A project manager is the head of a project. He is involved in all activities that a project undertakes. There are several disciplines involved in a project, and the thought for today is to expect the project manager to know everything, like play god, omniscient?
If a project manager is expected to run the project, and be accountable for the outcomes, I do not believe that there is anything wrong with the expectation stated above. He may not be an expert in many fields, and that’s a good reason to have experts for each of the areas like a human resources manager, quality expert and so on.
If we stretch this thought a little bit, can we ask a project manager to know multiple technologies. Well, that depends on the project manager’s aspirations. If he wants to enlarge his reach in getting fresh and challenging projects, he would push himself into learning new technologies. And, at a project manager’s level, learning a new technology does not mean mastering, but to understand it to apply it in the work performed.
At Spark IT 2010, Sundar Varadaraj, director – Technology and Innovation Center, Dell, said that a project manager is required to be a jack of all trades.
There are basically five types of projects namely end-to-end green field, application support and maintenance, project with no start and end, enterprise project-with one end of the part and the embedded project-OS intensive.
A project manager needs to be ready for various risks like changing managements, changes in requirements, contract and fuzzy terms. He emphasized on building relationship and confidence among the clients and also the team.
“Project/portfolio managers need to look at selection/bonding/teaming of their army of product engineers, ego-less management, engage clients in small talk, generate genuine interest in colleagues, gift the clients and colleges on occasions and many more,” he added.