During my ~10 years of experience into Project Management, with multiple big tier companies, I have witnessed multiple projects being kicked off without a Project Manager (based on it's complexity / severity); some of them presenting it as "Delivery Led Transitions". Whilst some of them have been successful, majority of these projects have either crossed their deadlines or had several other impacts like budget spillovers, Client feedback.
A project is an undertaking to create a product or provide a service. Generally, projects don’t need a complex methodology when it comes to managing a project, but they benefit from a designated project manager. A project manager increases the likelihood of a project being successful and profitable.
Hence I wanted to emphasize on the reasons why a Project needs a Project Manager..
1. Single Point of Contact / Source of Information
A project manager is the central figure of a project, disseminating project information and updates to the Project Team, Business Leaders and Clients, which decreases confusion and increases accuracy.
2. Increase Efficiency
The project manager works with team members to confirm which activities must occur in the project and in what order so projects are completed faster and more efficiently. Every project is made up of interconnected activities, each of which has its own set of checks and balances.
3. Control Scope
Project scope details the work and activities required to deliver the completed product or service. A phenomenon that often occurs is “scope creep,” which refers to continuous changes to the initial project. To contain creep, a project manager puts markers in place before anyone can add or take away from the scope.
4. Manage Financials
Delivering on time and on budget are one of the constraints in any project. A project manager controls not only monetary costs but also the people resources, both internal and external, and equipment costs as well.
5. Manage Time
Time is arguably the most important constraint of any project. Because project team members still have day-to-day responsibilities, managing their time can be a challenge. A project manager manages deadlines by setting a schedule at the inception of the project.
6. Schedule Management
The project manager plays an important role in ensuring all the team members work on their assigned activities in the appropriate order. The project manager helps members calculate the time a task takes and solves any problems so they can successfully meet their deadlines.
7. Identifying & Mitigating Project Risks
No matter how well planned, a chance for potential risks in a project exists. A project manager anticipates and identifies risks and creates a risk response process to track their status. It’s important to make risk prevention part of the initial planning phase. If the project manager can’t prevent the problems, managing them is the next best solution.
8. Administer Procurement (Doesn't apply to all Org.)
If your project requires purchases from outside vendors, the project manager manages the contracts and terms and tracks invoices to ensure suppliers and the project customer live up to the terms of the contract.
Note: Some Org. has a dedicated Procurement team which manages end to end procurement. In this case, a PM needs to ensure that every activity is on-track as per the timelines. (For e.g.: Raise a PR (purchase requests), PO (purchase order) creation, Sign-offs / approvals, Negotiations, etc.).
9. Communicate With Stakeholders
As project progresses, it is important to make stakeholders aware of any risks and successes along the way. The project manager communicates the goals and performance to business leaders in a regularly scheduled report.
10. Close the Project
After the project meets the goals and expectations of the project customer, the project manager documents and reviews the project phases with the team members and leadership to analyze patterns, trends and opportunities for improvement for the next project.
Written & Edited by:- Raju Radhakrishnan
Programme Manager - UK at Tech Mahindra Business Services