This is a key operative role in company organisation: responsible for initiating, planning, implementing, checking and closing a project.
The project manager may be a representative of the client company or an employee or consultant of the company or organisation charged with carrying out the project (sometimes there is one PM from each part, each with project responsibility towards their respective employers).
The Project Manager’s essential goal is to successfully deliver the project’s goal, ensuring that agreed costing, timing and quality aims have been respected, and above all that the commissioning company is satisfied.
The Project Manager’s duties towards to the project can be collocated in two areas:
the operative area, in terms of methods, instruments and operational techniques combined to optimally achieve the project’s goals (hard skills);
the relational area, in terms of interpersonal and communication dynamics (soft or interpersonal skills).
The role of the project manager requires outstanding organisational and methodological skills, but not necessarily an in-depth knowledge of the technical details of the project they are responsible for, but they must be fully aware of the nature of the product to be produced. If the product is to be successful, they must also possess the technical skills for effective resource management.
PMs are not design planners: they are specialist team leaders, experts in leading a project team of which design planners are a part.
A project manager’s training needs to include considerable field experience and an in-depth study of the techniques of project management, excellent problem-solving skills, outstanding leadership and a gift for interpersonal communications.