# What is a Project? A project is a well-defined, temporary undertaking that involves a series of inter-connected activities aimed at creating a distinct product, service or outcome. It is often initiated to achieve a specific goal or objective within a limited period of time. In practice, it can be seen as a unique set of inter-related activities that are carefully planned and executed with defined start and finish times, along with a clear scope and budget. The project team is assigned with specific responsibilities and roles to ensure the project is completed within the given constraints of time, budget and scope. The ultimate aim of a project is to deliver a unique and valuable outcome that contributes to the success of a business or organization. Definition from PMBok Guide: >Project Management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements. *In practice, project management is the integration of project activities through the project life cycle to achieve the delivery of a defined product or service within prescribed constraints of time, budget, scope and quality.* In order to establish a common understanding of best practice the internationally accepted standard is described below. All projects share the common characteristic of being: - temporary - having a definite start and finish - unique - the product or service is different in a significant way from all similar products or services. Project management is the planning, organising and controlling of the organisations services to achieve short term objectives which contribute to the overall corporate vision and business strategy. The project manager must work cooperatively both with executive management and other key stakeholders to deliver successful projects. It is generally accepted that to achieve a consistent level of project success there must be commitment and support of top management to the outcomes of the project. Project team members and other stakeholders must also be committed to the total project and not just their technical discipline or special interest. Best practice project management therefore is seen as having a cross organisational focus with distinct but crucial roles for project sponsors/champions, the project manager and project team members. The need for each of these key stakeholders to understand each others roles and responsibilities in relation to both the project outcomes and the achievement of corporate goals is considered essential for the achievement of strategic success. In organisations which demonstrate a high level of project management maturity the key areas of responsibility are: Key roles in project management are: ### Project Sponsor - Owner supports and is accountable for the project. - Approves the project proposal. - Assists the project manager in the creation of the project brief and preliminary project plan. - Signs off these documents. - Ensure that key business resources are available in accordance with the project plan. - Support the project manager in resolving risks and issues. - Reviewing the project regularly with the project manager. - Formally accepts the deliverables of the project. - Ensures that project achievements are recognised by the organisation. - Approves all changes to scope, schedule and budget. ### Project Manager - Produces the project brief and the preliminary project plan in consultation with the project sponsor. - Ensures that the needs and expectation of the project are fully understood and documented. - Develops the project plan in consultation with team members and other key stakeholders. - Ensures that all of the requirements of the projects are included in the project deliverables. - Manages the day to day activity of the project. - Provides motivation and direction to the project team. - Recognises the contribution of the team members. - Monitors the performance of the team on a regular basis and updates the project schedule. - Prepares regular status reports for the sponsor. - Manages the risks and issues. - Consults the project sponsor on risks and issues that are not resolved at the project level. - Raises change requests for all proposed changes to the scope of the project. - Ensures that a Post Implementation Review is conducted and reported to the project sponsor. - Ensures that the project deliverable is appropriately handed over to the managing organisation. ### Project Team Member - Works under the direction of and reports to the project manager. - Contributes technical expertise to the project as required. - Works cooperatively with the project team to meet the requirements of the project deliverables. - A project team member may be internal or external to the organisation and can include consultants and contractors. # What is Project Management? Project Management is a comprehensive process of planning, organizing, executing, and controlling project activities to achieve specific goals and objectives within a certain time frame. The PMBok Guide defines project management as the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities in order to meet project requirements.  In practice, project management involves the integration of various project activities throughout the project life cycle. This includes defining project scope, identifying project stakeholders, setting project timelines, allocating resources, monitoring project progress, and ensuring project quality. The ultimate goal of project management is to deliver a defined product or service within prescribed constraints of time, budget, scope, and quality while meeting stakeholder expectations.  Effective project management requires a combination of technical, interpersonal, and managerial skills. Project managers need to have a deep understanding of project management methodologies, as well as strong leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills. They should also be able to manage risks and conflicts effectively and adapt to changing project requirements. # What is Management by Projects? Management by Projects is a managerial approach that is used to manage an entire business by utilizing projects as a means to achieve the strategic goals of the organization. This approach involves the integration of ongoing operations within the organization. Organizations that adopt this approach tend to categorize their business activities as projects which are managed accordingly. The management by projects approach is characterized by a focus on results and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. It is a dynamic approach that allows organizations to respond to changes in the business environment and to remain competitive. The approach involves the creation of project teams, the identification of project goals and objectives, and the development of project plans and schedules. The approach also involves the establishment of project