There has been need for project managers globally more than ever before. This is attributable to change in market space with industries churning out more innovative products. The demand for skilled personnel to manage change within every organization is high. There are different perspectives to the expectations of who an ideal project manager should be within an organization.
Understanding the responsibilities of a Project Manager thereby informs the impetus to know what a good project manager will add to any organization. Efficient project managers are those who have some key attributes and they are the most sought out individuals for leading roles in project management disciplines, however, having these attributes alone does not guarantee successful management of projects. It is pertinent to understand what project manager roles are:
1. A project manager must CLARIFY the project objectives. Project goals or objectives can only be met when expectations are met, PRINCE2 recommends that customer expectations must be captured at the start of the project and well documented. A project manager will fail irrespective of the soft skills he might have acquired if he fails to clarify the customers’ expectations and match it with the project goals. No good plan can be produced without clarification. Failing to clarify is preparing to fail. Therefore communication or facilitation skills have to be put to use effectively at this stage.
2. A project manager has the responsibility for producing project PLAN. A plan is the blueprint for the project. A project manager can be said to be a project “PILOT”, having the responsible of moving an organization from point A to point B. Therefore, he must provide the organization with a navigation plan. This gives clarity as to “what”, “who”, “how much” and “when” the destination will be reached. A project manager is therefore liable for inconsistent plan. PRINCE2 recommends a planning technique called product-based planning technique.
3. A project manager is also responsible for oversight function during project execution. He is responsible for DELEGATING work out to specialist or team managers and also MONITORING work that had been delegated. He also ensures adequate project CONTROL in case of deviation from the plan. When project goes out of tolerance, he brings it back on track.
4. A project manager is responsible for project closure. Projects cannot be said to have come to a CLOSE until it has been transitioned into live operations. A project manager must ensure that project documentation are updated and well archived. He also ensures that the customer signs off on the project, confirming the expectations and acceptance criteria have been met.