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The Project Manager

The Project Manager

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The Project Manager

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  1. MGMT 483 – Week 3 The Project Manager

  2. Topics for today’s class • How project management differs from functional management • Special demands on a project manager • The particular qualities that make a good project manager • Selecting the right project manager to lead a team • Problems of cultural differences Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  3. Distinguishing leadership and management? “Leadership and management are two different things. You lead people and you manage projects.” (Grace Hopper) • Leadership is a talent only a few are born with • Management is a skill that anyone can acquire Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  4. The difference between functional management and project management Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  5. The Functional Manager Typical functional management org chart: the marketing department of an insurance company Figure 3-1 Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  6. The Functional Manager • Department heads are usually functional specialists • They have the technical skills to evaluate all members of their organization • They decide who performs each task and, to a certain degree, how the task is performed • That is, they exercise a great deal of control over every aspect of the work that gets performed within their area • They are good at ANALYSIS Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  7. The Project Manager Project management organization showing the typical responsibilities of a project manager Figure 3-2 Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  8. The Project Manager • Project managers are usually generalists (although they often start out as technical specialists) • It would be very unusual for a project manager to have all the technical skills that are used on their projects • The project manager rarely decides who performs each task and lacks the technical skills to evaluate much of the work performed on the project • That is, they exercise very little direct control over most aspects of the work that gets performed on the project Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  9. The Project Manager (cont’d) • The project manager must oversee multiple functional areas • Requires an ability to put many pieces of a task together to form a coherent whole • SYNTHESIS or the SYSTEMS APPROACH • To understand a component, you must understand the larger system (or environment) of which that component is a part • A project manager must be able to see the big picture and the interrelationship of things Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  10. The delicate balance between functional and project management • The PM cannot allow the technical manager to usurp control of the project • Work on the project is then likely to become secondary • Watch out for micro-management! • The functional manager cannot allow the PM to take over authority for technical decisions in the functional area or to control the assignment of functional area personnel Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  11. 3 big questions for the PM • What needs to be done? • When must it be done • What resources are required to do the job? Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  12. Projects are Riskier • Expectations are more specific • The resources are more diverse–and many are not even in your department • Deadlines are shorter • No chance to do better next time if there is a problem Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  13. Project Management and the Project Manager • The project manager functions as a mini-CEO • The project manager must have a clear understanding of how the project fits into the overall organization • This is why broad knowledge is more valuable than technical knowledge • Budgets, timetables, and criteria, magnify management problems on projects Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  14. Comparing Functional & Project Managers • Functional manager needs technical skills while project manager need negotiation skills • Functional manager must be skilled at analysis while project manager must be skilled at synthesis • Functional manager uses the analytic approach while project manager uses the systems approach • Functional manager is responsible for a small area while project manager is responsible for the big picture • Functional manager is a manager while the project manager is a facilitator Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  15. Special Cases • When a project is small, line personnel may be assigned as manager. When conflicts between the line position and the project arise, the project will suffer • When a line person is assigned as a project manager, conflicts can arise between the line and project for resource assignment • When projects are small, a project manager may manage multiple project. This can be a problem when the projects conflict Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  16. Project Manager Responsibilities The parent company The project/client The project staff Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  17. The Parent Company • Proper usage of resources • Timely and accurate reports • Covered in detail later • Keep project sponsor informed Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  18. The Project / Client • Preserve the integrity of the project • This may be difficult with all sides wanting changes • Keep the client informed of major changes Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  19. The Project Staff • Very few people will work for the project manager • The “team” will disband at the end of the project • The project manager must look out for everyone’s future • This is in the best interest of the project, otherwise as the project winds down, everyone will be looking after themselves Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  20. Special Demands on the Project Manager • We will look at each of the following special demands on the PM: • Acquiring adequate resources • Acquiring and motivating personnel • Dealing with obstacles • Making project goal trade-offs • Failure and the risk and fear of failure • Breadth of communication • Negotiation Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  21. Acquiring Adequate Resources • Project budgets are usually inadequate • There are resource trade-offs that must be considered • Crises may occur that require special resources Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  22. Acquiring and Motivating Personnel • Most project workers are borrowed from