September 28 & 29, 2020 | Virtual
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Having more than one project manager to manage a project does not sound like a recipe for success. Have you ever heard of the saying "too many cooks mess up the broth"? Best practices advocate 1 PM per project.
Also, take into consideration that some companies use confusing terminology and name PM to team members that are actually Technical leads or some other sort of leads/managers.
It may work but it is not a good practice.
If the sponsor assigns 3 people to make decisions on technical questions, budgets and conflicts (personal or contractual?), who is integrating the whole project. It may be an example of divide and conquer (there is always someone to blame and since the 3 guys know that, they will not trust each other).
Imagine a situation like the technical PM needs to make a decision but the budget PM says it is too expensive and then the conflict solution PM invites them to a meeting to come to a solution.
This sort of balancing is normally done by the single PM and he/she will ask the technical SMEs and the finance guys for their opinion and then make the decision.
There can be multiple PMs when third-party vendors are involved and each assigns a PM for their scope of work, but there should always be an overall "prime" PM who has responsibility over the full scope of the project.
What does mean "normal"? To estimate the amount of project mangers needed is the same than to estimate any other type of things. So, take a look to estimations.
Kiron made a good point. However, I believe the project needs only one project manager.
It depends on the expertise as well. What market are you in?
PMBoK defines as PM the person who leads the team responsible to deliver project objectives.
Literally, the above mentioned has no PM then (and the responsibility to lead the team rests with the sponsor). The team consists at least of the 3 people mentioned.
In the case of vendors, as Kiron mentioned, I would say that each organization has its own sponsor, charter and PM, mainly depending on the contractual relationships.
On very projects there may be many project managers, particularly if you are in more of a functional based org structure.
Take for example a large complex system such as an airplane or a new car concept where the project could require hundreds of thousands of labor hours at a cost of billions of dollars. You might have a PM responsible for the major technology functions like structures, propulsion, electronic and mechanical systems, payload, exterior lines, as well as an over-arching integration function. Within the large project itself, there can be various sub-projects, such as the execution of some major development test that is all-consuming for some team.
That might be considered a Program by some, but in mega-project environments, design concept through 1st production unit delivery is a massive project with many different tiers executing their own parts. There is one Program Manager but the entire program is much larger than the 1st production unit and includes product support, portfolios of feature packages like different car models, new office software and processes to support development or operations, etc.
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