The Top 4 Reasons your Project Needs a Project Manager
Have you ever been sitting in a review meeting with partners or customers, thinking a project was going as planned, when you were hit with a question you were not prepared to answer, like “Why was there a shift in the timeline for the rest of the project”, or “Will we go over budget?”. If you’re the person designated as “in charge” of the project and you don’t know the answers to those questions, you could benefit from the services of a dedicated Project Manager. While you and your team may be amply prepared to deliver the needed expertise or resources to get the job done, if no one is managing the rest of the factors that lead to success, your project can be negatively impacted. Here, we’ve outlined four valuable aspects of Project Managers, what they can offer to your project, and why you should consider adding a project manager to your team.
PMs consistently monitor scope, time, and cost
With most projects, you often think of the “do-ers.” Those people that can write the code, make the widget, or create a plan for evaluation. In other words, what tasks need to be done, and who will do them? What’s often missed without a designated project manager is someone that, if given the appropriate level of information and authority, has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to holistically control the scope, increase the efficiency, and manage costs of the project. That frees up the “do-ers’” time to focus on what they do best, and the manager can support the team in order to reach each project objective on time and on budget.
PMs have the technical and soft skills to make your project successful
How many times have you left a fruitful and collaborative meeting only to go back to your workspace with no clear idea of what you are supposed to do first and when you should have it done? From those first few initiation meetings to the closure of a project, project managers are expected to lead or shape meetings to garner the information they need to create Work Breakdown Structures, create a schedule, provide vision and direction, help the team members manage their time, and deal with potential scheduling issues, among other things. In other words, the project manager becomes the conductor of what should be a very beautiful symphony. They may not know how to play every instrument, but they certainly should know how each instrument can work together to make a pleasing piece of music.
PMs are the designated point of contact
Project managers provide a central figure for a project to allow for all project-related communications, both internally and externally. This helps project teams control communication and decreases the chances of confusion. Because regular reporting of the project’s status to stakeholders is crucial to the success of the project, a project manager must stay up-to-date on the status of all project deliverables and be able to clearly and concisely relay the most important and useful information to the stakeholders.
PMs conduct quality planning, management, and control
For any deliverable to be successful, the quality must meet the expectations of the stakeholders and sponsors. Throughout the project lifecycle, a project manager must complete tasks focused on quality, such as documenting the stakeholder’s expectations and planning how quality will be measured and tested. Dependent upon the deliverable, audits, product testing, or review may be required, and the approving authority must be designated. Project managers understand the importance of quality, as it does not matter if you use the most sophisticated project management tools, meet every milestone, and come in under budget, if the deliverable does not meet the quality standards of the sponsor, the project cannot be seen as a success.
Rita Simmons is the founder and lead consultant of Novelle, where she provides business and research consulting to companies across a variety of industries. Dr. Simmons leverages her drive for innovation and excellence along with her extensive executive and military experience to help business owners grow their business, drive revenue, and achieve strategic goals. When you’re ready to take your business to the next level, contact Dr. Simmons at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with her on LinkedIn.