Interactions with Management

The PM reports ''upward'' to management, as represented perhaps by a program manager, or a division director, or a vice president. The specific title may be less important than the nature of the relationship between the PM and the boss. A project management position may carry with it the assumption that the PM runs the project, that is, that the PM has full responsibility and authority for the project. This can be true for the former, but in real life is rarely true for the latter. That is, the PM's authority is limited, and that is a key matter that has to be negotiated between the PM and the boss. Failure to resolve this issue can lead to significant stress for both parties, which will carry over to the CSE, PC, and other members of the project team. Some organizations attempt to recognize and solve this problem through the formal use of an ''authority matrix,'' which defines the boundaries of authority at the various levels in the organization. Such a matrix might deal with precise definitions of limits with respect to such activities as:

1. Hiring personnel and setting salaries

2. Giving raises and bonuses

3. Negotiating and signing contracts

4. Expenditures of monies for different categories

5. Signing and verifying time cards and charges

6. Negotiating with customers

In the absence of a culture that requires such matrix definitions, it falls to the two parties, the PM and the boss, to negotiate a working relationship. If you are a PM, or aspire to be one, you should seriously consider how to begin a dialogue with your boss with respect to your authority and lack of it. A good working understanding is crucial to the success of the project.

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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