Achieving Results with Project Management – Part 6
It is now worthwhile to create a list of the main tasks by the project manager handles along with the potential challenges that they may face.
Your role as the project manager is one of day to day responsibility for the project, and that might involve so much work that your job must necessarily by a full time one. On the other hand, it may be that the project is smaller and less complicated and the project management is just part of your job.
Either way, the responsibilities are the same, it’s just a scale and complexity there are different.
Here then is a summarized list of the main tasks and responsibilities of the typical project manager:
- Bring together and document the initial ideas for the project, along with a justification, outline costs and timescales
- Plan the project, including mapping out the controls that will be put in place, defining what quality the project needs and how it will be achieved, analyzing risks and planning control actions
- Motivate and support teams and team members
- Liaise with external suppliers
- Control the flow of work to teams or to team members
- Liaise with project managers of any interfacing projects
- Liaise with programme management staff if the project is one of a group of projects being called mated within a programme
- Ensure that the project deliverables are developed the right level of quality
- Keep track of progress and adjust this to correct any minor drifts away from the plan
- Keep track of spending and the use of resources
- Communicate with others, such as the steering committee, if things go significantly off track
- Report progress, such as to the sponsor or project board
- Keep track of risks so make sure the control actions are both taken, and are effective
- Deal with any problems, involving others as required
- Decide on changes, or get approval from others where the project manager does not have personal authority to make such a decision
- Planned successive delivery stages in more detail
- Close the project down in a controlled manner when everything has been done
A key to project success is being proactive, so get out in front of the project and direct where it is going. Do not follow on behind the project being reactive and having to fire fight countless problems just because you didn’t see them coming.
Plan to manage strategically not just tactically
There will be many short term pressures as a project manager, particularly if you are managing several projects or carrying out the operational work as well. It can be tempting to cut corners and miss things out.
Missing things out is not the same as adjusting the project management needs to the project, but rather missing stuff out altogether that in an ideal world should have been done. Remember that cutting corners will usually come back and bite you later!