Selection of Project Manager
Selection of a Project Manager is not easy, nor is it something that should be taken lightly. A Project Manager’s skills and actions are a direct reflection of the Department’s commitment and competence in project management. A Project Manager’s daily responsibilities typically include some or all of the following:
- Provide day-to-day decision-making on critical project issues as they pertain to project scope, schedule, budget, methodology and resources
- Providing direction, leadership and support to Project Team members in a professional manner at project, functional and task levels
- Ensure project documentation is complete and communicated (e.g., project charter, scope statement, project schedule, project budget, requirements, testing and others)
- Identify funding sources and facilitate the prioritization of project requirements
- Manage the planning and control of project activities and resources
- Develop and manage project contracts with vendors
- Report project components status and issues to the project Sponsor and the Executive Committee
- Using, developing and improving upon the project management methodology within the department
- Providing teams with advice and input on tasks throughout the project, including documentation, creation of plans, schedules and reports
- Resolving conflicts within the project between resources, schedules, etc.
- Influencing Stakeholders and team members in order to get buy-in on decisions that will lead to the success of department projects
- Delegating responsibility to team members.
Taking these responsibilities into account, it is easy to see that a Project Manager should not necessarily be selected from a department based strictly on tenure or function, but rather based on a combination of other strengths. A Project Manager should be selected based on the following skills and experience:
- Project management methods and tools skills
- Interpersonal and team leadership skills
- Basic business and management skills
- Experience within the project’s technical field
- Respect and recognition among peers within the department
Project Managers who are selected to lead a project but who were not involved in the Initiation phase (for whatever reason) should be reminded that it is critical to review the Project Initiation phase documentation. These documents are the agreed-upon foundation for which the project was created and the catalyst for the creation of the Project Plan.