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Two Types of Project Managers

The concern of a project manager is to deliver a project on time, on budget and with the quality (functionality) as defined. The Time and Budget aspects are relatively clear and straightforward. They are not less difficult to manage, but most people involved in the project and external stakeholders, know what (figures and timelines) you are talking about. The quality aspect however is often open to discussion. And when you enter these discussions, the budget and time aspect will consequently open for them selves.

Before you know you are in the middle of a flight that has no destination, no fuel indicator nor estimation on the remaining flight time.

There are however methods on the market which provide the professional and certified project manager all he or she needs to fulfill the job. Still, different managers will shape the method according to their personal preference.

There are two kind of project managers, who balance somewhere on the scale of involvement in the subject. At one end is the manager that is highly involved and seen as a “foreman.” At the other end is the “activity” or “people” manager.

In the first case the project manager manages the content, functionality or quality more than the other resources. In the second case, the project manager should trust on someone else that is knowledgeable to steer the function (quality).

Both roles are possible as long as the role is communicated to the team and that the responsibilities are clear. As the second role requires more resources, this role is preferred for larger and more complex projects.

© 2006 Hans Bool

Hans Bool is the founder of Astor White a traditional management consulting company that offers online management advice. Astor Online solves issues in hours what normally would take days. You can apply for a free demo account.