Roles in Project Management
Before we go any further we will define the different roles in project management.
The Project Manager
The project manager has responsibility for a specific project(s). The Project Manager’s purpose is to achieve the project goals within the predefined constraints of time, money and quality. The project manager is the main communicator between the various project stakeholders and the project team. Within the role of Project Manager is also to manage expectations. Every group of stakeholders may have different expectations from the project (system). Failing to address and communicate efficiently and effectively the system to various stakeholders may result in a project failure if the various stakeholders refuse to use it. For example, is the system user friendly and covers all the major issues that the end users of the system have? It is better to involve the end users in the process and get their feedback and support that to demo the finish system and find out that they do not want to use it. Involvement of stakeholders early in the system design also acts as a fear remover. The new system is not something vague and unknown. It is not something that will move them from their comfort zone. It becomes tangible and the fear goes away resulting in better acceptance of the system.
The Project Manager (PM) resolves conflict. Conflict can occur between team members, customers and team member, between managers or even between departments. The Project Manager should address immediately the problem and try to resolve it in a positive and beneficial to the project way. Avoiding the resolve conflict may result in project failure.
In the role of PM is also to facilitate meetings acting as the chairperson. Chairing effective meetings needs well preparation and discipline. A guide on how to prepare and hold successful meeting will be available to download soon from here.
The PM usually reports to the CIO (Chief Information Officer) or CTO (Chief Technical Officer) of the company. In big organizations the Project Manager may report to the Project Management Office and / or a Program Manager.
Project Leaders report to the Project Manager. System analysts, programmers report to the Project Leader. According to the resource plan of the project other specialities may be assigned to the project leader.
The Project Team
The Project Team includes the Project Manager, the project management team and all the individuals that work in the project. A typical software team will have a system analyst, programmers, end users, web designer, quality assurance, testers, technical writer, database administrators. Some roles may be occupied by the same individual in smaller projects.
It is the upper management. The CEO (Chief Executive Officer), the CFO (Chief Financial Officer), Functional managers (human resources, procurement, finance, accounting) and IT Managers. It is important to note that a project will fail without support and approval from the upper management.
Program Managers manage related projects. A Program Manager works together with the PM to provide support and guidance for each project in the program. Usually a Program Manager interacts with more than one Project Manager.
Project Management Office(PMO)
The PMO is a central body in the organization that organizes and coordinates the projects under its supervision. PMO primary goal is to standardize and improve project management processes by the use of standards (ISO 9001, ISO 12207:2008, CMMI-Dev 1.3, Six Sigma), best practices and metrics. PMO provides to the PM among other things methodologies and policies about the project, training and mentoring, lessons learned, tools and resources for the project.
In the next article we will discuss about the Project Scope Management.
Project Management Institute(2008) A guide to the project management body of knowledge . 4th edition. Newton Square, Pennsylvania: Project Management Institute Inc
Project Management Institute(2012). The web site of PMI.
Sommerville, I (2006) Software Engineering 8th edition. Addison Wesley