Monthly Archives: March 2013

When PM is not a PM

The Vanity Project Manager
Many delivery models have got multiple PM Roles. A PM at offshore as well at onsite. When client start thinking that this PM is at our side managing processes. It becomes important to set expectations from both sides (internal team and client).Real job here is ‘manage client expectations’.

The ‘Fingers in all the Pies’ Project Manager
This sort of project manager flits around the organisation, poking into every project and attending every meeting going. They take meeting notes, and might even chase you on your action points. But that’s as involved as they get in the project.

The Buffer Zone PM
This species of project manager is just an extra layer between the staff doing the work, and those doing the management. They act as a liaison, transferring messages from one side to the other. And that’s it.
The ‘We Couldn’t Think of Another Job Title’ Project Manager

The Subject Matter Expert PM
This sort of project manager quickly becomes the ‘extra pair of hands’ available to fill in when a member of staff is ill, or deadlines have been missed. Of course, it is handy to be able to get your hands dirty when the going gets tough: there’s nothing more frustrating than watching your team toil away, while you make a Gantt chart.

However, in my mind, project managers add value by pre-empting the problems which could send the project whizzing off in the wrong direction. Not being a subject expert has its advantages, as the PM doesn’t get drawn into delivery when deadlines are tight. Once the project manager starts to become absorbed in the task, he forgets to look over the horizon and doesn’t see the enormous iceberg looming down over the project team.
The project manager doesn’t have to be a subject matter expert, but they do have to have some knowledge of the challenges that the team faces in the delivery of the work.


Another video which calls out and tells us how not to be a PM.