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Chapter 3

The Project Manager

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PMs and Organizational Alignment
Key PM Responsibilities
Career Management
PM Realities
PM Selection
PM Considerations
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The Functional Manager vs. The Project

Functional managers are usually specialists,
analytically oriented and they know the details of
each operation for which they are responsible
Project managers must be generalists that can
oversee many functional areas and have the ability
to put the pieces of a task together to form a
coherent whole
Functional Manager and the PM
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The Functional Manager

Analytical Approach
Direct, technical supervisor
The Project Manager
Systems Approach
Facilitator and generalist
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Organizations and Functional Manager

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The Functional Manager

Project Management and the PM
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The PM
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Project Management and the PM

Major questions face the PM:
1. What needs to be done?
2. When must it be done?
3. What/how are the resources required to do this job
going to be obtained?
PM is responsible for:
Organizing - Directing
Staffing - Planning
Budgeting - Controlling
Responsibilities of the PM 2006 John Wiley and
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To the Parent Organization:

(Works under some set operational guidelines.)
Conservation of resources
Timely and accurate project communications
Careful, competent management of the project
Protect the firm from high risk
Accurate reporting of project status with regard
to budget and schedule
Responsibilities of the PM 2006 John Wiley and
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To the Client:
Need to be in constant contact with customer: why?
1. Make sure project is going well in his eyes.
2. Make sure proposal and final project are both
accepted, otherwise disaster!
3. Above all, the PM must never allow anyone,
particularly the client, to be surprisedbe prepared to
give bad news
Preserve integrity of project and client
Resolve conflict among interested parties
Ensure performance, budgets, and deadlines are met.
Responsibilities of the PM 2006 John Wiley and
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To Team Members:
Fairness, consistency, respect, honesty
Concern for members future after project
Must maintain team compass heading and
It is possible that team members come and go
during different phases of the project.
Example: Computer Programmer may come in later
in an IT project.
Career Paths
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When working for a company, you will be asked to be part

of a project while doing many other things.
With experience, you will be asked to lead a project.
Usually start with a small project, hopefully it becomes your
first success story.
Other more challenging projects will come later.
With experience, you will manage simultaneous projects.
Director of the PMO?
(depends on your personality, skills, successes)
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Competencies of the PM
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A number of demands are critical to the management of

1. Acquiring sufficient resources
2. Acquiring and inspiring personnel
Finding sources of internal motivation
3. Dealing with obstacles
4. Making project goal trade offs
5. Dealing with risk and failure (perceived or otherwise)
6. Maintaining multiple channels of communication
7. Negotiation
1. Acquiring Sufficient Resources 2006 John Wiley and
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You will need to have a budget. (Hopefully you had input in

its preparation.)
Resources initially budgeted for projects are usually not
Sometimes resource trade-offs are required
Subcontracting is an option
Project and functional managers perceive availability of resources to
be strictly limited
Competition for resources CAN turn into win-lose propositions
between project and functional managers
2. Acquiring and Inspiring Personnel
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$$ is not the only resource.

Human resources are around you, but they may be
difficult to get.
Qualified personnel not available
Example: working with a classmate on a project.
Project is risky, requires relocation/travel.
Equipment/personnel in high demand, not available
immediately. (i.e. good programmers).
2. Acquiring and Inspiring Personnel
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A major problem for the PM is that most people required for a

project must be borrowed
At times, functional managers may become jealous if they perceive a
project as more glamorous than their own functional area
Typically, the functional manager retains control of personnel
evaluation, salary, and promotion for those people lent out to projects
Because the functional manager controls pay and promotion, the PM
cannot promise much beyond the challenge of the work itself
Violation of Unity of Command principle
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Attracting the Best Team

Characteristics of effective team members:
High quality technical skills
After Work Breakdown, find/assign best qualified for each individual
Political sensitivity
There will be differences between team members:
New vs. Existing, Different Culture, Background, Religion, etc.
Strong problem & goal orientation
Interest should be solving the problem/achieving the goal, not pursuing
technical excellence.
High self-esteem
Motivation promotes sense of accomplishment and helps project.
Some just dont care: walking dead 9-5 mentality.
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3. Dealing with Obstacles

One characteristic of any project is its uniqueness
and with that come a series of crises:
At the inception of a project, the fires tend to be
associated with resources
As a project nears completion, obstacles tend to be
clustered around two key issues:
Last minute schedule and technical changes
Uncertainty surrounding what happens to members

of the project team when the project is completed

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4. Making Project Goal Trade-offs

There will be trade-offs that will affect project goals
of any project: cost, time and performance.
Design / formation stage: no significant difference in
the importance of the three goals
Build-up stage: schedule is primary goal, followed by
performance, which is in turn significantly more
important than cost
Final stage/phase-out: performance is significantly
more important than cost
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4. Making Project Goal Trade-offs

Relative importance of project objectives for each stage
of the project life cycle:
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4. Making Project Goal Trade-offs

You will have to make some decisions regarding
project goals:
Should we invest in more time to improve quality?
Should we pay overtime to get it done faster?
Should we cut corners to save time and cost?
Glory / prestige of leading people may carry a price.
Will you be able to make such decisions and assume
the responsibilities if they turn out bad?
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5. Failure, the Risk of Fear, and Failure

