page title icon Why do you need a project manager anyway?

Level: Beginner. Reading time: 5 minutes

You’re a senior manager or director of an organisation and you want to introduce a new product or service.

Why do you need a project manager when you have a team of people who are doing the work?

Bluntly – Techies are good at tech. Designers are good at design. And Business Analysts are good at some other stuff… :-). But these people aren’t focussed on the overall vision and determining what tasks need to be done in what order. And assessing the risks and putting in place measures to prevent or mitigate these.

If you don’t have a single person managing, controlling and organising the work you hugely increase the chances of failing to deliver, going over budget or being late.

As the Project Sponsor you will usually define the vision – which is the high level objective which you want to achieve, with the key business benefits. Normally you will document this within a business case or other document justifying why the project should proceed. You will usually hold the budget as well.

It’s the project manager’s job to deliver on your vision, which will include:

  1. Defining what work (deliverables) needs to be done to deliver the scope
  2. Managing and delivering within the budget
  3. Producing a schedule (plan)
  4. Sequencing the tasks to make sure the plan is met and the work is efficiently done
  5. Managing the project team and suppliers to ensure they are able to deliver when needed
  6. Identifing project risks, and provide ways of dealing with these
  7. Managing issues and problems as they occur
  8. Communicating with all interested parties (the key stakeholders) before, during and after the project
  9. Making sure the expected outcome and quality is delivered

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