Effectiveness of project execution is highly correlated to the competency-level of the project manager and the operational support provided to them. In other words, if you employ the most competent project managers and provide them with first-class project -centric organizational support, you will achieve operational excellence in effective project execution. Seems simple!
The question is, is effective project execution a critical success factor for the organization? If so, read on.
One of the fundamental challenges for most organizations is definition or lack thereof of the project manager’s role. They understand the façade: Manage the project from start to finish, with total responsibility and no authority. However, many organizations (and some project managers) lack a comprehensive understanding of what the role really entails. All too often the mindset is they are a subspecies of a technical discipline. Worse yet, there are those that limit their vision to project scheduling (the schedule is the plan; the project manager creates the plan with the schedule; the plan is driven by the project manager); Microsoft Project equals project management.
So, from the perspective of the project manager’s role, we will examine the common practice of transitioning techies to project managers. As you may have surmised it is fraught with challenges. It is not impossible because I and the most competent project managers I know have made the transition.
In the blog posts that follow we will start with a historical perspective, then examine the role of the competent project manager, consider organizational development improvements, and finally wrap-up with a summary.