The Project Managers Unofficial Job Duties

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The functional competencies listed in Figure 3-3 represent official duties of the typical project manager. In fact, if your organization has developed a job description for project managers, it probably includes many of these functional competencies. What you won't find in job descriptions are the unofficial duties that project managers perform in the course of carrying out their mission. Let's examine some of the key ones (somewhat tongue in cheek).

Babysitter—This refers to the apparent need to provide close guidance or detailed instructions to certain individuals. This situation results from any number of root causes. The target may be underqualified, lack confidence, or simply crave attention.

Salesperson—There will be times when you'll have to rely heavily on your ability to influence others to sell an idea, sell yourself, or perhaps sell the virtues of project management. Most of your selling situations will be helpful and have positive outcomes. However, if you find yourself spending too much time selling project management, that may signal deeper underlying problems, such as issues of trust or confidence. If most of the selling you do is to your management, you're in trouble. This is a signal that your life as a project manager may be exceptionally challenging.

Teacher—This is an example of an unofficial role that actually yields positive results. In fact, superior project managers will be able to educate and develop those they work with as they manage the project. Acquire this skill or reputation and you'll be in very good shape.

Friend—Maintaining friendships and professional relationships with the same people is difficult. However, if you can do it, you'll benefit greatly. In Chapter 2, we discussed the value of the informal network of communication. An open, informal, and comfortable communication linkage is much more likely to keep you supplied with more of the information you need than formal, rigorous, and stiff team meetings. Finally, avoid the trap of believing that because you've been put "in charge" of a project you've risen above your peers and friendships no longer matter. Big mistake!

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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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