The project manager is responsible for coordinating and integrating activities across multiple, functional lines. The integration activities performed by the project manager include:
• Integrating the activities necessary to develop a project plan
• Integrating the activities necessary to execute the plan
• Integrating the activities necessary to make changes to the plan
These integrative responsibilities are shown in Figure 1-3 where the project manager must convert the inputs (i.e., resources) into outputs of products, services, and ultimately profits.
► Services Outputs
► Services Outputs
FIGURE 1-3. Integration management.
In order to do this, the project manager needs strong communicative and interpersonal skills, must become familiar with the operations of each line organization, and must have knowledge of the technology being used.
An executive with a computer manufacturer stated that his company was looking externally for project managers. When asked if he expected candidates to have a command of computer technology, the executive remarked: "You give me an individual who has good communicative skills and interpersonal skills, and I'll give that individual a job. I can teach people the technology and give them technical experts to assist them in decision making. But I cannot teach somebody how to work with people."
The project manager's job is not an easy one. Project managers may have increasing responsibility, but very little authority. This lack of authority can force them to "negotiate" with upper-level management as well as functional management for control of company resources. They may often be treated as outsiders by the formal organization.
In the project environment, everything seems to revolve about the project manager. Although the project organization is a specialized, task-oriented entity, it cannot exist apart from the traditional structure of the organization. The project manager, therefore, must walk the fence between the two organizations. The term interface management is often used for this role, which can be described as managing relationships:
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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.