Project Manager

A project manager may be defined as:

The individual who has the responsibility, authority and accountability assigned to him or her to achieve safely the project objectives within agreed time, cost and performance/quality criteria.

Few organizations will have problems with the above definition, but unfortunately in many instances, while the responsibility and accountability are vested in the project manager, the authority given to him or her is either severely restricted or non-existent. The reasons for this may be a reluctance of a department (usually one responsible for the accounts) to relinquish financial control, or it is perceived that the project manager has not sufficient experience to handle certain tasks such as control of expenditure. There may indeed be good reasons for these restrictions which depend on the size and type of project, the size and type of the organization and of course the personality and experience of the project manager, but if the project manager is supposed to be in effect the managing director of the project (as one large construction organisation liked to put it), he or she must have control over costs and expenditure, albeit within specified and agreed limits.

Apart from the conventional responsibilities for time, cost and performance/quality, the project manager must ensure that all the safety requirements and safety procedures are complied with. For this reason the word safety has been inserted into the project management triangle to reflect the importance of ensuring the many important health and safety requirements are met. Serious accidents do not only have personal tragic consequences, but can destroy a project or indeed a business overnight. Lack of attention to safety is just bad business as any airline, bus or railroad company can confirm.

Project charter

Because the terms of engagement of a project manager are sometimes difficult to define in a few words, some organizations issue a 'Project Manager's Charter' which sets out the responsibilities and limits of authority of the project manager. This makes it clear to the project manager what his areas of accountability are and if this document is included in the project management plan, all stakeholders will be fully aware of the role the project manager will have in this particular project.

The project manager's charter is project specific and will have to be amended for every manager and type, size or complexity of project (see Figure 2.1).

Project office

On large projects, the project manager will have to be supported either by one or more assistant project managers (one of whom can act as deputy) or a specially created project office. The main duties of such an office is to carry out the relevant configuration management functions, disseminate project instructions and other information and collect, retrieve or chase information required by the project manager on a regular or ad hoc basis. Such

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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