A project manager is a professional in the field of project management. Project managers have the responsibility of the planning, procurement and execution of a project, in any domain of engineering. Project managers are first point of contact for any issues or discrepancies arising from within the heads of various departments in an organization before the problem escalates to higher authorities. Project management is the responsibility of a project manager. This individual seldom participates directly in the activities that produce the end result, but rather strives to maintain the progress, mutual interaction and tasks of various parties in such a way that reduces the risk of overall failure, maximizes benefits, and minimizes costs.
A project manager is the person responsible for accomplishing the project objectives. Key project management responsibilities include
- defining and communicating project objectives that are clear, useful and attainable
- procuring the project requirements like workforce, required information, various agreements and material or technology needed to accomplish project objectives
- managing the constraints of the project management triangle, which are cost, time, scope and quality
A project manager is a client representative and has to determine and implement the exact needs of the client, based on knowledge of the organization they are representing. An expertise is required in the domain the Project Managers are working to efficiently handle all the aspects of the project. The ability to adapt to the various internal procedures of the client and to form close links with the nominated representatives, is essential in ensuring that the key issues of cost, time, quality and above all, client satisfaction, can be realized.
Project Management Key Topics
- to specify the reason why a project is important
- to specify the quality of the deliverables
- resource estimate
- Investment, corporate agreement and funding
- Implementation of management plan on to the project
- team building and motivation
- risk assessments and change in the project
- stakeholder management
- provider management
- closing the project.
- Project Tools
- The tools, knowledge and techniques for managing projects are often unique to Project Management. For example: work breakdown structures, critical path analysis and earned value management. Understanding and applying the tools and techniques which are generally recognized as good practices are not sufficient alone for effective project management. Effective project management requires that the project manager understands and uses the knowledge and skills from at least four areas of expertise. Examples are PMBOK, Application Area Knowledge: standards and regulations set forth by ISO for project management, General Management Skills and Project Environment Management There are also many options for project management software to assist in executing projects for the project manager and his/her team.
- Project Teams
- When recruiting and building an effective team, the manager must consider not only the technical skills of each person, but also the critical roles and chemistry between workers. A project team has mainly three separate components: Project Manager, Core Team and Contracted Team.
- Most of the project management issues that influence a project arise from risk, which in turn arises from uncertainty. The successful project manager focuses on this as his/her main concern and attempts to reduce risk significantly, often by adhering to a policy of open communication, ensuring that project participants can voice their opinions and concerns.
Types of Project Managers
Construction Project Manager
Until recently, the American construction industry lacked any level of standardization, with individual States determining the eligibility requirements within their jurisdiction. However, several Trade associations based in the United States have made strides in creating a commonly accepted set of qualifications and tests to determine a project manager's competency.
- The Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) maintains the Certified Construction Manager (CCM) designation. The purpose of the CCM is to standardize the education, experience and professional understanding needed to practice construction management at the highest level.
- The Project Management Institute has made some headway into being a standardizing body with its creation of the Project Management Professional (PMP) designation.
- The Constructor Certification Commission of the American Institute of Constructors holds semiannual nationwide tests. Eight American Construction Management programs require that students take these exams before they may receive their Bachelor of Science in Construction Management degree, and 15 other Universities actively encourage their students to consider the exams.
- The Associated Colleges of Construction Education, and the Associated Schools of Construction have made considerable progress in developing national standards for construction education programs.
The profession has recently grown to accommodate several dozen Construction Management Bachelor of Science programs. Many universities have also begun offering a master's degree in Project Management. These programs generally are tailored to working professionals who have project management experience or project related experience; they provide a more intense and in depth education surrounding the knowledge areas within the project management body of knowledge.
The United States Navy construction battalions, nicknamed the SeaBees, puts their command through strenuous training and certifications at every level. To become a Chief Petty Officer in the SeaBees is equivalent to a BS in Construction Management with the added benefit of several years of experience to their credit. See ACE accreditation.
Architectural Project Manager
Architectural project manager are project managers in the field of architecture. They have many of the same skills as their counterpart in the construction industry. And will often work closely with the construction project manager in the office of the General Contractor (GC), and at the same time, coordinate the work of the design team and numerous consultants who contribute to a construction project, and manage communication with the client. The issues of budget, scheduling, and quality-control are the responsibility of the Project Manager in an architect's office.
Insurance Claim Project Manager
In the insurance industry project managers often oversee and manage the restoration of a clients home/office after a fire, flood. Covering the fields from electronics through to the demolition and constructions contractors.
