The Project Manager is responsible for delivering the project, with authority and responsibility from the Project Board to run the project on a day-to-day basis.

Role of the project manager

The project manager is the individual responsible for delivering the project. The individual leads and manages the project team, with authority and responsibility from the project board, to run the project on a day-to-day basis. In the NI public sector, PRojects IN Controlled Environments2 (PRINCE2) is the standard project management method and is applicable to all project types.

As well as the formal responsibilities set out in methods such as PRINCE2, the project manager has an important role in interfacing between the project and the business area. This is important for communicating and encouraging the need for transformation and change within the business area in tandem with the delivery of new capabilities from the project. The readiness of the business to exploit the new capability is crucial to success. Without this state of readiness in the business, there are likely to be disruptions and delays in the plan for benefits realisation.

Specific responsibilities of the project manager

The project manager, operating within agreed reporting structures, is responsible for:

  • designing and applying appropriate project management standards for incorporation in the NI Gateway Review Process
  • managing the production of the required deliverables
  • planning and monitoring the project
  • adopting any delegation and use of project assurance roles within agreed reporting structures
  • preparing and maintaining project, stage and exception plans as required
  • managing project risks, including the development of contingency plans
  • liaison with programme management (if the project is part of a programme) and related projects to ensure that work is neither overlooked nor duplicated
  • monitoring overall progress and use of resources, initiating corrective action where necessary
  • applying change control and configuration management processes
  • reporting through agreed lines on project progress through highlight reports and end-stage assessments
  • liaison with appointed project assurance representatives to assure the overall direction and integrity of the project
  • maintaining an awareness of potential interdependencies with other projects and their impact
  • adopting and applying appropriate technical and quality strategies and standards
  • identifying and obtaining support and advice required for the management, planning and control of the project
  • managing project administration
  • conducting a project evaluation review to assess how well the project was managed
  • preparing any follow-on action recommendations

In construction projects the  project manager also provides the interface between the project sponsor and the supply side of the project team.

Skills and attributes needed to be a project manager

The project manager should be able to:

  • apply a PRINCE2 project management approach to the specific requirements of the project
  • establish a good working relationship with the Senior Responsible Owner
  • direct, manage and motivate the project team
  • develop and maintain an agreed project plan and detailed stage plans
  • understand and apply business case and risk management processes
  • tailor expert knowledge to meet specific circumstances
  • plan and manage deployment of physical and financial resources to meet project milestones
  • build and sustain effective communications with other roles involved in the project
  • apply quality management principles and processes

Important to note

The project manager should be appropriately trained in project management techniques and processes. For substantial projects, accredited training such as PRINCE2 Practitioner should be considered. It is essential that the skills and experience of the project manager are matched to the requirements of the project and the business should fund appropriate training.

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