Thus far we have assumed that the project is large enough for a full-time project manager to be appointed. This is not always the case. There are four major problem areas in staffing projects:
• Part-time versus full-time assignments
• Several projects assigned to one project manager
• Projects assigned to functional managers
• The project manager role retained by the general manager
The first problem is generally related to the size of the project. If the project is small (in time duration or cost), a part-time project manager may be selected. Many executives have fallen into the trap of letting line personnel act as part-time project managers while still performing line functions. If the employee has a conflict between what is best for the project and what is best for his line organization, the project will suffer. It is only natural that the employee will favor the place the salary increases come from.
It is a common practice for one project manager to control several projects, especially if they are either related or similar. Problems come about when the projects have drastically different priorities. The low-priority efforts will be neglected.
If the project is a high-technology effort that requires specialization and can be performed by one department, then it is not unusual for the line manager to take on a dual role and act as project manager as well. This can be difficult to do, especially if the project manager is required to establish the priorities for the work under his supervision. The line manager may keep the best resources for the project, regardless of the priority. Then that project will be a success at the expense of every other project he must supply resources to.
Probably the worst situation is that in which an executive fills the role of project manager for a particular effort. The executive may not have the time necessary for total dedication to the achievement of the project. He cannot make effective decisions as a project manager while still discharging normal duties. Additionally, the executive may hoard the best resources for his project.
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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.