsible for developing the project plan? From whom would they expect progress reports? What are the implications of splitting authority between two project managers?

There should be one project manager who plans, monitors and controls the project. This person should have sufficient experience and personal authority to remove the need to duplicate this pivotal role. Selecting a suitable project manager will depend on factors such as:

e the value of the project; e its timescale; e the risks; e how critical it is; e who is available.

The more demanding a project, the more its project manager should be experienced and competent, so it is helpful to grade them (see Table 3.1 on page 51):

e PMi - a project or team leader who would be expected to manage a team within a project, reporting to a project manager. e PM2 - a project manager who would be expected to manage a project with minimum supervision. e PM3 - a senior project manager who would be able to manage several projects at once and would readily help to develop the organisation's approach to project management.

The list is not definitive and will vary between organisations, but it can be used as a guide when organising the pool of a project's workers, recruiting new project workers or identifying and selecting people suitable for a specific project.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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