management methodologies, tools, and techniques to ensure that projects are completed on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards. # Projects Vs. Operations In an organizational context, it is often important to distinguish between activities associated with projects versus those associated with ongoing operations. Projects are temporary endeavors that have a defined start and end date and are designed to achieve specific goals within a unique organizational structure. Operations, on the other hand, refer to the ongoing and established structure that is in place to support the day-to-day functions of an organization. | | | | -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | | Projects<br><br>• Temporary organisational structure and goals<br><br>• Catalyst for change<br><br>• Unique product or service<br><br>• Dynamic Team Environment<br><br>• Flexible<br><br>• Fixed Start and End Date | Operations<br><br>• Established ongoing structure and goals<br><br>• Evolutionary Change<br><br>• Standard Product or Services<br><br>• Stable Team Environment<br><br>• Ongoing | One of the key attributes that distinguishes projects from operations is the temporary nature of projects. Unlike operations, projects are designed to have a specific start and end date, after which they are completed and the organizational structure is dismantled. This temporary nature allows projects to be more flexible and dynamic than ongoing operations, which are focused on maintaining existing structures and processes. Projects are also often seen as a catalyst for change within an organization. Because they are designed to achieve specific and unique goals, projects often require significant changes to existing processes and structures. This can be a positive thing, as it allows organizations to innovate and improve their operations in response to changing market conditions or customer needs. Another key attribute of projects is the dynamic team environment they create. Because projects are designed to achieve specific goals within a specific time frame, they often require the formation of new teams or the reorganization of existing teams. This can create a dynamic and collaborative environment that fosters creativity and innovation. In contrast, operations are focused on maintaining existing structures and processes, and as such, tend to have stable team environments. While this can be beneficial for maintaining consistency and quality, it can also lead to a lack of innovation and creativity. Finally, projects are often associated with unique products or services that are not part of ongoing operations. This uniqueness can be a strength, as it allows organizations to differentiate themselves from competitors and respond to changing customer needs. However, it can also create challenges, as it requires the development of new processes, systems, and structures to support the unique product or service. Overall, while projects and operations share some similarities, they are distinct in their goals, organizational structures, and team environments. Understanding these differences is important for organizations to effectively manage both projects and operations and ensure long-term success. # What is the Importance of Project Management? Project management is an essential function that can have a significant impact on the success of a project. It involves the planning, execution, monitoring, and control of a project from start to finish. When applied effectively, project management can help ensure that projects are delivered on schedule and within budget, which is critical for meeting stakeholder expectations. Moreover, it can improve the quality of deliverables by ensuring that the right processes, tools, and resources are used throughout the project lifecycle. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.  Additionally, project management can help minimise exposure to risk by identifying potential risks early and putting in place measures to mitigate them. This can help prevent project delays, cost overruns, and other negative impacts that could harm the project's outcome.  In simple points when applied effectively, project management can: - Ensure that projects are delivered on schedule and within budget - Improve the quality of deliverables - Minimise exposure to risk - Provide greater productivity and therefore greater profitability Furthermore, effective project management can provide greater productivity and profitability by optimising the use of resources, reducing waste, and identifying opportunities for improvement. This can help maximise the return on investment and ensure long-term success. Overall, project management is a critical function that can help organisations achieve their strategic goals and objectives by ensuring that projects are delivered successfully. # Relationship Between Management Disciplines The relationship between management disciplines is a crucial aspect of any organization's success. There are three core management disciplines that every organization must master: 1. General Management, 2. Technical Management, and 3. Project Management. `General Management` is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the ongoing operations of the performing organization. This includes managing the day-to-day operations, as well as long-term strategic planning, budgeting, and resource allocation. `Technical Management` is responsible for the technical aspects of a project, such as design, development, testing, and implementation. This includes ensuring that the technology infrastructure is in place, as well as managing the technical resources required to deliver the project. Finally, `Project Management` is responsible for managing all aspects of a project in a continuous process to achieve both internal and external project objectives. This involves planning, executing, monitoring, and controlling the project, as well as ensuring that it is delivered on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards. By mastering these core management disciplines, organizations can ensure that they are well-equipped to achieve their objectives and succeed in today's competitive business environment. ## Management Relationship Diagram ![[Management Relationship Diagram.jpg]] # History of Project Management ### Important Milestones `1914:` Gantt Chart developed for production scheduling at the Frankford Arsenal `1930s:` US Air Corp’s Materiel Division sets up a project office function to monitor development and progress of aircraft manufacture `1951:` Bechtel used the term ‘Project Manager’ as assignment of responsibilities to one person (Transmountain Oil Pipeline in Canada) `1955:` US Navy created a ‘Special Projects Office’ to develop the Fleet Ballistic Missile, Polaris `1957:` The Special Projects Office developed PERT (Program Evaluation Review Technique) to manage the hundred of contractors `1958:` Civil & Civic (in Aust ) marketed itself as a project manager to external clients, taking full responsibility for the execution of all phases of projects, from inception to completion. `1959:` CPM (Critical Path Method) developed by Integrated Engineering Control Group with a group at Remington Rand Univac. CPM cut turnaround times by 25%. 