May 4, 2012

PM0010 [Introduction to Project Management] Set1 Q2

Q 2. a. Describe the various roles undertaken by a Project Manager.

a. Roles of a Project Manager 
Leading a project is like leading a department where there are people with different backgrounds and skills, and the project manager has to co-ordinate with all the people to get desired overall result. The project manager should have the skills required to make the project go smoothly. This includes paying constant attention to communication, where it has to be made sure that the project sponsors and the team members are clear on the boundaries and expectations, documenting the project details like the tasks, responsibilities, relationships and understanding the customer and business needs. 

The project manager is responsible for documenting, in coordination with the project sponsors, a definition of the project. The project manager then makes sure that the project is delivered on time, to budget and to the required quality standard within the agreed specifications. The project manager should ensure that the project is effectively resourced and should also manage the relationships with a wide range of groups which consists of all the project contributors. The project manager is also responsible for handling the work of consultants, allocating and utilising resources in a proper manner and maintaining a co-operative, motivated and successful team. 

The general roles of a project manager are as follows: 

  • Understand and apply the organisational project policies and procedures. 
  • Maintain the project staff’s technical skill and efficiency, and provide training when required. 
  • Establish and maintenance of project quality. 
  • Identify and procure the project infrastructure needs. 
  • Develop project charter and obtain approval for the same. 
  • Define project goals, objectives and success criteria. 
  • Identify and document project constraints. 
  • Identify and document project assumptions. 
  • Identify and secure project team resources. 
  • Serve as a focal point for project related communications. 
  • Develop and present milestone during review briefings. 
  • Ensure that Information Technology security is met. 

The following describes the roles undertaken by the project manager: 
# Understanding the client requirements: The client requirements form the basis of the project. It should be clearly understood, planned and executed so that the project is developed to suit the client needs. For example, if the project is for the bank then their requirements should be clearly understood by the project manager to deliver the project to suit their requirements. 

# Understanding end user requirements: End user requirements of the project of the project should be understood as the clients and the end Meghana
users may be different. The project should be developed keeping the end users who are going to use the project. For example if the project is for a bank ATM, then the end-users should also be considered if they are going to use the ATMs for their transactions. 

# Understanding the project scope: The scope of the project defines the project tasks. The project has to be planned keeping the timelines, objectives, output and the delivery date in mind. The project should be defined according to the client requirements and the project should be managed accordingly. 

# Understanding the design: All the basic design requirements should be understood. The functional brief should be developed including the design brief preparation. The design and design process should be developed along with the development of contract documentation. The planning process and obtaining relevant approvals should be managed. 

# Communicating: The client should be given regular reports which are relevant and meaningful. The project progress report should be included in the project delivery kit. For example it may be required to send project status report every week. Also the client should be pre-informed about any likely delays/problems. 

To summarise, the project manager’s role includes the following activities: 
• Defining the scope 
• Planning and sequencing of the activity 
• Planning for the resource 
• Developing the schedules 
• Estimating the time 
• Estimating the cost 
• Developing the budget 
• Controlling the budget 
• Controlling the quality 
• Analysing risk 
• Managing risks and issues 
• Realising the benefits 
• Analysing scalability, interoperability and portability 
• Documenting the work 
• Maintaining customer relationship 

b. List and explain in brief the qualities of a Project Manager.

Key Qualities and Skills of a Project Manager 
Project manager plays a vital role in managing a project and is also responsible for defining roles and responsibilities of each member in the project team. A project manager ensures that the project meets its deadlines with expected quality output according to the specifications given by the client. 

However, for efficient management of the project, the project manager is expected to have the following qualities:

Leadership ability: It is the ability to lead a group with integrity, openness and receptiveness. A good project manager should strictly adhere to the values, morals and methods as defined by the organisation. Rather, it simply means that the words, actions and decisions of a project manager are bound to certain standards defined. A to suit their defined job roles. It is required to provide appropriate training sessions such good project manager has the ability to gather information from various sources and make a final decision based on the input. A project manager is able to take decisions strictly adhering to the framework and structure of the organisation and not based on unleashed emotions. A good project manager is able to solve the queries and prioritise the needs and concerns of the other members of the team. Project managers ideally possess critical management skills that enable to inspire and motivate the group leading towards a common goal. 

