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What makes project manager a manager?

There are different definitions what project manager means in different organizations. And sometimes Project manager name seems to be used in a wrong setting, that creates various misunderstandings in expectations towards people who are wearing the title of project manager.

Project Manager is the one that feels in charge of the project ultimate delivery.

Being in charge of the project may mean various different things, but mainly it means that project manager is a manager when he / she:

  1. does not run from the responsibility when issues appear.

  2. looks for the most efficient ways how project result should be achieved.

  3. understand project key risks and deep dive into them.

  4. trusts, but verifies what project team is delivering.

  5. presents project delivery to the stakeholders as it would be his / her personal responsibility.

  6. analyzes and understands project stakeholders and works out communication plan that fits each and everyone's needs.

  7. is not afraid to look for solutions when unknown risks realize.

  8. understands that there is no project that goes according to plan.

  9. knows how to work when there are no instructions in place.

  10. respects company ways of working and shows cases to others.

The list can go on and on. The whole idea is that project managers are the ones who run the show and are capable to navigate unknown waters.

Being a project manager does not mean that you are alone, you have the project team that you need to know how to work with in order to achieve the results.

Most of the time project team members are not direct subordinates to the project manager, which makes it even harder to make group of people work for the common goal. This part is important because project manager need to have not only team management skills, but as well be able to read the team to catch various different reasons why some of them are not meeting agreed timelines for tasks from project plan and obviously motivate to work the tasks out.

Final thoughts.

When describing the role of project manager, it is important to understand that project manager has managerial element for a reason: person needs to run the team and motivate it to reach the necessary results, needs to feel an owner of project delivery and be able to work with various different stakeholders in unknown waters - where there are no instructions available.


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