1959: Harvard Business Review recognises Project Management as a distinctive management discipline. `1964:` PDM (Precedence Diagramming Method) developed by Stanford University’s Civil Engineering Department on behalf of US Bureau of Yards and Docks. `1970s:` PM systems adopted outside construction and defence Environmental issues addressed as part of project delivery Organisations recognised the importance of effective upfront planning for the successful delivery of projects Establishment of the first professional bodies for project management (PMI in USA and AIPM in Australia) `1980s:` Introduction of Time, Cost & Quality equation Increase in ‘green issues’ as project focus Proliferation of personal computers Introduction of ethics, standards and accreditation `1990s:` ‘Management by Projects’ TQM (Total Quality Management) `2000s:` Increased emphasis on risk management and the development of Project Management Maturity Models >Further reading: Fundamentals of Project Management, Rory Burke, Chapter 2 # Project Manager Roles & Skills ### What is a Project Manager? `Definition: A Project Manager is a professional in the field of Project Management.` The Project Manager should be primarily concerned with the following: - What is to be done? - When will the task be done? - Why will the task be done? - What resources are available to do the task? - How well has the total project been done? ### What is the role of a Project Manager? The Project Manager must adopt the following roles: - `Strategist:` Develop strategies for the efficient use of project resources - `Negotiator:` Procure resources to support the project - `Organiser:` Pull together a team to act as a focal point for the management of the project - `Leader:` Recruit and provide oversight over the planning and execution of resources to support the project - `Mentor:` Provide counselling and consultation to members of the project team - `Motivator:` Create an environment that maximises the team’s performance - `Controller:` Maintain oversight over the efficacy with which resources are being used to support project objectives - `Diplomat:` Build and maintain alliances with project stakeholders to gain support for the project ### What are the Key Skills Required? To perform their role the Project Manager requires the following skillsets: - `Technical Skills:` Understanding and proficiency in the specific activities associated with the project which may include specialised knowledge & facility in the use of tools and techniques of the specific discipline - `Human Skills:` Skills associated with working within a team environment and creating an atmosphere of approval and security which allows free exchange of ideas - `Conceptual Skills:` Skills required to visualising the relationship of the project to the organisation, community and political environment and act in a way which advances the overall welfare of the whole organisation ### What are the Key Skills Required? To perform their role the Project Manager requires the skills: | | | | | ----------------------------------------------------------------- | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ | -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | | **Technical** | **Human** | **Conceptual** | | - Technical Awareness<br><br>- Budgeting<br><br>- Estimating Time | - Leadership<br><br>- Management<br><br>- Listening & Communication<br><br>- Negotiating<br><br>- Conflict Management<br><br>- Personal Time Management<br><br>- Team Building | - Organising<br><br>- Planning<br><br>- Problem Solving<br><br>- Analysis<br><br>- Decision Making | # Profile of the Project Manager ![[Profile of the Project Manager.jpg]] # Project Manager Maturity Levels 5-Level Example Model for a Project Manager ![[Project Manager Maturity Levels.jpg]] ### Project Manager Maturity Levels A Project Manager can be considered to align with one of five levels on a scale of maturity: | | | | | | | -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ | | **Level 1: Technical Manager** | **Level 2: Project Management Awareness** | **Level 3: Project** **Focused Project Manager** | **Level 4: Integrated Project Manager** | **Level 5: Continuous Improvement** | | Qualifications / Experience in a technical discipline<br><br>Superficial understanding of project management principles<br><br>Ad-hoc use of some project management tools | Some basic training in project management<br><br>General knowledge of project management terminology<br><br>Acknowledgement of the need for common processes<br><br>Regular use of core project management tools | Formal studies in project management<br><br>Recognition of the need to proactively manage<br><br>Adoption of common templates and processes | Formal qualifications / award in project management<br><br>Consistent use of common methodology<br><br>Pro-actively manages all aspects of the project<br><br>Consistently applies general management skills to the internal and external project environments | Acts as mentor/coach to project team<br><br>Regularly participates in professional development activities<br><br>Actively contributes to the organisation’s continuous improvement process | # The Skills of the Project Manager ## THREE-SKILL APPROACH The knowledge areas of project management overlap the other management disciplines of general management and technical or application management. Project managers require a broad approach in managing multi disciplinary teams. In a Harvard Business Review Classic paper, Robert L Katz* prepared a three-skill approach to management - technical, human and conceptual. He defined these thus: ### Technical Skill >Technical skill implies an understanding of, and proficiency in, a specific kind of activity, particularly one involving methods, processes, procedures, or techniques. It is relatively easy for us to visualise the technical skill of the surgeon, the musician, the accountant, or the engineer when each is performing his own special function. Technical skill involves specialised knowledge, analytical ability within that specialty, and facility in the use of the tools and techniques of the specific discipline. > >Of the three skills described, technical skill is perhaps the most familiar because it is the most concrete, and because, in our age of specialisation, it is the skill required of the greatest number of people. Most of our vocational and on-the-job training programs are largely concerned with developing this specialised