Depending on the firm’s commitment to the overall project management process, the relative degree of a project manager’s authority can vary widely. To illustrate the point, here are two extremes in which a project manager might find himself or herself.
One extreme represents the authority and actions of a strong project manager who asserts a high degree of control over every aspect of the project, from initial proposal until closeout.
The other extreme represents a project manager who functions more like a project administrator. In this situation, the PM lacks direct authority, and instead coordinates the efforts of others who make all the important decisions for the project.
The following chart illustrates how these two opposing styles would likely approach a project. How do your skills stack up? The firm’s owners and its senior managers establish the project management culture of the design firm. The extent to which they allocate more authority to project managers is reflected in stronger project managers and fewer project administrators.
Strong project managers (rather than project administrators) usually manage projects that are completed on time and on budget with high quality and happy clients. Keep in mind that strong project managers are more effective at meeting the business goals of the firm.
This article is an excerpt from PSMJ Resources' recently released A/E/C Bulletproof Project Management: The Ultimate Project Management Manual A road map to A/E/C project management success, this resource not only provides proven strategies that get results in virtually every facet of project management, but also never-fail approaches for effective A/E/C project management.
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