Project manager

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US Navy 080111-N-8273J-033 Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead talks with project managers

A project manager is a professional in the field of project management. Project managers can have the responsibility of the planning, execution and closing of any project, typically relating to construction industry, architecture, aerospace and defense, computer networking, telecommunications or software development.

Many other fields in the production, design and service industries also have project managers.

Overview[edit]

A project manager is the person responsible for accomplishing the stated project objectives. Key project management responsibilities include creating clear and attainable project objectives, building the project requirements, and managing the constraints of the project management triangle, which are cost, time, scope, and quality.

A project manager is often a client representative and has to determine and implement the exact needs of the client, based on knowledge of the firm they are representing. A project manager is the bridging gap between the production team and client. So s/he must have a fair knowledge of the industry they are in so that they are capable of understanding and discussing the problems with either party. The ability to adapt to the various internal procedures of the contracting party, and to form close links with the nominated representatives, is essential in ensuring that the key issues of cost, time, quality and above all, client satisfaction, can be realized.

The term and title 'project manager' has come to be used generically to describe anyone given responsibility to complete a project. However, it is more properly used to describe a person with full responsibility and the same level of authority required to complete a project. If a person does not have high levels of both responsibility and authority then they are better described as a project administrator, coordinator, facilitator or expeditor.

Project Manager Topics[edit]

Project Management
Project Management is quite often the province and responsibility of an individual project manager. This individual seldom participates directly in the activities that produce the end result, but rather strives to maintain the progress and mutual interaction and tasks of various parties in such a way that reduces the risk of overall failure, maximizes benefits, and restricts costs.
Products and Services
Any type of product or service — pharmaceuticals, building construction, vehicles, electronics, computer software, financial services, etc. — may have its implementation overseen by a project manager and its operations by a product manager.
Project Tools
The tools, knowledge and techniques for managing projects are often unique to Project Management. For example: work breakdown structures, critical path analysis and earned value management. Understanding and applying the tools and techniques which are generally recognized as good practices are not sufficient alone for effective project management. Effective project management requires that the project manager understands and uses the knowledge and skills from at least four areas of expertise. Examples are PMBOK, Application Area Knowledge: standards and regulations set forth by ISO for project management, General Management Skills and Project Environment Management[1] There are also many options for project management software to assist in executing projects for the project manager and his/her team.
Project Teams
When recruiting and building an effective team, the manager must consider not only the technical skills of each person, but also the critical roles and chemistry between workers. A project team has mainly three separate components: Project Manager, Core Team and Contracted Team.
Risk
Most of the project management issues that influence a project arise from risk, which in turn arises from uncertainty. The successful project manager focuses on this as his/her main concern and attempts to reduce risk significantly, often by adhering to a policy of open communication, ensuring that project participants can voice their opinions and concerns.

Types of project managers[edit]

Construction Project Manager[edit]

Construction project managers in the past were individuals, who worked in construction or supporting industries and were promoted to foreman. It was not until the late 20th century that construction and Construction management became distinct fields.

Until recently, the American construction industry lacked any level of standardization, with individual States determining the eligibility requirements within their jurisdiction. However, several Trade associations based in the United States have made strides in creating a commonly accepted set of qualifications and tests to determine a project manager's competency.

The profession has recently grown to accommodate several dozen Construction Management Bachelor of Science programs. Many universities have also begun offering a Master's Degree in Project Management. These programs generally are tailored to working professionals who have project management experience or project related experience; they provide a more intense and in depth education surrounding the knowledge areas within the project management body of knowledge.

The United States Navy construction battalions, nicknamed the SeaBees, puts their command through strenuous training and certifications at every level. To become a Chief Petty Officer in the SeaBees is equivalent to a BS in Construction Management with the added benefit of several years of experience to their credit. See ACE accreditation.

Architectural Project Manager[edit]

Architectural project manager are project managers in the field of architecture. They have many of the same skills as their counterpart in the construction industry. An architect will often work closely with the construction project manager in the office of the General contractor (GC), and at the same time, coordinate the work of the design team and numerous consultants who contribute to a construction project, and manage communication with the client. The issues of budget, scheduling, and quality-control are the responsibility of the Project Manager in an architect's office.

Software Project Manager[edit]

A Software Project Manager has many of the same skills as their counterparts in other industries. Beyond the skills normally associated with traditional project management in industries such as construction and manufacturing, a software project manager will typically have an extensive background in software development. Many software project managers hold a degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, Management of Information Systems or another related field.

In traditional project management a heavyweight, predictive methodology such as the waterfall model is often employed, but software project managers must also be skilled in more lightweight, adaptive methodologies such as DSDM, Scrum and XP. These project management methodologies are based on the uncertainty of developing a new software system and advocate smaller, incremental development cycles. These incremental or iterative cycles are time boxed (constrained to a known period of time, typically from one to four weeks) and produce a working subset of the entire system deliverable at the end of each iteration. The increasing adoption of lightweight approaches is due largely to the fact that software requirements are very susceptible to change, and it is extremely difficult to illuminate all the potential requirements in a single project phase before the software development commences.

The software project manager is also expected to be familiar with the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). This may require in depth knowledge of requirements solicitation, application development, logical and physical database design and networking. This knowledge is typically the result of the aforementioned education and experience. There is not a widely accepted certification for software project managers, but many will hold the Project Management Professional (PMP) designation offered by the Project Management Institute, PRINCE2 or an advanced degree in project management, such as a MSPM or other graduate degree in technology management.

Responsibilities[edit]

The project manager is accountable for ensuring that everyone on the team knows and executes his or her role, feels empowered and supported in the role, knows the roles of the other team members and acts upon the belief that those roles will be performed.[2] The specific responsibilities of the Project Manager may vary depending on the industry, the company size, the company maturity, and the company culture. However, there are some responsibilities that are common to all Project Managers, noting:[3]

Education, certifications and networks[edit]

Individuals wishing to obtain professional certifications may take one or more of the offerings available from a variety of organizations:

The Project Management Institute offers the following credentials to project managers:[4]

Other institutions and organizations:

There are other graduate degrees in project and technology management, such as an MSPM. However, the majority of all project management skills may be developed through the completion of a Ph.D, D.Phil or other similar higher Doctorate.

The International Project Management Association (IPMA) is an international network of national project management societies such as Association for Project Management in the UK. IPMA serves as an umbrella organisation representing national societies which offer their certifications.

Project Management Training[edit]

Project Management training takes different forms, for example:

TRAINING METHOD

TRAINING VENUES

CONTENT

EXPERTISE LEVELS

MANAGEMENT LEVEL

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ PMBOK Guide Third Edition 2004 p.12
  2. ^ Russell, PMP, D. (2011). Accountability. In Succeeding in the project management jungle: How to manage the people side of projects (p. 29). New York, NY: AMACOM.
  3. ^ Berrie, Michele, Project Manager Responsibilities, PM Hut. Accessed 17. Oct 2009.
  4. ^ Project Management Institute Family of Credentials

Further reading[edit]