technical skill." ### Human Skill >Human skill is the executive's ability to work effectively as a group member and to build cooperative effort within the team he leads. As technical skill is primarily concerned with working with "things" (processes or physical objects), so human skill is primarily concerned with working with people. This skill is demonstrated in the way the individual perceived (and recognises the perceptions of) his superiors, equals, and subordinates, and in the way he behaves subsequently. > >The person with highly developed human skill is aware of his own attitudes, assumptions, and beliefs about other individuals and groups; he is able to see the usefulness and limitations of these feelings. By accepting the existence of viewpoints, perceptions, and beliefs which are different from his own, he is skilled in understanding what others really mean by their words and behaviour. He is equally skillful in communicating to others, in their own contexts, what he means by his behaviour. > >Such a person works to create an atmosphere of approval and security in which subordinates feel free to express themselves without fear of censure or ridicule, by encouraging them to participate in the planning and carrying out of those things which directly affect them." ### Conceptual Skill” >As used here, conceptual skill involves the ability to see the enterprise as a whole; it includes recognising how the various functions of the organisation depend on one another, and how changes in any one part affect all the others; and it extends to visualising the relationship of the individual business to the industry, the community, and the political, social, and economic forces of the nation as a whole. Recognising these relationships and perceiving the significant elements in any situation, the administrator should then be able to act in a way which advances the overall welfare of the total organisation." These key general management skills are also fundamental skills needed by project managers. Many project managers are promoted from technical fields with no training or education in managerial functions and as a result they tend to over emphasise the need to be involved in their particular area of expertise. What is needed of the project manager, however, is to concentrate on the management processes and allow others to perform the technical work. The project manager must be knowledgeable in the technical basis of the project, but their primary function is to manage. As a project is a "temporary endeavour" and invariably involves the need to acquire resources from across the functional lines of the organisation in order to achieve the outcomes of the project, it is vital that the project manager carefully manages the interface between all project stakeholders. The project manager must recognise and identify the stakeholders and their interests in order to manage effectively. A stakeholder is defined as "anyone who has an influence over your project or who is influenced by it". There may be many types of stakeholders, including those within your organisation and those outside it. Without the support of the key stakeholders the project manager will struggle to make the project succeed. >*Katz, RL 1974, ‘Skills of an effective administrator’, in Business Classics: Fifteen Key Concepts for Managerial Success, Harvard Business Review, 1991, USA, pp. 23-35.* ## Interface Management Interface management occurs at three key areas: `personal`, `organisation` and `system`. ### Personal Interface This interface can occur anytime two people are working on the same project and there is a potential for personal problems or conflict to exist. If the two people work under the same line manager, the project manager usually has limited authority (unless he or she is their superior) and must call on the line manager to settle disputes. If the people are not in the same line or discipline, then the project manager assumes the role of mediator, with the ability to get line management to resolve the problem if necessary. Problems in the personal interface are even more difficult to solve when they involve two or more managers. The project manager must be capable of dealing with all conflicts that involve people in or related to the project. ### Organisational Interface The organisational interface is probably the most difficult to deal with because not only does it involve people, it also involves organisational goals and conflicting managerial styles. Conflict can occur on the interface because of varying unit goals and because of misunderstandings of the technical language used within each organisational unit. These interfaces are primarily management interfaces dealing with actions, decisions, or approvals affecting the project; however, they can also involve units outside the immediate organisation or project. ### System Interface The system interface deals with the product, facility, construction, resources, or other types of non people interfaces within the system itself or developed by the project. Some of the interfaces may include schedule problems where information passed on from one task to another is incorrect or delayed, a situation which can throw the project schedule off. Many of the technical problems generated as the project progresses are of this type. System interfaces are critical to the project's success and must be dealt with by the project manager, but not to the exclusion of the personal and organisational interfaces. Many project managers, because of their technical backgrounds, tend to over-involve themselves in technical system interfaces to the detriment of personal and organisational concerns. ## Great Specialist But Poor Manager? The successful transition from specialist to manager requires that you recognise the need to learn new skills and then work to develop them. There comes a point in the career of most professionals that if they are to progress further they must complete the transition from specialist to manager. Some are successful and progress to executive positions, others flounder in their new roles despite having been a competent specialist. Although there are a few fortunate individuals who intuitively pick up the ability to manage, the great majority of those who successfully make the transition do so by recognising that they must learn new skills. Making the transition from technical specialist to project manager requires skills in managing staff, building constructive relationships with fellow managers, clients and strategic partners to help the organisation to achieve its strategic goals. Motivation and leadership skills are essential for effective staff management. A project manager’s ability to motivate project teams comes from their power to administer rewards and punishment. Project managers who manage badly tend to place an over-reliance on