I find it amusing that the two words, “Project Manager”, mean such different things to different executives. After all, with the staggering success and proliferation of the PMI’s PMP designation and the highly projectized workplace of today, arguably, it should be as clear as a description of most organizational roles out there.
Not so! One day I will do a proper write-up on this, but here are the initial thoughts. It seems that there are roughly three categories of perceptions, ranked as per the amount of responsibilities implied:
The Facilitator Project Manager is there to keep the project plan updated, to schedule meetings and take minutes, and to remind people that their deliverables are due.
The Taskmaster Project Manager is there to run the project on a day-to-day basis, to be the person-in-the-know when it comes to anything to do with the project, to make decisions within the limits of the project scope, and to escalate upstairs when necessary.
The Mover and Shaker Project Manager is there to make things happen and the project succeed, with whatever “moving and shaking” is required.
Of the three perceptions, only one, in my mind is accurate, and that is the second. The first is ridiculous yet widespread. The third requires further discussion.
As a consultant, I never take on an assignment without a full understanding of my client’s perception of my role. And, in my view, neither should any project manager, whether in a consulting capacity or full time employee, if personal well-being and the success of the project means anything.
How would you like to be seen and why? I’ll tell you where I stand in the next entry.
Ilya Bogorad is the Principal of Bizvortex Consulting Group Inc., a management consulting company located in Mississauga , Canada . His 14-year professional career has been devoted to the field of Information Technology. Before starting Bizvortex, Ilya served as a Director of Application Development and Maintenance at Mytravel, Canada . Prior to that, he lead IT projects, designed business applications and managed complex system implementations in the travel, retail and transportation industries. Ilya can be reached at [email protected].