Project Manager Roles in an Organization
- What is a “single-line-of-command” organization? Why would employees used to such an organizational structure find it difficult to work with more than one boss at a time, as they would if they were reporting to both a project manager and a line manager at the same time?
- Jim is a project manager for a project that requires twelve months to be completed. During the 7th, 8th, and 9th months, he needs two team members with special qualifications. The functional manager associated with these team members has promised that these people will be available two months before they are needed on the project. If Jim doesn’t assign them to his project at that time, they will be assigned elsewhere and Jim will have to make do with whoever is available later on. What should Jim do? Make any assumptions necessary to support your answer.
- Imagine that you are a project engineer on a high-technology project. As your project begins to wind down, the project manager asks you to write a paper about the project so he can present it at a technical meeting. His name goes first on the paper credits. Should this be a part of your job? How do you feel about this situation?
- As a project nears completion, the project manager may find that the functional people on the project are more interested in finding a new role for themselves than in giving their best effort to the current task. How does this relate to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and what should the project manager do?
- Your company just hired a senior manager with two masters degrees in engineering. This engineer is quite competent, and has worked well as a loner for the past twenty years. He has just been assigned to the Research and Development phase of your project. You, as project manager, must insure that he works well as a team member with other functional employees, and not as a loner. How will you accomplish this? If this engineer persists in wanting to be a loner, should you fire him?
- Last month, Alice completed an assignment as chief project engineer on Project X. It was a great assignment; Alice and all other project personnel were kept fully informed by the project manager about all project activities. Alice is now working for a new project manager who tells his staff only what they have to know in order to get their job done. What can Alice do about this situation? Can this be a good situation? Why or why not? Which management style would you prefer?
- Is it possible for a project manager to improve his time management skills by understanding what motivates his team? Why or why not?
Project Manager Roles in an Organization Sample Answer
A single-line-of-command organization is whereby individual report addresses their concerns by addressing them to a senior manager of a particular section or department. The manager in such organization does as directed by the supervisor. Employees used to such structures find it difficult to work with more bosses at a time because; decisions are delayed, as it requires more time and negotiations.
In this situation, Jim should negotiate with the functional team manager to make the two-team members available at the right time and if the negotiation fails, then he will have to work with the available members later. This is because, hurrying the project to solicit the service of the team members will be a risk to the project as it may not be handled well. Therefore, I would rather he use other members who will also be having skills in the areas to handle the tasks in the 7th or 8th or 9th month.
I do believe that the name of the project manager should not be the first on the paper credit and as well; the project engineer should not be the one to write the paper but rather should help him with a draft. It is the responsibility of the project manager to write a final paper that should be presented to the technical committee.
This relates to Maslow’s hierarchy of need because, they are worried about their physiological needs such as food and clothing. They must therefore look for another alternative that will enable them achieve this. They are also insecure as the job is ending. The project manager should therefore, assures them that they are secure and that there will be another project to do. They should also be well paid o be able to cater for their needs even if they are not going to have another immediate project.
To ensure that the engineer works well with other members, as a project manager, I will make him through negotiation to understand the policy of an organization at his time of employment. He will also be told the importance of working as teamwork. In case the engineer persists in working as a loner, I will not fire him immediately but will try to talk to him and as well assess his performance. If he performs well without affecting the functions and operations of the team and the organization, he will not be fired, but given more time to learn to work with others.
In this situation, Alice should just comply with this situation. To me, it is not a bad situation because, the most important thing is to handle the project and finish it as required. Other things concerning the project do not hold water. I would therefore, prefer this style of management because, it is straight to the point and will ensure that projects are finished in the right time.
It is possible for a project manager to improve his time management skills. Time is a valuable resources and it requires proper planning. A good manager must have these skills to be able to handle his or her responsibilities well (Pothukuchi, 2008). A project manager that has time management skills will have time for his employees or team members and this will allow him o understand their needs and therefore be in a position to devise various strategies to motivate them. Therefore, it is good skill and managers ought to have it.
Pothukuchi, B. (2008). Personality-Time Management Skills Relationship. ICFAI Journal of Organizational Behavior, 7(1): 57-61.
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