punishment to get results. This usually creates more problems than it solves. Good mangers on the other hand are not afraid of using punishment or discipline but have also learned to use rewards to motivate team members. They do this by recognising individual needs, redesigning jobs or setting challenging goals. The absence of leadership skills has differing impacts in different situations. When managing people outside their own profession, poor project managers see leadership as nothing more than giving orders. They usually get compliance but at the expense of a disempowered team and often loss of productivity. When they are managing specialists from their own discipline (engineers in construction teams or lawyers in a legal team) they go to the other extreme and delegate to the point of abnegation of their own responsibility. Possibly the most difficult part in the transition is the need for project managers to build constructive relationships with their fellow managers, contractors and clients many of whom are from different disciplines. Specialists often work in isolation. They have considerable autonomy and are generally left alone to focus on their task. As a result they develop their own jargon and tend to devalue other project management functions such as risk management or communications management usually labelling them simply ‘admin’. Life as the project manager could not be more different; each day brings a stream of interruptions and the continuing need to negotiate (or compete for resources) with other managers. The good project managers are prepared to accept that their technical expertise is only one of the many critical competencies that will ensure business success. They quickly pick up the skills needed to communicate with their peers, contractors and clients and to contribute as equal team members. By contrast, poor managers adopt a bunker mentality, locking themselves in their office so that they can get some ‘real work’ done without being bothered by ‘admin’. Consequently they are often excluded from critical discussions to the detriment of the project, their team and their own careers. Another element of the transition to project manger is the requirement to make strategic decisions. Specialists may be given autonomy as to how they work on the project or deal with a contractor but they do not generally decide which projects they work on or which clients they will have. Project mangers on the other hand spend much of their time making (or contributing to) these important decisions. Strategic decision-making requires an ability to step back and see the big picture. After a career of focussing on their own discipline some professionals find this difficult to achieve. As a result they tend to micro-manage their team, getting so lost in technical details that they completely lose sight of the big picture. The good news for aspiring project managers is that all these skills can be learned. Once learned they should be regularly practised until they are applied automatically. Technical experts or professionals who wish to become project mangers need first to acquire skills in strategic and people management and in managing relationships and then seek out every opportunity to demonstrate that they can apply them. If a permanent project management position is not available, temporary positions such as filling in for a project manger on leave may provide that opportunity. From technical expert to project manager is not a promotion - it is a career change. ## How much Technical Training does a Project Manager need? >From: PM Network - May 1998 John P Sahlin is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and is the manager of training and consulting at Project Control, an international project management consulting and software company in Annapolis, Md. As a Project Management Consultant, I have encountered organisations with narrow definitions of project management; definitions that basically describe a projectised functional manager or a technical lead - project managers who are directly involved with produce development and who are more like the technical expert on the team, with a few scheduling / reporting responsibilities. This definition of project management caused me to re evaluate my resume. Do I have the technical expertise to be a project manager in today's world? I do not have a technical degree, but I have significant management training, including trail-by-fire training in project management. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge describes a relationship among general management techniques, project management techniques, and application area knowledge (technical skills), but does not discuss the depth of technical knowledge a project manager must have in order to be successful. With the wide array of industries making use of project management, it is unlikely that there will be any consensus on the depth of technical knowledge required. Despite this, a few general rules apply across all application areas. Never Tell Your Team How to Perform a Task. By setting and prioritising the project goals (milestones, control gates, and so forth), you are telling the members of your team what needs to be achieved. Leave it to the technical experts to decide how to accomplish the tasks. If we have learned nothing else from countless hours of team building exercises, we should learn that a group can brainstorm more effectively than an individual. It follows that leaving the how to the technical team is likely to result in an option you will not have considered by yourself. Leaving the technical direction decisions to the experts does not hamper your ability to manage. In fact, be decentralising the technical issues, you improve your ability to manage. We are limited in the amount of information we can control. By passing the technical decisions to the technical leads, our energies are available to focus on the project's strategic goals. `Know What You Don't Know, and Know the Sources of That Information.` The most important lesson you can learn in project management is that you can't know it all. Knowing the limits of your knowledge is invaluable to a manager. By recognising your limits, you can focus on the all-important task of identifying the sources of this knowledge. These sources can take the form of media or members of your team. When identifying these sources of information, you must also consider the availability and veracity of those sources. `"I Don't Know" is an Acceptable Answer.