functional managers • The project manager negotiates for the desired worker but • The project manager wants the best qualified individual • The functional manager decides who to assign Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  23. Acquiring and Motivating Personnel Continued • The functional manager also decides… • The skill level to assign • The pay and promotion of the worker assigned to the project • Additionally, the worker will most likely return to the functional manager once the project is finished Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  24. Acquiring and Motivating Personnel Continued • Once workers are assigned to a project, the project manager must motivate them • The project manager often has little or no control over pay and promotion • This is especially true in shorter projects – but in longer term projects or project-driven organizations there may be considerable influence Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  25. What skills make a good project team member • High quality technical skills (unfortunately often the only or main selection criteria) • Political sensitivity • Strong problem orientation • Strong goal orientation • High self esteem Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  26. Dealing with Obstacles • “What I need is a list of specific unknown problems that we will encounter” • Anonymous PM • Every project is unique • The project manager will face a series of crises • A big problem is “scope creep” Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  27. Dealing with Obstacles Continued • Early problems associated with resources • Later problems are associated with… • Last-minute schedule and technical changes • What happens to the team when the project is completed Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  28. Making Project Goal Trade-Offs • Trade-offs involve… • Cost • Time • Performance • Multiple projects • Project goals and organizational goals • Project, firm, career Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  29. Failure and the Risk and Fear of Failure • Well understood projects (Type 1)… • Appear simple • Natural flow introduces problems • Poorly understood project (Type 2)… • Many difficulties early on • Most are planning problem • May have psychic consequences Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  30. Breadth of Communication • Much of the PM’s time is spent in communication – “selling the project” • PM must know why the project exists – how is success or failure defined? • Some projects fail – can the PM refuse to take it on if it is already in trouble? • Top management support needed • Information network needed • Must be flexible Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  31. Negotiations • Acquiring adequate resources • Motivating personnel • Dealing with obstacles • Making project goal trade-offs • Handling failure • Maintaining communication Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  32. Selecting the Project Manager • This is one of the most important decisions for any project • He or she needs: • Credibility • Sensitivity • Leadership, ethics, and management style • Ability to handle stress Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  33. Credibility • Technical credibility • ie. sufficient technical knowledge • Administrative credibility • With clients, senior management and the project team Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  34. Sensitivity • A PM needs good “radar” • PM’s do not avoid conflict – they spot it early on, confront it, and deal with it effectively • Political sensitivity – conflict within the organization as a whole • Interpersonal sensitivity – conflict between team members • Technically sensitivity – spotting people who are trying to hide failure Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  35. Leadership, Ethics, and Management Style • Leadership – what is it? • Personal courage, enthusiasm, optimism, energy, tenacity, personal maturity • PM must know when to take over, and when to give the team its head Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  36. Leadership, Ethics, and Management Style • A strong ethical sense is very important in a PM – they often are embroiled in ethical issues relating to projects: • Predetermined bids and contracts • Low bidding with the intention of cutting corners • Kickbacks • Inappropriate “covering” for team members to keep team cohesiveness • Taking “shortcuts” • Using substandard or marginal materials to cut costs • Compromising on safety • Violating standards • Consultant divided loyalties Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  37. Ability to Handle Stress • The life of a project manager is rarely serene • Many causes of stress: • No consistent procedures • Too much to do • High need to achieve – a personality trait of good PMs • PMs are working within or with organizations in the throes of change Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  38. Problems of Cultural Differences • Project managers must adapt to the social/cultural environment in which they are workings • This is especially true when the project is in another country • There can be real problems on international projects when a culture’s opinion of some group are different from the firm’s Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  39. Aspects of Culture • Cultural differences are not confined to international projects • Culture has these aspects: • Technology: tools, materials, skills, work attitudes • Institutions: government, family, religion etc • Language: connotation and meanings differ • Aesthetic values: what is found beautiful or satisfying Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  40. Multicultural Communications and Management Behavior • Cultural differences have a tremendous impact on project personnel • Differences in value systems present problems to project personnel • The logistics of relocating project personnel on international projects is huge • This is especially true in developing countries • Large distances constrain travel • Just getting to a meeting may take days • Language and educational differences present communication problems Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.

  41. Multicultural Communications and Management Behavior • Cultural differences have a tremendous impact on project personnel • Differences in value systems present problems to project personnel • The logistics of relocating project personnel on international projects is huge • This is especially true in developing countries • Large distances constrain travel • Just getting to a meeting may take days • Language and educational differences present communication problems Meredith & Mantel (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Wiley.