By definition, projects are non-routine activities.
Have an inherent risk of failure.
It is difficult, at times, to distinguish between project
failure, partial failure, and success.
What appears to be a failure at one point in the life of
a project may look like a success at another
Project seen as quite simple at beginning, problems arise
mid-life (Type 1 Projects)
Projects seem complicated at start, but have successful
ending. (Type 2 Projects)
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5. Failure, the Risk of Fear, and Failure

Communication is key to minimize impact of most
Important to communicate effectively with
customer/client, team members, top management.
Critical to get support form top management.
Easier to do stay alive if you went over budget.
Avoid surprises communicate, communicate,
Better he finds out from you than someone else.
Remember: Accountability never transfers from PM
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Failure and Project Types - 1

Type 1 - these projects are generally well-understood,
routine construction projects
Appear simple at the beginning of the project
Rarely fail because they are late or over budget, though
commonly are both
They fail because they are not organized to handle
unexpected crises and deviations from the plan
These projects often lack the appropriate technical
expertise to handle such crises
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Failure and Project Types - 2

Type 2 - these are not well understood, and there may
be considerable uncertainty about specifically what
must be done
Many difficulties early in the life of the project
Often considered planning problems
Most of these problems result from a failure to define the
mission carefully
Often fail to get the clients acceptance on the project
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Failure and Project Types

Your job:
Agree with company on goals, objectives and deliverables
and scope
Put it in writing!
Have proposal accepted by company on first attempt.
Complete deliverables, get frequent feedback.
If everything done as promised, final report /
presentation become formalities.
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Multiple Communication Paths

Most of the project managers time is spent
communicating with the many groups interested in
the project
Considerable time must be spent selling, reselling, and
explaining the project
Interested parties include:
Top management
Functional departments
Members of the project team
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Communication Realities
To effectively deal with the demands, a PM
must understand and deal with certain
fundamental issues:
Must understand why the project exists
Critical to have the support of top management
Build and maintain a solid information network
Be flexible: allow problems to be solved with a
certain amount of flexibility.
Team member must be flexible too (i.e. with their schedule).
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Communication Tools for the Project

You will use your web site to update the
company and the instructor.
Project progress report should include:
Period reported.
Specific progress made on specific deliverables in the period.
Report any problems encountered and how you expect to
address them.
Percent Completion by task.
Send weekly email to company & instructor with
link, briefly explaining what information was
May need to password-protect.
Selecting the Project Manager 2006 John Wiley and
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Attributes, skills, and qualities sought in PM are:

Strong technical background
Assertive and
are good traits,functional manager
but miss the point.
Mature and calm
PM must simply get job done.
Someone who is currently available
Someone on good terms with senior executives
Knows how to keep a team focused and inspired
Experience in several different fucntions
A person who can walk on (or part) the waters
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PM Selection Criteria
Four major categories of skills / criteria
required PM selection:
Managerial skills and adaptive leadership style
Ability to handle stress and conflict
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The PM needs two kinds of credibility:
Technical credibility
Perceived by key stakeholders as possessing sufficient technical
knowledge to direct the project
Not only possess sufficient technical knowledge but a good record.
Unlikely that PM candidate will now every technical aspect of the
Must know the core technology enough to command leadership.
Administrative credibility
Keeping the project on schedule and within costs past record?
Making sure reports are accurate and timely (reflect reality)*
Ensuring project team has resources needed. Anticipates needs.
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PM will work with people having different interests,

background, preconceptions, etc.
How to display sensitivity:
Understanding my clients organization political structure
Sense interpersonal conflict between team members and
Dont avoid conflict, confront it and deal with it before it
Keep team members focused on problems not people
Keep abreast of technical developments: what is hot?
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Def.: interpersonal influence, exercised in

situation and directed through the communication
process, toward the attainment of a specified goal or
A good leader leads, not just manages.
Other attributes may include:
Enthusiasm - Optimism
Energy - Tenacity
Courage - Personal maturity
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Strong sense of Ethics:

PMs must have a good Moral Compass
Common ethical problems:
wired bids and contracts (the winner has been predetermined)
buy-in (bidding low with the intention of cutting corners or forcing
subsequent contract changes)
covering for team members (group cohesiveness)
taking shortcuts (to meet deadlines or budgets)
using marginal (substandard) materials
compromising on safety
violating standards
consultant (e.g., auditors) loyalties (to employer or to client or to public)
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Strong sense of Ethics:

Once you find yourself in such a situation, you will
loose the most important thing you will ever have: a
Once you break your ethics, everyone will know
(somehow it happens!)
Either you are approached to do it again or you
become isolated.
The PM Ethics Code - 1
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The PM Ethics Code - 2
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Ability to Handle Stress

Four major causes of stress associated PM role:
Never developing a consistent set of procedures and
techniques with which to manage their work
Many PMs have too much on their plates
Some PMs have a high need to achieve that is
frustrated by the tradeoffs
The parent organization is in the middle of major
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Impact of Business Environment

Socioeconomic environment (bureaucracy, labor laws, holidays &
traditions in the host nation)
Cannot work during Traditional Festivals/Religious holidays.
Legal environment (laws and lawyers, the history, and respect for the law
in the host nation, bureaucracy)
Business cycle (the period and magnitude of the cycle and where we are in
the cycle: expansion, contraction, recession, etc.)
Technological environment (be compatible with the technology available

in the host country: i.e. equipment works at different power specs.)

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