The Actual Role of a Project Manager
Project management is easier than ever before but in a way has become somewhat tougher. Why is that? A lot of the work is software automated, but the way project managers use that time and the concrete value they provide became questionable. Basically, people feel project managers just throw their weight around and order their team to do things, but sadly, they’re not that lucky.
In the best case scenario, they sit in their cubicle quietly, without disturbing anyone, create their list of “dos-donts”. One of the top executive MBA colleges in India, Alliance University offers a specialization in Project Management that gives a deeper insight about the roles and responsibilities of a manager.
A project manager’s responsibilities are many, but their benefits are very few. If you wish to succeed as a project manager, you have to be passionate about making sure your team is being productive and is on the same page; even if it has to happen at your own expense.
“Boss” of the project
Project managers and account managers are often the same person. They act as a liaison between the team and the client. As they are in contact with the client, it is natural for them to get contracted by the “boss syndrome.”
“If a project fails, it’s because of a bad project manager; if a project succeeds, it’s because of a good team.”
A project manager is never the “boss” of the team, but of the project. The project manager cannot take decisions single-handedly but has to consult the concerned people because he isn’t really the “boss” of the team.
Project managers can never have a large role in the final product. Their role is like a director of a film. It doesn’t appear like they did much, but without direction, the project wouldn’t be the way the final project looks. It is made with the designer’s inputs and the project manager’s influence.
The trick to surviving as a project manager is to keep the ego in check and not fly too close to the sun. Do not confuse your ego with yourself respect. And it anyways isn’t advised to mix emotions with work. It’s best to finish off the task at hand and not mix up ego with the decisions at work.
Keeper of the balance
There maybe products that are perfect and products that ship. The project manager is in the position to take this decision and be spontaneous enough. He must be able to change his decisions to be useful and practical to the organization.
You can’t let anyone walk in and “improve” the project. You can’t let sides win as there will be enough fights and debates regarding the same and you will be in trouble. Being a popular choice will not give you bonus points. It is extremely beneficial to have on-hand experience and studying “project management” in theory, which is provided by Alliance University. It offers an Executive PGDM program which can be done alongside your job.
When a client doesn’t like your product, you are the one to break the news to the team. You have to take care of the team like a parent, whether you’re angry or sad, keeping your emotions aside. Criticism and opinions are some things that you have to provide your team with, even if it is the unpopular choice.
When you’re working on a project, you have to be critical and point out what’s wrong, what’s right, and represent the client’s interest. This often means pushing your team to come up with a better solution. It’s your job to inspire them to rise above mediocrity and become better.
It is not surprising that the team members don’t trust the project managers, as they don’t appear to be doing anything really. There are times when the project manager only keeps a check on whether the team is working on the same thing and is on the same page.
A developer or a designer shouldn’t have to waste time regarding the competencies of the other. The project manager should know this all pre-hand so that he can provide the team with the necessary data.
Bigger organizations take more time to complete projects as the hierarchy has to be followed. E.g. To pay a bill, the higher authority needs to be asked or to go ahead with a particular design, the manager needs to be consulted. Such small things delay the entire project by one hour, one day—and that delays the whole project by months together.
A project manager’s job is to take non-work of their team’s back so the team can spend more time designing and developing (i.e. the actual reason they’re hired). You don’t make your team more productive by organizing meetings and asking for reports—this makes your job easier, which is a completely different thing.
Don’t let your team take up other work and be engaged in work that isn’t part of your project so that they can fully concentrate and deliver better and quicker. One of the best Executive PGDM in India is the course offered by Alliance University with a specialization in Project Management for a better experience of being a manager as theoretical knowledge is important too.
A project manager’s job is not measured in the amount of work they do, but how much their team accomplishes. Even if you twiddle your thumbs all day and make coffee, but your project gets done well before time, you are doing a good job.