Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Whether you have good news or bad, you can use reports to show your boss
how things are going compared with how you thought they would go. Then,
after you peel your boss off the ceiling, you can use many more Project tools
to make adjustments to get everything back on track.
The Role of the Project Manager
Although understanding the role (let alone the usefulness) of some managers
isn’t always easy, it’s always easy to spot the value of a project manager. This
person creates the master plan for a project and tries to ensure that it gets
implemented successfully. Along the way, this key person uses skills and
methods that have evolved over time, always seeking to manage how things
get done and generally keeping schedules on track.
What exactly does a project manager do?
A project manager isn’t always the highest authority in a project; often that
role belongs to whomever manages the project manager, up to and including
members of senior management. Rather, the project manager is the person
on the front lines who makes sure that the parts of the project come together
and assumes hands-on responsibility for successes as well as failures.
In project management parlance, the person who champions (and has the
ultimate responsibility for) a project is the project sponsor.
A project manager manages these essential pieces of a project:
The project plan or schedule: This is what you create with Microsoft
Project. It includes the estimated steps and associated timing and costs
involved in reaching the project goal.
Resources: Managing resources involves resolving resource conflicts
and building consensus as well as assigning resources and tracking their
activities on the project. This part of the job also involves managing
nonhuman resources, such as materials and equipment.
Communication with the project team, management, and customers:
Communicating the project’s status to everyone who has a legitimate
stake in its success (stakeholders) is a key responsibility.
Although a project manager might work for a project sponsor, the project
often also has a customer for whom the end product is produced. That
customer can be outside the project manager’s own company, or within.