The Different Roles in Project Management
Project management has gained strategic importance in the last decade, as more organisations are now emphasising alignment of visions and objectives. Projects can be put under pressure to finish on time and under budget; otherwise, it could potentially cost a company millions of dollars depending on how big the project is.
Project managers are held accountable for the majority of a project’s completion; however, there are a variety of roles within project management that contribute to the project’s success. These roles can be assigned to one individual or a team of people.
Alternatively, one individual may be responsible for many roles, depending on the scope of the project and its strategic positioning. Below, are several important roles within project management that contribute to the project’s objectives and overall vision.
A Project manager is vital to the successful delivery of projects from start to finish. The responsibility of a project manager involves leading an entire project through the stages of planning, controlling, executing and completion. Also, the project managers central role is to ensure the project is completed within the allocated time frame, under a specified budget while achieving all objectives set by higher management.
Project managers must provide all resources; such as human resources, hardware and technical resources, are combined efficiently while managing relationships with contributors and the project’s stakeholders. A project manager’s role also extends to conflict and risk management, communication management, stakeholder management and status reporting.
There is no doubt that project managers come under pressure from various stakeholders within the project as they carry many of the key responsibilities that are needed for the ultimate success of the project. A good project manager utilises scheduling software and project management software such as Microsoft Project to plan and prepare for the various stages throughout the project’s lifecycle. It also enables project managers to executive and control all aspects of a project and stakeholders with optimal time management and project planning.
Without strong leadership skills of project managers, the likelihood of a successful project will quickly diminish.
There are project management courses that offer online study options that enhance students knowledge about various aspects of project management. These courses are available online and available in Waikato and Christchurch.
The project team are assigned to work on specific deliverables and outcomes for a project. The project team members consist of mainly full time and part-time employees who are responsible for contributing to the overall objectives of the project.
Having a combination of skillsets and expertise is vital to the success and smooth execution of any project. Project teams are often assigned tasks through the project manager and formed from a variety of in house staff groups such as human resources or other departments. Some project team members are external contractors or suppliers who have been specifically chosen for the project.
The project teams directly communicate with the project managers about the progress or any possible roadblocks or issues that may occur within a project’s lifecycle. The overall goal of the project team is to understand work priorities and goals while reporting progress and collaborating with the project manager.
Steering Committee and Project Clients
The steering committee consists of high management team representatives and stakeholders that oversee the entire project lifecycle, guiding the overall objections a vision and strategic direction. They act as support for the project manager and steer key project elements such as deliverables, schedule and budget per submitted requests.
Clients are the people in which the project is conducted for whether it be for a company, department or organisation. Throughout the project, the project client involves approving project plans, requesting changes, raising risks or issues with the project manager and releasing payments as well as accepting the final deliverables fo the project. The project client ultimately has the final say about the crucial aspects of a project.
Project Management Office
The project management office, aka PMO, consists of a group of people that assist in building and maintaining a set of standards and best practices across all projects. A PMO facilitates the sharing of resources, methodologies, techniques and tools across organisations.
If the strategic importance of a project increases, PMO’s help manage and execute them more securely and predictably through risk management techniques. PMO practises help achieve economies of scale and improve overall projects success rate.
In addition to the project management office, a business analyst defines the recommended needs and solutions to make organisations better. When part of project teams, business analysts ensure that the project solves an existing problem or adds value to the organisation. They also help in achieving project deliverables and act in the client and senior management’s best interest to ensure these deliverables meet specific criteria.
The business environment needs more highly skilled project managers and teams. According to the Project management institute (PMI), a projects successful completion rate improves by 40% when project managers and their team members possess the ideal skill set.
All project groups must be able to successfully combine to ensure the clients and businesses needs are met.
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