Project Management

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Topics: Leadership, New Practitioners, Organizational Project Management
Project Coordinator to Project Manager
How to deal with management which treats a project manager as a project coordinator?
Such management does not make the PM responsible for profit/loss of the project.
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First of all, the PM is not responsible for profit/loss of the project. That is critical to understand. About project coordinator, is dificult to answer but the method I found could help is about your attitude or behaivour. If you perform like project manager the others will see you as project manager. After that, you have to find the best way that it will be formally recognized inside the organization.
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2 replies by Satish Seetharam and Suhail Iqbal
Feb 05, 2016 4:29 AM
Satish Seetharam
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I agree to the statment made by Sergio
Feb 05, 2016 5:25 AM
Suhail Iqbal
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I also agree with Sergio on this. A project manager neither is responsible for profit/loss nor manages them. He can only assess the viability of what he is getting into. Once the project challenge is accepted, project manager is responsible for the day to day working of the project but still, accountability lies with the project sponsor, initiator or the executive management of the organization.

I sense that you are pointing to yet another dilemma. When project manager is not even allowed to plan the project or even to monitor and control it. Someone else is doing these functions and project manager is just there to supervise the project. This is a very bad practice and I would not even call this person as a project manager, because someone else up there has assumed the role of project manager and does not want to be held responsible for it.
I agree with Sergio that if you are given responsibility of project you should work like a project manager. Regarding profit or loss, you have to judge your project with the performance criteria set in time & cost management plan. Whether a project is in profit or loss; it is sponsor decision to go ahead in such situations.
Thank you for the replies. Two things I'd like to know more about.

1. There is a formal system in the company where the PM is delegated responsibility for the project and is required to act as an entrepreneur on behalf of the company. The same is reflected in target agreements where it is decided that if so and so profit is increased (along with other targets), the PM will be rewarded by this much. Then how does the PM is not responsible for profit/loss?

2. The system as stated above grants certain authorities to the PM for a given project. When I said the management treats the PM like a coordinator, I meant that those authorities are not granted and responsibilities and not given to the PM. The PM does not get to sign documents thereby is not held responsible. How to handle such a situation?
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1 reply by PANKAJ KUMAR JOSHI
Jan 29, 2016 5:02 AM
PANKAJ KUMAR JOSHI
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Khwaja: How do you find project manager responsible for a business which is selected by company for their business need? If company targets a business which is not very profitable then how project manager will bring profit in that or vice versa ?

PM is responsible for project management which includes providing the required product with management of various constraints like time cost, scope, quality etc. So he can optimize the use of resources to reduce the cost.

In fixed price contract you cannot predict real savings till the project ends. That's why some organisations encourage their project manager for scope negotiations, optimum use of resources and optimized design to save costs. They have made it part of performance appraisal system. It doesn't mean that he is responsible of profit and loss of business.
Khawaja, I agree with the gentlemen above. Form what you've mentioned, I sensed that you are talking about a matrix organization and specifically weak matrix where the PM is an expediter or coordinator.

It depends on what type of organizational structure the company has.
Jan 28, 2016 1:39 PM
Replying to Khawaja Saif ur Rehman
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Thank you for the replies. Two things I'd like to know more about.

1. There is a formal system in the company where the PM is delegated responsibility for the project and is required to act as an entrepreneur on behalf of the company. The same is reflected in target agreements where it is decided that if so and so profit is increased (along with other targets), the PM will be rewarded by this much. Then how does the PM is not responsible for profit/loss?

2. The system as stated above grants certain authorities to the PM for a given project. When I said the management treats the PM like a coordinator, I meant that those authorities are not granted and responsibilities and not given to the PM. The PM does not get to sign documents thereby is not held responsible. How to handle such a situation?
Khwaja: How do you find project manager responsible for a business which is selected by company for their business need? If company targets a business which is not very profitable then how project manager will bring profit in that or vice versa ?

PM is responsible for project management which includes providing the required product with management of various constraints like time cost, scope, quality etc. So he can optimize the use of resources to reduce the cost.

In fixed price contract you cannot predict real savings till the project ends. That's why some organisations encourage their project manager for scope negotiations, optimum use of resources and optimized design to save costs. They have made it part of performance appraisal system. It doesn't mean that he is responsible of profit and loss of business.
O, I see. Thank you very much Pankaj. :)

@Rami: Thank you for your input. Yes, that is the likely case.
Jan 28, 2016 7:39 AM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
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First of all, the PM is not responsible for profit/loss of the project. That is critical to understand. About project coordinator, is dificult to answer but the method I found could help is about your attitude or behaivour. If you perform like project manager the others will see you as project manager. After that, you have to find the best way that it will be formally recognized inside the organization.
I agree to the statment made by Sergio
Jan 28, 2016 7:39 AM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
...
First of all, the PM is not responsible for profit/loss of the project. That is critical to understand. About project coordinator, is dificult to answer but the method I found could help is about your attitude or behaivour. If you perform like project manager the others will see you as project manager. After that, you have to find the best way that it will be formally recognized inside the organization.
I also agree with Sergio on this. A project manager neither is responsible for profit/loss nor manages them. He can only assess the viability of what he is getting into. Once the project challenge is accepted, project manager is responsible for the day to day working of the project but still, accountability lies with the project sponsor, initiator or the executive management of the organization.

I sense that you are pointing to yet another dilemma. When project manager is not even allowed to plan the project or even to monitor and control it. Someone else is doing these functions and project manager is just there to supervise the project. This is a very bad practice and I would not even call this person as a project manager, because someone else up there has assumed the role of project manager and does not want to be held responsible for it.

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