Engineering Project Manager
In Engineering project management is the term used to describe the task of seeing a product/device through the stages of R&D/design to manufacturing stages. Working with various professionals in different fields of engineering and manufacturing to go from concept to finished product. Optionally, this can include different versions and standards as required by different countries. Requiring knowledge of laws, requirements and infrastructure. Things like electrical voltages often change from country to country.
Software Project Manager
A Software Project Manager has many of the same skills as their counterparts in other industries. Beyond the skills normally associated with traditional project management in industries such as construction and manufacturing, a software project manager will typically have an extensive background in software development. Many software project managers hold a degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, Management of Information Systems or another related field.
In traditional project management a heavyweight, predictive methodology such as the waterfall model is often employed, but software project managers must also be skilled in more lightweight, adaptive methodologies such as DSDM, Scrum and XP. These project management methodologies are based on the uncertainty of developing a new software system and advocate smaller, incremental development cycles. These incremental or iterative cycles are time boxed (constrained to a known period of time, typically from one to four weeks) and produce a working subset of the entire system deliverable at the end of each iteration. The increasing adoption of lightweight approaches is due largely to the fact that software requirements are very susceptible to change, and it is extremely difficult to illuminate all the potential requirements in a single project phase before the software development commences.
The software project manager is also expected to be familiar with the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). This may require in depth knowledge of requirements solicitation, application development, logical and physical database design and networking. This knowledge is typically the result of the aforementioned education and experience. There is not a widely accepted certification for software project managers, but many will hold the Project Management Professional (PMP) designation offered by the Project Management Institute, PRINCE2 or an advanced degree in project management, such as a MSPM or other graduate degree in technology management.
The Project Manager is accountable for ensuring that everyone on the team knows and executes his or her role, feels empowered and supported in the role, knows the roles of the other team members and acts upon the belief that those roles will be performed. The specific responsibilities of the Project Manager may vary depending on the industry, the company size, the company maturity, and the company culture. However, there are some responsibilities that are common to all Project Managers, noting:
- Developing the project plans
- Managing the project stakeholders
- Managing communication
- Managing the project team
- Managing the project risk
- Managing the project schedule
- Managing the project budget
- Managing the project conflicts
- Managing the project delivery
Education and Certifications
Individuals wishing to obtain professional certifications may take one or more of the offerings available from a variety of organizations:
The Project Management Institute offers the following credentials to project managers:
- Project Management Professional (PMP)
- Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM),
- Program Management Professional (PgMP)
- Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP), and
- Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)
- Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)
Other institutions and organizations:
- AIMS (UK) Institute of Project Management offers Certified Project Manager (CPM) and Diploma in Project Management programs
- PMLG offers The Certified Project Manager (CPM) Boot Camp
- The University of Wisconsin's Masters Certificate in Project Management
- CompTIA offers Project+ Certification
- The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) offers Gold Seal Certification as a Project Manager.
- The UK Office of Government Commerce offers PRINCE2 certification.
- The Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) offers Registered Project Manager (RegPM) certification.
- The Defense Acquisition University (DAU) and its School of Program Management offers practitioner training in every element of project management for members of the Federal Government, Defense industry and allied nations.
- The University of Cape Town (UCT) is now offering Advanced Diploma in Business Project Management (Postgraduate) at NQF Level 7.
There are other graduate programs in project and technology management, such as an MSPM.
The International Project Management Association (IPMA) is an international network of national project management societies such as Association for Project Management in the UK. IPMA serves as an umbrella organisation representing national societies which offer their certifications.
- Event Planning and Production
- Master of Science in Project Management
- Project engineer
- Project management
- Project planning
- ↑ https://www.apm.org.uk/WhatIsPM
- ↑ PMBOK Guide Third Edition 2004 p.12
- ↑ Russell, PMP, D. (2011). Accountability. In Succeeding in the project management jungle: How to manage the people side of projects (p. 29). New York, NY: AMACOM.
- ↑ Berrie, Michele, Project Manager Responsibilities, PM Hut. Accessed 17. Oct 2009.
- ↑ Project Management Institute Family of Credentials
- ↑ http://www.projectmanagers.org/2012/11/project-managers-as-consultants.html
- ↑ "company webpage". pmlg.com. PMLG. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
- US DoD (2003). Interpretive Guidance for Project Manager Positions. August 2003.
- Open source handbook for project managers Open source handbook for project managers. July 2006.
- Collection of scholarly articles Project Management Training: Research. Nov 2012.