Courtyard Michael Blum General Manager » Project Manager Duties

Project Management - Choosing The Team

Because this is my area of expertise, I shall concentrate on defence electronics projects, but the principles can be applied to projects of any kind.

Managing a project is more than just the Project Manager, it's a team effort, particularly where large and complex projects are concerned. The first thing to do, therefore, is to choose your team but how do you decide who you need in your team.

First of all, there is of course, the Project Manager. This person will quickly scan the requirements of the project in order to decide who should be on the team.

In terms of defence electronics, there are a number of people who the Project Manager will always need on the team and these are:

Technical Lead or System Design Authority (SDA)
Commercial Manager
Finance Manager
Quality Assurance (QA) Manager

The SDA is the person who will be responsible for understanding and implementing the technical requirements of the project and for deciding what support he needs in terms of technical disciplines.

These could be any or all of the following:

Software engineers
Hardware engineers
Installation engineers
Test and Acceptance Engineers
Integrated Logistic Support (ILS) engineers

The Commercial Manager will be responsible for negotiation of the contract with the customer and for ensuring that all contractual terms and conditions are adhered to.

The Finance Manager will do much as the name suggests and look after the financial aspects, from pricing and devising stage payment plans, through to invoicing and all the myriad reporting requirements in between.

The QA Manager will ensure that all quality assurance standards are met and will be involved in witnessing testing and acceptance.

In terms of a very large project, the Project Manager will also need a Planning Manager and a Risk Manager, although for smaller projects, he will probably undertake these duties himself.

A project which involves bought in items of any kind will need a Procurement Manager on the team to deal with all aspects of supplier selection and management, together with price and sub-contract negotiation.

In the initial, bidding phase, of a project, both a Bid Manager and a Marketing or Business Winning Manager will be needed. The Bid Manager will plan the activities required in the time available and will be responsible for co-ordinating the actual writing, reviewing and submission of the bid document while the Marketing Manager will liaise with the customer. He will also concentrate on gathering marketing intelligence in respect of competing companies and consider the tactical aspects of the bid.

In our next article, we'll look at what happens, now that we have a team in place.


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Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Project Management

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