Project Manager, the Most Important Role Term Paper

Pages: 8 (2192 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Management

¶ … project manager, the most important role is the coordination role. Coordination does not necessarily imply supervision, but also involves setting a series of objectives that team members have to achieve. In this particular case, the objectives referred to (a) getting the project done and (b) getting it done on time and according to the highest standards of quality.

In order to achieve these objectives, as a project manager, one needed to specifically describe to the team members the project's concept, the means by which the goals could be achieved and determine what the feedback mechanism would be. Lets deal with each particular phase in part.

Describing the project and the project requirements to the team members included determining the exact needs of the client and transposing this into the technical solution that needed to be implemented. The team members were clearly explained where we want to get to, the final destination point of the project and the specific properties the final product would contain.

Following this step, as a project manager, one needed to determine the particular means and steps by which these goals could be reached. This meant a clear presentation of the technical specifications, of each tactical phase and the way this would be approached.

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Finally, the third part of the project manager mission included evaluations on each team member performance. The evaluation had both a human resource component and a specific, palpable component. The latter referred to what was actually getting done. The moment that the project manager senses that the project was not being performed well on all its levels, it could intervene in order to get things straight, to rephrase the message and explain the specifications.

On the other hand, it may have happened that the human resource/team members working on the project will have become, at some point or other, de-motivated, tired of the project etc. These were excellent examples of cases where the project manager would motivationally intervene in order to further commit the team member on the project and encourage his dedication.

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One of the most important and difficult components on the project manager side, but with strict reverberations on the team member side as well, was the fact that one needed to determine the best suited tasks for each team member. The best suited tasks also referred to the jobs on the project where the respective team members would best perform and would produce the most notable results. As a practice, the project manager has rotated, during the first week of the project, each team member on each job that needed to be performed on the team. As such, at the end of the week, the project manager had an evaluation of the way each of the team members performed on the particular components and could better assign tasks for the subsequent period of time spent on the project.

The team members, after the first week, were given and were explained their role on the team, had two relations they had to keep in mind. First of all, their role within the team, as a performed of a particular task, as assessed and selected by the project manager.

Second of all, an excellent coordination with the other members of the team was needed, due to the enormous correlation that resulted from the need to work together in order to achieve the final product. Indeed, many of the activities co-determined others and this meant that the team members need to coordinate with each other, besides the global coordination of the project manager.

5. First of all, the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) model is project planning tool that helps the project manager determine, evaluate and organize costs. We may justifiably agree on the fact that a structure or model, such as the WBS, which deals with sub-projects as components of the greater project that needs to be realized, will help better evaluate the separate costs involved in the project. In fact, as a truism, the organizational system that the WBS proposes helps better organize costs through their separate calculation and determination at sub-project level. Overall, better estimates and better organization at component level helps a better cost management at the entire project level.

Second of all, the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) model offers an excellent mechanism "for performance measurement and control." Indeed, starting from the main concept that WBS promotes, the partition of the project, each part of the project can be coordinated by a sub-project manager. The sub-project manager will basically have the same attributions as the project manager, only that his team will have less members and his task less difficult to perform. In many it organizations, the sub-project manager is referred to as the team leader, with 2-3 people in his team and charged to realize a certain part of the software, for example.

The WBS structure offers a better 'view' of the way each team is performing and, individually taken, a better view on the members of the team realizing each determined goal. Because of the WBS model, the project manager will be able to determine whether the separate teams have managed to fulfill their assigned tasks and whether this was done in time and fulfilling a certain level of performance.

Third of all, we may assume the entire system better organizes and spreads responsibilities across the sub-project managers, charged with delivering their own subprojects. Indeed, in the first case, when a project manager was in charge of a team and needed to develop a project, the project manager held all responsibility. In the second case, however, the sub-project mangers carry an important part of the responsibility and will probably abide more to their charges in order to deliver, in good conditions, the project on the fixed date.

Resuming, a model such as the WBS model has one great advantage, applicable in all three different situations I have previously mentioned, in which the WBS structure creates value. It provides an organizational structure that allows a better management scheme. This has direct reverberations at all levels, including the financial component (cost management) and motivational/human resource level (better system to track and monitor individual performance).

7. In my opinion, one of the most important risks that an organization may face and that may affect both the organization and the on-time delivery of the project is the possible changes that the project definitions and request may encounter. In other words, the customer may decide on eventual changes that will trigger a series of adverse effects for the organization. In order to best describe these, we will use the triple constraint rule (time, scope, resources).

First of all, time is obviously the first affected by possible modifications in customer requirements. Even if the customer is not necessarily asking for additional features (for which the organization can explain the reasonable delay), changes in existing features will often refer to aggregated changes needed to be made, given the correlations that occur between parts of the project.

In other words, redefining a constraint for a part produced in the initial phases of the project will most likely also affect project components that are being dealt with in subsequent phases of the project. It may also be the case that the part that needs to be modified has been used in subsequent phases and needs to be remodeled in each particular case.

On the other hand, out of the three components of the triple constraint triangle, the resource factor is definitely most affected. The time element, previously described, is also a resource, but here we are dealing with more significant and concrete ones. First of all, the human resource. Changing requirements for a component will mean that more people will need to be allocated, due to the increased amount of work that is involved. Additionally, it may be the case that the human resource required to work on the project with changes will be lent from other projects, affecting their schedules as well. Further more, time needs to be spent in order to reallocate human resource from one project to another, as well as for determining which projects have top priority.

On the other hand, human resources also necessarily imply financial resources, because, on one hand you need to pay for the additional time spend by your human resource on the requested modifications and, on the other hand, one needs to consider the opportunity cost. The opportunity cost is equivalent to the revenue you would receive if you had used your human resource for another project, during the time they have actually worked on the required modifications.

Finally, scope is also correlated with the issues previously referred to, especially when discussing time implications. Scope refers to "the necessary work to be performed in order to produce the desired project results." Obviously, extra requirements or changes required by the customer will increase the amount of work that needs to be used for the respective project, with direct implications on the two other elements of the triple… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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