Project’s failure or success? Does it all depend on the manager?
In today's world, where time is the most valuable resource, the project manager's role becomes one of the key factors for business success.
The PM has to establish contact with the client, assemble a team and establish communication, plan work and risks, distribute tasks, make sure that the project is within the time frame, budget, scope and a super mission - not to go crazy. An impressive list, isn’t it? And this is only a small part of the long list of responsibilities that the PM faces every day. However, does everything depend on the manager and is it possible to launch the project without him? We'll tell you. But first, let's find out what skills help the PM to be so multitasking.
Multitasking or important PM skills?
“To be in time everywhere and at once” - no, this is not the name of an Oscar-winning film, this is a description of a typical working day for a project manager. To be a PM is to have a source of an endless amount of motivation, strength and a certain set of qualities, without which it is impossible to succeed in the profession. To do their job perfectly and bring value to the business, a manager needs to have a specific combination of hard and soft skills.
The mandatory hard skills include:
the ability to collect and analyze requirements, convert them from the language of the customer into the language of the performers;
planning and organization of work;
knowledge of methodologies and tools;
- cost and budget;
As for soft skills:
the ability to influence decision-making;
the ability to listen and ask questions;
empathy and emotional intelligence;
adaptation in conditions of uncertainty;
ability to solve problems.
This list can be expanded and deepened - as you know, there is no limit to perfection. And from company to company, the requirements for the skills of a project manager vary markedly. But the essence remains, the project manager is a man-orchestra who will calm the client and put out burning deadlines. You need to be able to find such a specialist, like a diamond among ordinary stones, or, in extreme cases, grow it yourself, but this will require considerable resources.
Who will be responsible for the failure?
When you have a large number of responsibilities, any failure on the project is also the manager’s responsibility. Didn't meet deadlines? Did the client formulate the requirements poorly? Is the client not satisfied with the results? Budget bursting at the seams? The team does not understand what they are doing and why? Top management not aware of what stage the project is at? All this is the responsibility of the project manager.
Let's recall some of the basic principles of project management: teamwork and proactivity. And the responsibility for teamwork falls primarily on the one who is at the head of the task, directs the work, sets deadlines and controls the results. Any failure is a triggered risk that the PM either did not take into account or did not respond to in time.
We at Fusion Tech have long introduced an unbreakable rule that no project manager can neglect: the PM must definitely plan risks, keep them up to date and involve the entire project team in this process - some points can only be seen from a different position.
The time spent on compiling the risk register will pay for itself very quickly. But the consequences of unaccounted for failures, on the contrary, can be unpredictable and long-term.
Is it possible to do without the PM?
Yes, but only at the start. In a small company of four to six people it is indeed possible to imagine the absence of a PM. But get ready! Someone from the team will have to take on the responsibilities of that same manager and write code in parallel. Not the best idea, is it? And the larger the team becomes, the more difficult communication and coordination will become. Misunderstandings, loss of information, duplication of efforts and, as a result, inevitable conflicts.
There is only one way out of the situation. To put everything on the shelves, take over the entire organization of project work and allow the team to concentrate on what they are pros in, only the PM can. The project manager will take on both the daily routine and responsibility for the result. Developers will go deeper into their work, and the project will go many times faster.
To what extent does the success of the project depend on the manager? Maximum!
The way the PM makes decisions, reacts to changes and problems, assesses and updates risks, will determine the success or failure of the project. Of course, many other factors affect the implementation of the development: the complexity of the task, the team size, the qualifications of specialists, and other circumstances. But the absence of a PM is already a failure in itself, it is impossible to wear two hats, do everything at once. And also do well. If your team lacks a human orchestra, Fusion Tech is ready to collaborate in an outstaff format so that all your projects reach successful releases as soon as possible.
June 27, 2023