So why exactly project manager is paid for?
While working in software industry and managing various projects, occasionally few of my friends and relatives do ask a question:
What is role of Project Manager, is it like a supervisor in mechanical industries? Or Union Leader?
It is not only asked by non-IT people, even few team member does not understand why we require PM? Is he merely creates and update project plan or do something really more? If it is just to plan the tasks and updating the progress, even we (developer) can do it, so why you (PM) are for?
Developers create tangible things that is visible to all and therefore value. A Project manager (PM) on the other hand… well, not always. So what exactly project manager is paid for?
I will not say this question is void or vague, probably we need to give better explanation what PM really do?
A good Project Manager, initiates the project; manages project scope, cost & quality; coordinates between stakeholders and moreover manages project team.
Its really important how you start, just like in marriage first year sets the tone similarly in project life cycle initiation is major milestone. It not only defines the way forward but also sets the project tone.
Initial discussion with client for what they really wants, forming the development strategy and setting the man force.. You have to make sure everyone is on same plane.
Good start may not guaranty success of project considering all other factors, but if your start is not good then you can surely say that project execution will not be easy indeed!
Managing Project Scope, Cost, Time & Quality
Having good start build better relation and gives some advantages; along with that PM also need to consider few other things scope, cost, time which is always refereed as ‘golden triangle’. There is one more variable which is of equal importance now a days, which is called as quality.
Scope, Cost and Time are well defined while initiating the project but manager have to make sure everything is in line.
Agile, this new word in IT dictionary sometimes creates a challenge but good manager have to handle this well.
Quality just not tell that things should work as desired but customers are now having more expectations. Which ranges from how software / application looks to how easily one can use it.
Coordination between various stakeholder is also one of the challenging task, but if PM adhere to some processes and sets some standards then this should not be very difficult.
PM have to ensure proper communication is happening and should motivate everyone to do active part in communication. There are various methodologies like following ‘SCRUM’ processes can definitely help.
So, okay, that sounds important. But, really, isn’t that just sending a few emails and having some meetings? Well… no, and it’s not the only reason you need a PM. Good coordination and communication are essential to a well-run project.
Managing Project Team
One of the most challenging task for PM is managing project team.
Technical workers are creative, productive, and wonderful resources, but they need direction. Most projects include many highly-specialized resources such as developers, analysts, testers, graphic designers. PM have to ensure they are doing there job and they are well taken care of!
PM have to lead from front, always!
If you have good team, and you are managing it well; then no matter how complex is your project you can get this done within time and with quality
Well, there are many other things like problem solving, dealing with technical things, mentoring, conflict management project manager have to do.
So I am sure you will now understand what exactly project manager is paid for? and why heavily? 🙂