In the world of IT, a project manager is the Don Corleone of the whole development team, who is responsible for overseeing the planning, execution, and closing of a project, ensuring that it is completed on time, within budget, and to the satisfaction of all stakeholders.
Without a project manager, projects can easily become chaotic, with teams working in silos, timelines being missed, and budgets being blown.
Let’s explore why a project manager is essential in any team and we’ll provide real-life examples from BackstageIT’s Extended Teams past on how our project managers solved problems that appeared within their projects.
Providing structure and organization
One of the primary roles of a project manager is to provide structure and organization to a project. They create project plans, set timelines, and define milestones that must be achieved to ensure the project stays on track.
For example, a project manager working on a software development project would create a project plan that outlines the steps required to develop the software, including coding, testing, and deployment.
The project manager would then set timelines for each step and define milestones that must be achieved, such as completing a certain number of features by a specific date. By doing this, the project manager provides clarity and direction to the team, ensuring everyone knows what they need to do and when.
Facilitating communication and collaboration
Another critical role of a project manager is to facilitate communication and collaboration between team members. This is especially important in IT projects, which often involve cross-functional teams working on different aspects of the project.
A software development project may involve developers, testers, and designers, all working together to create the final product. The project manager would be responsible for ensuring that these teams are communicating effectively, collaborating when necessary, and resolving any conflicts that arise so that everyone is working towards the same goal and that the project stays on track.
In any project, there are risks that must be managed to ensure the project’s success. These risks can include anything from technical issues to budget constraints to changes in scope. A project manager is responsible for identifying these risks and developing strategies to mitigate them.
By managing risk, the project manager ensures that the project runs smoothly and that any potential issues are addressed before they become major problems.
Real examples of successful project management within BackstageIT
To illustrate the importance of project management in IT, here are some real-life examples of the problems that appeared in the past during a project and how a project manager asserted it:
Valeriu, 8 years of experience as a Project Manager
“I had to approach a colleague that was not performing that well for some weeks already. Nobody knew what the reason for that was. He was spending more time watching videos on YouTube than working. I knew what I had to do, so first of all, I booked a one-to-one meeting with him to understand the root of the problem. During the meeting, I discovered he didn’t find his tasks challenging enough. We tried to find the golden middle for the type of tasks he receives, as losing a teammate was not a solution. We agreed on a weekly discussion for the next period to make sure that he is satisfied with the work he is doing. Finally, he was feeling better and recovered himself, this altogether led to better results.”
Dorina, 3,5 years experience as a Project Manager
“As a Project Manager, you daily face different challenges and obstacles. A recent problem that we had was that the project scope was too big for the target date we had to reach so was unachievable together with the team we tried to reduce the scope, analyzed the impact and the risks, and found a workaround that allowed us to achieve our goal.”
Victoria, 1,5 years of experience as a Project Manager
“A problem I encountered was that from the beginning, it was set an unrealistic deadline and the team wasn’t able to meet it, so I communicated the situation clearly and transparently to the client, letting them know that while we understand the urgency, software development is a complex process and that resources are finite.
Then we postponed the building of all non-urgent features, making sure that team is focused on the implementation of the most important & most urgent features instead. We collaborated closely with all our colleagues to keep team alignment at a high level. From this, we learned about unrealistic deadlines and how to deal with them together, as a team.”
A Project Manager on your team can be the key to the success of any IT project and the examples emphasized above, show exactly what an important asset they are to the team.
Therefore, if you are working in the IT industry, it is highly recommended that you invest in a project manager who can help you achieve your project goals efficiently and effectively.