The Role of Project Manager

Projects can be large and complex and involve multiple stakeholders with varied expectations, roles, and interests that do not always align. The project manager is any person, sometimes informal, who is tasked with managing these stakeholders and interests such that the project achieves its desired outcomes. The project manager works with roles for oversight, such as sponsors and managers, as well as roles for implementation, namely the project team, in order to ensure that the end users are satisfied with the project deliverables (see Figure 1.2). In some projects, such as governmental public works initiatives, the end users can be the broader community who influence the project progress or benefit from the project deliverables. For example, when constructing a new highway, private homeowners are often asked to forfeit their land. But the larger society may benefit from the reduced traffic or a quicker travel route.

In order to manage these multiple and varied project management roles, project managers require a unique balance of hard and soft skills, listed in Figure 1.3. Technically, project managers should be able to analyze scope and create project Work Breakdown Structures, schedule resources, estimate and manage budgets, analyze risks and appropriate responses, and manage quality, including analyzing project components. On the softer side, project managers need to be able to guide, motivate, and monitor people at all levels: team members, vendors, and even senior managers and executives. To do this, project managers need to be equipped with skills in negotiation, decision-making, problem-solving, conflict resolution, and communication. These soft skills are especially important when “managing up”. Engaging with project sponsors, executives, and even the PMO around project requirements and timelines is best handled carefully and convincingly.

About the Project Management Institute

The РМГ is the world’s largest project management professional organization. They currently hold over 591,000 members across 215 countries and 309 chapters and potential chapters.[1] [2] Their most popular and widely consulted publication is

Project management roles. (Training and consulting content from PMO Advisory LLC. Reprinted with permission.)

Figure 1.2 Project management roles. (Training and consulting content from PMO Advisory LLC. Reprinted with permission.)

PM skills, attitudes, and behaviors. (Training and consulting content from PMO Advisory LLC. Reprinted with permission.)

Figure 1.3 PM skills, attitudes, and behaviors. (Training and consulting content from PMO Advisory LLC. Reprinted with permission.)

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK[3] [4] [4] Guide), which is available in 12 different languages and has over 5 million copies in circulation today. Project management has been practiced for centuries (consider the construction of the ancient aqueduct system in Rome), but without a point of consistent research that leads to best practice. The PMBOK® Guide has provided a consolidated body of knowledge and best practice for the discipline of project management. While there are many guides and methodologies, such as PRINCE2®, the PMBOK® Guide remains one of the most internationally consulted standards.

Apart from the PMBOK® Guide, PM Г also provides opportunities for formal certification in the discipline of project management. Their certificates span vertically across levels of specialization and horizontally across areas of specialization. The most popular of the PMI certificates is the PMP®. In the past, this certificate was a means of gaining recognition and competitive advantage as a skilled project manager. However, holding the PMP credential today is a necessity for competitive parity in some sectors such as the United States Federal Government, rather than

Active PMI certification holders. (January 2020). (PMI Fact File, February 2020. PMI Today, Project Management Institute.)

Figure 1.4 Active PMI certification holders. (January 2020). (PMI Fact File, February 2020. PMI Today, Project Management Institute.)

competitive advantage. Today, there are already thousands of people holding PMI® credentials, and this number is expected to grow significantly over the foreseeable years. Figure 1.4 shows a recent counting of active certification holders across the eight PMI certifications.

Attaining a PMI® certificate usually requires completing an application with prerequisite knowledge and/or related work experiences and passing an exam of between 120 and 200 competency-based questions depending on the certificate. Upon completing the application that includes requiring applicants to have completed a specified number of hours experience in project, program or portfolio management, and/or some level of formal training, the application can then take the exam. After successfully completing the exam, the applicant becomes an active certificate holder typically for a duration of 3 years after which the application must apply for recertification. The only current exception is the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), which is a nonrenewable 5-year term.

  • [1] * “Project Management Institute” and “PMBOK” are trademarks of the Project ManagementInstitute, Inc.
  • [2] PMI Fact File, February 2020. PMI Today, Project Management Institute.
  • [3] ’ “PRINCE2” is a (registered) Trade Mark of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.
  • [4] “PMI”, “PMP”, “PgMP”, “PfMP”, “PMI-RMP”, PMI-SP”, “PMI-PBA”, “PMI-ACP” and“CAPM” are service marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
  • [5] “PMI”, “PMP”, “PgMP”, “PfMP”, “PMI-RMP”, PMI-SP”, “PMI-PBA”, “PMI-ACP” and“CAPM” are service marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
 
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