` In project management, unlike school, there is a penalty for guessing. By guessing, you endanger your reputation, as well as that of your entire team. By refusing to admit the limits of your knowledge, you risk the success of your project. More important, you risk losing the respect of your team. The leadership aspects of project management are often ignored, but integrity is your No 1 ally in organisations where you may not have direct authority (ie, functional or matrix organisations). An important corollary to this rule is: Never answer the same question with "I don't know" twice. If you don't know the answer, find out what the answer is and don't forget it. You can greatly improve team morale by showing the team that you are willing to learn and that you are enthusiastic about the project. Ignorance is forgivable, laziness is not. `Learn as Much as is Practical.` While no one expects you to be the expert in all fields, you should be able to speak intelligently about the technology involved with your project. You should be able to explain to your sponsor (or customer) why it is beneficial to choose a particular course of action. You may also have to make decisions based on reports from your technical experts. In order to weigh technical options, you must be able to understand them. The down side of training is that it takes you away from your duties. When deciding what technical training to pursue, ask yourself if it will help you manage your team on your next project. If the training is unlikely to have any bearing on future projects, it is probably not worth taking you off your current project to pursue. Your primary responsibility as a manager is to lead your team - not to be the single point of contact for technical issues. `Know Enough to Avoid Getting "Snowed".` It is a sad fact of human nature that we try to cover our faults or failures. We are tempted to conceal our blemishes with technical jargon and statistics. A project manager needs to have enough technical knowledge to week through the numbers and derive the true meaning of the reports. An example of this issue is Earned Value reporting. I remember my first Quarterly Progress Review on a contract with the US Navy: I was representing the government project manager. The contractor building the system was giving an EVA presentation to the government project manager. Everyone's eyes glazed over as the cost control expert rattled off a series of figures and acronyms. During a break, one of the contractor's engineers asked me to explain the presentation his company had just given. I showed him that given the current performance figures (about 70 percent CPI and SPI) it was mathematically impossible to achieve their goal of 92 percent CPI and SPI by the end of the project. He looked at me and said, "So you're telling me that we're lying to you." I just smiled. `Project Leadership.` These rules are not peculiar to project management. In fact, they are an application of general leadership skills I developed in the Navy. Little attention is paid to the leadership aspects of project management. Perhaps this is because the word leadership makes many of us think of Patton and his tanks, or Farragut at Mobile Bay. But leadership is not unique to the military; we can lead our project teams without being "command and control" martinets. The best definition of leadership I have ever heard is the "art of getting people to do what they don't want to, and making them think it was their idea in the first place." Project leadership is the subset of project management that deals with interpersonal communications and relationships. This set of skills is used throughout the project lifecycle and in all process groups defined by the PMBOK Guide. As project managers, we spend our careers communicating - with our team, to our customers, and with upper management. Our interpersonal communication skills are vastly more important to us than our specific technical knowledge. If we can successfully lead projects in one application area, we could take the lead in projects in other areas. A project manager in a software firm could make the transition to construction management with a relatively short learning curve by focusing on his or her ability to lead the project team to success - the technical skills are secondary. `Recommendations for Industry.` Moving into the next century, organisations need to redefine the term project management. The project manager must become more than a technical lead, enabling organisations to leverage the wealth of experience and leadership skills that can improve their quality, efficiency, and "bottom line". In order to adopt the practices of project management, organisations need to place more value on the leadership (non technical) aspects of project management. A PROJECT MANAGER DOES NOT need intense technical training. It is more important that project managers hone the leadership and management skills that are common to all application areas. ## The Role of the Project Manager As discussed already, the project manager's principle role is that of integrator as he or she is the only person who is able to view both the project and the way it fits the overall plan for the organisation. In addition, the project manager must be communicator. The communication process is not always easy because of the lack of clear communications channels, but the project manager has the responsibility to ensure that all stakeholders are appropriately briefed regarding the status of the project. The project manager must also fill the role of team leader. This not only applies to the formal authority of the position, but also to the expert type of power which would be used in an informal structure. Another role that is important for a project manager to fill is that of a decision maker. The specific decisions may vary according to the type of project and the stage of the project's life cycle at which the decision must be made, but in any event, the project manager must take them. Decision making is not unique to project managers, but it is a very important role that impacts significantly on the project as a whole. The project manager must also be expected to fill the role of a climate builder or creator. The project manager should seek to create a supportive climate to begin with so that negative conflict and unrest can be avoided. ## Key Drivers of a Distinct Carrier Path The key drivers of the development of project management as a distinct career path have been - The perceived need in the 50s and 60s to maintain a strong defence capability during the Cold War - To establish the primacy of the USA in Space research and capability - The need to develop increased ‘speed to market’ for consumer goods - The increased complexity of project requirements - Increase in the influence of ‘people power’ and the impacts of this power on project delivery - Flatter management structures within organisations - Development of faster and easier global communications which resulted in the establishment of virtual project teams with members dispersed across the globe These developments meant that traditional functional management structures with specialist managers overseeing