Grasping the Role of the Project Manager - dummies

By Nick Graham

Part of Project Management For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

To be an effective Project Manager, you have to know what your job involves. This list summarises the main tasks in project management. Some things on the list involve consultation with others:

  • Sketch out initial ideas for the project, with the 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, analysing risk and planning control actions.

  • Control the flow of work to teams (or perhaps just team members in a smaller project).

  • Motivate and support teams and team members.

  • Liaise with external suppliers.

  • Liaise with Project Managers of interfacing projects.

  • Liaise with programme management staff if the project is one of a group of projects being coordinated as a programme.

  • Ensure that the project deliverables are developed to the right level of quality.

  • Keep track of progress and adjust to correct any minor drifts off the plan.

  • Keep track of spending.

  • Go to others, such as the steering committee, if things go more significantly off track (for example, the whole project is threatened).

  • Report progress, such as to the sponsor or steering committee.

  • Keep track of risks and make sure that control actions are taken.

  • Deal with any problems, involving others as necessary.

  • Decide on changes, getting approval from others where the Project Manager doesn’t have personal authority to make a decision (for example, when changes involve very high cost).

  • Plan successive delivery stages in more detail.

  • Close the project down in an orderly way when everything’s done.