$ Ability to steer team growth: People are the most valuable asset of a company. Therefore, for an organisation to flourish and meet its successful deadlines, it is very essential to develop people, by nurturing their skills, appreciating their work, and providing training that is necessary as communication skills, team building skills, time management skills and leadership skills. 

$ Ability to take decisions: A project manager should be well organised and able to meet specific targets within the allotted time. The project manager has skills to manage various tasks and responsibilities that are both internal and external to the project. The project manager makes decisions keeping in mind the resources available, the scheduled time targets and the expenses incurred. The project manager is self motivated, self initiated, creative, and is able to solve any queries from the team. The project manager anticipates and has solutions to problems associated with the project. 

Ability to manage the finances of the project: A project manager effectively analyses and keeps track of the project finances to ensure a balance between the planned budget and the incurred budget. 

$ Commitment: A project manager is committed to the roles and responsibilities allotted and also create a positive and energetic work environment for the team to work in. 

$ Excellent communication skills: 85-90% of project manager’s tasks are about communication. Good communication skills help project manager to express and communicate effectively with all the stakeholders and also the team. Communication does not imply only sending information and speaking effectively; it also includes Listening skills, which means receiving information and understanding the message communicated from the other end. 

$ Good interpersonal skills (Individual Skills): Good interpersonal skills are defined as those skills which are very essential to interrelate, interact or deal with others in the organisation. Project managers possess good interpersonal skills to ensure that work is done on time without hurting the sentiments of any of the member of the project team. Interpersonal skills are categorised into communication skills, people skills and soft skills. An efficient project manager has good interpersonal skills that facilitate various ways that are suitable for interacting with other team members in various situations. 

$ Technical Skills: A project manager should have technical skills relevant to the project. The project manager knows the tools and techniques used in the project to ensure proper utilisation of resources. 

$ Problem solving skills: Project managers should possess problem solving skills and provide solution to most of the anticipated problems. A project manager should have the ability to identify the problems and concerns that arise out of various social situations. A capable project manager is able to take timely decisions in case of any risks or uncertainties associated with the implementation of the project. 

$ Time management skills: A good project manager understands that time is a non-renewable resource, thus plans and schedules tasks based on the priority that it has to be completed. A good project manager also ensures that scheduled tasks are implemented and executed on time as per the wants and demands of the client with the expected quality outcome. The project manager also ensures that there is ongoing interaction with the clients to determine whether there are any changes in the specifications from the clients. 

Project managers base their decisions based on a sound understanding of the concepts and techniques used in the implementation of the project. 

Some of the skills that a project manager requires with respect to project implementation are as listed below: 

Agency responsibilities: A good project should possess ability to deal with the obligations and challenges during the development, implementation and execution of the project. For example, the implementation of a software development project, a project manager ensures that the project meets the requirements of the end user, performs perfectly , provides software that is user friendly, cost effective and that can be maintained and managed efficiently. 

Understanding the nature of the project: It is very important for the project manager to analyse the nature of the project to assign roles to various members of the team. Understanding the nature of the project ensures that suitable resources, tools and techniques are chosen for the implementation of the project. The nature of the project has to be in line with the company’s structure, policies and planned budget. 

Conforming project feasibility: The project manager is able to manage the project in a manner that is feasible to various kinds of situations. 

Defining and setting the project scope: It is very essential that the objectives and the scope of the project are defined along with the shared decision by the senior members of the team. The probability of project failure increases when there is no clear definition and clear understanding of the objectives of the project. Once the goals and the objectives of the project are set, the task that follows is to identify the scope of the project. When scope has to be defined for a project, various factors have to be taken into considerations such as: 
o The amount of effort that has to be put in the project assigned 
o The duration of the completion of the project 
o Financial commitments 
o Duration and availability of the resources. 

Setting goals: Project managers ensure that the goals of the project benefit the organisation in terms of finance as well as the overall growth of the organisation. 

Assigning roles and responsibilities: It is vital that the job roles and responsibilities are assigned based on the skill set possessed by the employees.

Planning organisational change: In situations, where an existing structure of the organisation is not matching the requirements of the project taken up, it requires changing or updating the framework or certain activities of the organisation to ensure accommodating of the new process tasks. Thus, the organisation should be well prepared for the transitions of the plan so as to meet the specifications and the requirements of the client. However, a delay in the transition planning of the project can impair the productivity of the organisation. The planning of the changes in the organisation hold good in various aspects such as policies, procedures, description of new job roles, and other services of the customers. 

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