Project Management

Do Project Managers Need Support?

Karen Munro of Project Management Insight wants to know: Do you think that project managers need support in managing a project? In order to answer that question, let us ask a series of questions.

4 Questions that Answer

  • Without executive or project sponsors, how will the PM know which problems to troubleshoot, which issues to escalate? How will they be informed enough to properly manage their project team?
  • Without developers, business analysts, project coordinators, and stream leads, how will the PM ensure the delivery of project reports, the monitoring and tracking of deliverables, or the defining of requirements and use cases?
  • Without program managers, how will the PM receive important oversight and advice from someone with a broader perspective of the project?
  • If the project management office staff is too busy “box ticking,” how can they help the PM transfer knowledge from the ground through validation reporting and trouble-shooting initiatives?

Myth: A project manager should be able to handle themselves regardless of whether or not they are supported by sponsors, specialists, office staff, or program managers. Now, let us bring that myth into question with a series of answers.

4 Answers that Question

  • A PM’s “management” depends on the cooperation of all those actors involved either directly or indirectly with the project.
  • Without the proper backing, a PM will not take the risk of expending the extra effort that a quality project would require. 
  • Tit for tat. If project participants are not there for the PM, then the PM will not be available to support other project participants.
  • Ultimately, if the PM is overly burdened because they’re attempting to handle too much on their own, it may lead to unanticipated vacation leave from stress and/or sickness.

With our question properly questioned and our answer thoroughly answered, it should be abundantly clear that project managers do indeed need the support of many individuals who, by their willingness to cooperate, help contribute to the overall quality of the project.

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