The Role of
The Project Manager should be a generalist having knowledge of project works, including technical, social, commercial and environmental aspects. He may have not in-depth knowledge, but have wide knowledge in the application area, along with use of tools and techniques, experience, good interpersonal skills with good communication abilities. He should be supported by specialist members in the team in the various operations of the project.
Project manager must use both art (the use of Emotional Intelligence) and science of management (the use of work-oriented IQ) to manage his work.
“Management is, above all, a practice where art, science, and craft meet.” – Henry Mintzberg
Now, in the changing project construction scenario, and increasing pressures from outside environment, PM must understand the outside factors. By understanding these factors, and their implementation, will help PM to align the business and customer satisfaction in project development.
Therefore, in the recent project execution environment, the role of project manager is given much importance to manage the pressures within the boundary of the project as well as outside the boundary of the project. PM must upgrade / update his competencies for skills as suggested by PMI talent Triangle
PMI has now given importance to the Talent triangle which stresses on
Strategic and Business Management
Technical Project Management
“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” – Jack Welch
The PM must be well conversant with the role to be played within the suggestions given in the talent triangle and can implement these requirements.
As such, the PM should have the orientation of his skills tools and techniques in managing the pressures development through such factors. He must have the knowledge about the following disciplines, but not limited to:
Strategic planning and analysis
Understanding of the political climate
Corporate Social responsibility
Stake holder Management
EEF, OPA, Project governance
Knowledge of PMI “Code of Ethics & Professional Conduct”
Fit no stereotypes. Don’t chase the latest management fads. The situation dictates which approach best accomplishes the team’s mission………. Colin Powell
In practice PM must work within the project boundary. The plan is prepared, taking into consideration the requirements to be fulfilled by the environment outside the boundary of the project.
Project manager uses his Knowledge, Skills, Tools and Techniques to take up and finish the project
The main role here is maintaining the relationship with all the stakeholders and use communication methods to provide the right information at the right time to the right stakeholder.
An organization may have other projects. PM must remain in touch with his counterparts on the projects through PMO. In this way he can share important directions, information, suggestions to move forward the project. (Knowledge Aspects). He may also seek support in resources management.
While doing so the main aim remains to align the needs and objectives of organization with the project.
Project Manager remains in touch with the industry and its standards and technological changes and thereby he can adjust the action plans of the projects specially the quality-oriented, process management, after due approval from the authority.
It becomes the responsibility of the project manager to follow the code of ethics and professional conduct for his profession and the ethical standards of others involved in project.
PM skills are the skills required to be used for execution of all Knowledge Areas of the project. PM must tailor the project process for the project need based on the Knowledge Areas and Project Management Process.
He must use the PMI book output and the management standards to develop a basic project foundation and customize the Processes, Methods, Rules, Policy, Tools & Technique, Procedures etcetera, required for the project.
“First, have a definite, clear practical idea, a goal, an objective. Second have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, material, and methods, Third, adjust all your means to that end.”Aristotle
Project Constraints—that limits the actions
Following are important constraints in project management, but not limited to, as there may be other constraints that limits actions such as failure in timely arrival of a machine due to political interference, or non-achievement of milestones because of changes in assumptions at planning stage and so on. But important are as follows:
The projects have some assumption at the planning level. These assumptions are reviewed during execution and if required, necessary changes are done with the consent of change control unit.
Also, the stake holder, sponsor, customer may seek changes in the scope of the project. The project team may suggest some options for better operations of the project. And there may be other reasons also.
Suppose sponsors suggest some scope change to manage customer need. Project manager in this situation must study the change effect on cost, time, quality aspects, management of resources and put his proposal of changes and get approval before implementing the changes. Even in normal operation, project manager is bound not to effect changes in these constraints and must have constant vigil on the actions in the execution of the project.
Strategic and business management skills belong to an area beyond the project boundary, but development and use of such skills are necessary to understand the business needs and align the project to achieve organizational objectives. Some of the tasks of PM are:
PM must understand the goal, mission, objectives and business strategy and be able to discuss and transmit to all stakeholders
Analysis of task with respect to various ethical standards involved and to decide for actions and risk acceptance.
PM must take the responsibility of task execution. And use Emotional Intelligence also to fulfill the responsibility.
Do not ignore risks.
Optimize the communication requirements as it is the best way to share opinions / information
Plan the things before executing them on time schedule.
Maintain required interaction with customers and stakeholders.
PM is ultimately responsible for work -its success or failures. PM should be responsible for both. Learning lessons from failure is a good approach to convert failures in to success.
Work as per scope management as violation of scope makes the operations of bad quality.
Nip the problems in budding stage and do not allow them to become issues
Project Manager is a person who manages the activities of the project. A project cannot be managed these activities at individual’s level. Support persons are required to perform activities. As such anyone who perform project activity is a project Manager
An important task associated with the assigned role of Project Manager is that the project completion must add business value to the organization, both in tangible and intangible ways. Schematic details of these values are given below:
Project Manager – Leadership skills
“Good leaders do not take on all the work themselves; neither do they take all the credit.” – Woody Williams
The aim is to provide guidance motivation and direction to project team, so that team may go through various risks and difficulties to get the project completed within project constraints
The skills are as below:
(Knowing of the skills is not enough. The important is to implement these using IQ and EI, within the parameters of Code of Ethics and Social Responsibility.)
Interpersonal skills for project managers
These skills are very important to master by project managers. To every action there is a reaction. Wait for some time before reacting and your quality of reaction depends on to whom and what you are listening. Your reaction must start after proper listening. Some of the required intern personal skills are given I brief as below:
“As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own.” – Amy Poehler
“The key to successful leadership today is influence not authority.” – Kenneth Blanchard
The management of any project in any field is mostly dependent on management of human resources and communication management.
There are many knowledge areas and processes in the project management and these can be customized according to the need of the project and its management requirements, but human resource management is of prime importance. The selection process of these resources in the past has been and even followed today was /is based on Intelligent Quotient (IQ).
I repeat the definitions of IQ and EI/EQ again as below:
In IQ the cognitive abilities are assessed through vocabulary reading, comprehension and mathematical and reasoning skills and assessment is based on the scores assigned to assess intelligence abilities and this practice exists even in higher educational competitions and is recommended in various private and government organization and in the international transfers of human resources. (It is based more on objectivity)
In year 1985 emotional intelligence (EI, and known as Emotional Quotient EQ) was advocated, but ultimately Daniel Goleman in 1995 made efforts for its better understanding and use.
EI/ EQ is individual’s ability to identify, understand, evaluate control, and express emotions of self and others and groups. (It is based more on subjectivity) Together IQ and EQ provide success in practically all the fields.
“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” – Peter Drucker
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