specialist teams were no longer appropriate to deliver complex projects. # Other Roles and Responsibilities within a Project ### Program Manager Accountable for the project and other projects that might be run concurrently May act as the Project Sponsor or Project Champion ### Project Sponsor - Is the lowest level in the organisation with the authority to start and stop the project (aligns with Delegated - Authorities Policy) - Provides the funding and resources for the project - Authorises or rejects scope changes - Is the first escalation point ### Line / Functional Manager - Supports project staff - May facilitate provision of budget and resources - Is not necessarily the Project Sponsor ### Project Team Members - Contribute specific skills project to support the project delivery - Often provide technical input within the project - Are governed by the leadership structure administered by the Project Manager ### Operations Staff - Support the Project Manager through Administrative Assistanceas required - Perform an ongoing role across multiple projects - Often provide support in areas such as accounting, human resources management, general administration and IT support # External Readings >Bloomsbury Business Library Manage Projects Successfully. 2007, p4356. 14p. 3 Charts. ### Working with a project sponsor and stakeholders It's all too easy, when you're working on a project, to become so involved with your team and the work in hand that you overlook a very important group of people. These are your sponsor and stakeholders — in other words, all those who may have an investment or interest in the project's outcome without being directly involved in making it happen. Neglect them at your peril! This group is likely to have opinions and influences that can make all the difference between success and failure of the whole project. The wise project manager will make sure that he or she knows from the outset who all these people are, what form their interest in the project takes, and their needs and desires, and will then work out how to start and maintain a great working relationship with them. This chapter shows you how. #### `Step one:` Understand what a 'sponsor' and a 'stakeholder' are [Y] The project sponsor is the individual or organisation for whom the project is undertaken — the primary risktaker, in other words. This usually means the person or body responsible for financing the project. The project sponsor is far and away your most important stakeholder. `Yes Stakeholders` are people who are not directly involved in the project but are affected by it in some way, and so have a vested interest in its successful or unsuccessful conclusion. As a result, they (and their views) have to be taken into account by the project manager and the sponsor. The most common type of stakeholder is the user — that is, the group of people who will be using the end product — but can also include people like your boss, suppliers, customers, and even your family. #### `Step two:` Know why it's essential to have these people 'on side' There are a number of important benefits to having a good relationship with your sponsor and stakeholders. [Y] If you consult the most powerful among them early on, you can use their opinions to shape your project from the outset. Not only does this make it more likely that they will support you, but their input can also improve the quality of your work (and stop you having to do things twice). [Y] Gaining support from powerful stakeholders can also help you to win valuable additional resources — which also means that your project will be more likely to succeed. [Y] If you keep in touch regularly with stakeholders, you'll know that they fully understand what you're doing and what the benefits are. As a result, they'll feel more involved and will probably be willing to support you actively when necessary. [Y] Through stakeholders, you can anticipate what people's reactions to your project may be and build in plans that will win widespread support. Good stakeholder management also helps you to deal with the politics that can often come with major projects, and eliminates a potential source of major stress. #### TOP TIP Remember that your sponsor, having the biggest interest in your project, is not a 'silent partner' and does have the right to make decisions. If you think these are wrong, be honest about what you think (but don't be confrontational). If, after all that, the sponsor still wants it done his or her way, follow instructions and do your best to make sure the outcome is successful. #### `Step three:` Work out exactly who your stakeholders are It will be perfectly obvious who most of your stakeholders are, but there may well be a few who don't come to mind immediately. It's a good idea to have a brainstorming session with your project team to make sure no one gets left out of the loop. Think about all the people who are affected by your work, who have power or influence over it, or who have an interest in whether it succeeds or fails. #### TOP TIP Remember that although stakeholders may be both organisations and people, at the end of the day you communicate with people, not buildings. Make sure, then, that you have a contact at any stakeholder organisation with whom you can build a relationship. #### `Step four:` Analyse who takes priority If you write down all the people who might fit into the categories above as well as anyone else you can think of who will be affected by your project, you may well end up with quite a long list. You don't have enough time to deal with them all equally, so how do you decide who takes precedence? The best thing to do is to categorise them by their power over your work and their interest in your work, as shown in the grid overleaf. Go through the list of people you've identified as your stakeholders, and write their names in wherever seems appropriate. For example, your boss is likely to have high power over your project and high interest, and will therefore go at the top right hand corner of the grid. Your family may have high interest, but are unlikely to have power over it (so they'll be at the bottom right hand corner). Someone's position on the grid shows you how you ought to deal with them: - `high power, high interest:` these are the people you must make the greatest efforts to satisfy, so make sure you communicate with them very regularly and get them on side. - `high power, less interest:` put in enough work to keep them satisfied, but not so much that they get bored with your message. - `lower power, high interest:` keep this group adequately informed, and talk to them to ensure no major issues are arising. These people are often very helpful with the detail of your project. - `low power, low interest:` check in every now and then with this group to confirm there aren't any problems developing. An overview