Who is a Project Manager?

Project Manager is the person who manages the project and is responsible and accountable for its successful delivery. This person is responsible for taking the project from initiation to planning to execution to closure. During the project, the project manager manages the stakeholders, the sponsors, the team, the overall scope, the schedule, the budget, the overall quality delivered, project communications, project risks, vendors etc.

Responsibilities of a Project Manager

Responsibilities of a Project Manager

Let's review the following things related to the Project Manager:

  • Definition of a Project Manager
  • Responsibilities of a Project Manager
  • Types of Project Managers

Responsibilities of a Project Manager

A project manager has many responsibilities. The specific responsibilities would depend upon many factors including factors related to the organization, the project manager's reporting group, the structuring of the project etc. For instance, the responsibilities within a Project-structured organization will be different as compared to a Matrix-structured organization.

Some of the responsibilities a project manager may have include the following:

  • Initiating the Project
  • Creating the Project Charter
  • Creating the Project Plan
  • Managing the Scope of the Project
  • Managing the Schedule of the Project
  • Managing the Budget of the Project
  • Managing the Quality delivered by the Project
  • Managing people on the Project
  • Managing the Project's Stakeholders
  • Managing the Project's Risks
  • Managing the Vendors
  • Managing the Partners
  • Reporting Status to the Executives and Stakeholders
  • Managing the Project's Implementation and Release Activities
  • Managing the Project's Transition
  • Closing the Project

Types of Project Managers

Project Manager's may be categorized based on many factors. These essentially reflect the experience and skill characteristics of a project manager. Some of the key factors include:

  • Domain or Industry: This relates to the domain or industry of the organization(s) they have worked in. For instance a project manager with Banking industry experience would have different domain knowledge as compared to a project manager from Construction industry, who would have different domain knowledge as compared to a project manager from Pharma.
  • Function:┬áThis represents the specific function or department in which the project manager has worked in. For instance, one project manager may have IT Infrastructure experience (within a Bank), while another may have worked with projects only within the Marketing group (of the same Bank).
  • Objective of the Project: Two Web projects may have completely different objectives - one may be to create a new website, while the other may be to redesign a website, while a third one may be to migrate the website to a different infrastructure. A project manager may specialize in managing projects related to achieving on type of project objective. For instance, over time I have started to specialize in managing website and mobile app redesign projects.
  • Project Management Methodology: There are many methodologies to manage projects - Waterfall, Iterative, Spiral, Agile, Lean etc. Depending upon the project methodologies used by a Project Manager as well as his or her understanding of these methodologies, his or her capacity may be limited to managing projects within certain methodologies.
  • Size of the Project Budget: Project Budgets vary from anywhere in the range of $5,000.00 to upwards of $100M. And based on size of the project budget a project manager manages, their capacity to manage budget could vary widely.
  • Size of the Project Team(s): While one project manager may be working with only 3 team-members, another project manager may be working on a massive multi-year project with 3000 people working in multiple teams, even representing multiple organizations.

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