It is perhaps ironic that a manager would be asking why management is needed. However, it is a legitimate question. “What does a Project Manager contribute?”
First: A Project Manager is a Manager
At the highest level; a Project Manager is a manager. They manage a collection of work that has specific objectives and a specific end date. A regular manager also has objectives, however, they are usually sustaining objectives. A manager is only needed when a team cannot meet its objective by itself. The justification for a Project Manager is, ultimately, the same as for any manager. For projects that contain a critical mass of complexity, time frame and/or volume, management is necessary to be sure the team defines and meets its objectives on schedule and on budget.
Second: Project Management is Always Done (one way or another)
All projects are managed. All projects have objectives, a plan, a schedule and a set of rules governing the project. Without a Project Manager, these functions are performed by the engineers themselves. The total number of hours an engineer will work on a project, then, consists of engineering hours and management hours. For projects that have critical mass, complexity and/or volume, a professional Project Manager will be able to perform the management function in fewer hours and with higher quality, thus resulting in higher ROI on the project.
Third: Tangible Justification
Tangible justifications for Project Managers are twofold. The first is pure cost. A project will cost less with a Project Manager then without a Project Manager. It is common sense. If a trained, professional Project Manager uses 5% of the project’s time for management, how much time would an engineer untrained in project management take? The second is avoidance of pain. A project managed by a good Project Manager is much more likely to come in on time and to spec. What is the cost to your company for the project to be 25%, 50% or 100% late?
A.P.X. Project Managers can assist your organisation