is usually fine here, so there's no need to go into too much detail! #### TOP TIP When you write your stakeholders' names into your power/interest grid, colourcode them according to whether they're likely to support you or to be opposed to your project. Strong advocates could be written in green; more neutral people could be in orange, and serious critics could be in red … for danger! Red alert people in the high power half will need especially careful management. #### `Step five:` Understand your key stakeholders So now you know who they are and what sort of priority they should have for your attention, you need to know more about your stakeholders: how they are likely to feel about and react to your project, and how best to engage them and communicate with them. Key questions that can help you understand your stakeholders are: - What financial or emotional interest do they have in the outcome of your work? Is it positive or negative? - What motivates them most of all? - What information do they want from you? - How do they want to receive information from you? - What is the best way of communicating your message to them? - What is their current opinion of your work? Is it based on good information? - Who influences their opinions generally? Do some of these influencers therefore become important stakeholders in their own right? - If they're not likely to be positive, what will win them round to support your project? - If you don't think you will be able to win them round, how will you manage their opposition? - Who else might be influenced by their opinions? The best way to answer these questions is to talk to your stakeholders directly. People are usually quite open about their views, and asking their opinions is often the first step in building a successful relationship with them — they'll be pleased that their views are being taken into account. #### `Step six:` Plan how you'll communicate with your stakeholders The next step is to draw up a communications plan, so you can make sure the right messages get to the right people in the right format. This is vital: there's always a danger that while a project is in progress, the project team slogs away and takes the attitude that 'everyone should leave us alone until we've finished, and then we'll deliver a wonderful product'. Stakeholders who are keen to see a successful result get nervous if they have no indication of how things are progressing, however, so you must keep in touch. There are eight different aspects that you need to consider while drawing up your plan. These are: 1. `Stakeholders`: Who are you trying to reach (you'll know this from your initial brainstorming session)? 2. `Objectives`: What are the objectives of the communication? Is it to prompt action, gain approval, or merely to inform? 3. `Message`: What are the key messages you want to get across? These should be targeted at the individual stakeholders according to their influence and interest. Typical messages will show the benefits to the person or organisation of what you are doing, and will focus on key issues like increasing profitability or delivering real improvements. 4. `Information`: What information will you communicate? There may be issues of confidentiality which must be addressed. 5. `Channel`: What channels will you use? The choice of channel for a particular stakeholder will depend upon the Message, Feedback, Level, and Timing aspects, not to mention geography (i.e. where they are located relative to you). You probably have a multitude of choices available to you — meetings, videos, email, newsletters, telephone, workshops and press conferences, for example. 6. `Feedback`: How will you encourage feedback, and what mechanisms should you have in place to respond to it? For example, you could have a dedicated email address for queries that a member of your project team is responsible for. 7. `Level`: How much detail should be provided? 8. `Timing`: When should you communicate? It's no good leaving it until the end and then telling everyone that the project is finished! The easiest way to organise all this information into an easytofollow communications plan is to plot it all into a table of some kind. Say, for example, your project is to construct a new village hall for the parish council, and you've decided your main forms of communication will be consultation meetings during design; monthly site meetings; monthly progress presentations; a page in the parish magazine, and an open day. You could set them out as shown overleaf. You can use simple tables of this type to illustrate various aspects of the communications plan. Keep the stakeholders down the lefthand side and change the column headings as you need to — they could relate to timings, information, message, channel, and so on. There are no set rules: just use whichever layout is most appropriate for your project. #### TOP TIP Flag up potential problems as early as you can. This gives everyone time to think through how move forward, and also preserves your reputation for reliability. No one will be happy to be told at the last minute that a project is not going to be delivered on time or to budget. #### Common mistakes `[N] You go over the top` It's just as damaging to relations with stakeholders to go over the top as to provide too little information. The company chairman is not going to be amused to receive every detail of every quote you get in for materials and supplies! Be sensible about judging the level of detail you give to whom, and how much time you spend on managing your stakeholders … it all depends on the size and complexity of your projects and goals, and the time you have available. `[N] You don't consider what you want from each individual or group` Stakeholders are likely to be a disparate lot, and you'll probably need very different kinds of support from each of them. Your family, you hope, will be understanding about you working at weekends (if necessary); your boss, you hope, will be understanding about you not giving priority to his or her immediate work. You'll need to communicate with each stakeholder or group of stakeholders in very different ways: there's no point bombarding them all with the same progress presentations if they're just not suitable for everyone. #### STEPS TO SUCCESS [Y] Understand why it's essential to have your project sponsor and stakeholders on your side. They have the power to make your project succeed or fail. [Y] Brainstorm exactly who they all are, so no one gets left out of the loop. [Y] Work out who takes priority according to their power over, or interest in, your project. [Y] Understand what motivates each stakeholder or group of stakeholders, and what actions might win their support (if you don't have it already). [Y] Come up with a comprehensive communications plan that's tailored to suit the needs of your various audiences.