There are two kinds of project managers. There are the technical ones, and then there are the functional ones. At least, that’s what Russell Harley argues in his article “Yes, Project Management Skills Trump Tech Skills.” He explains that today’s society wants the technical project manager. They want someone who can take over if a person from the project team is out sick, or even do additional jobs like write test scripts and perform QA analysis. The problem is that when the project manager performs too many duties, something is bound to be done wrong. Often times, it is the management of the project as a whole that suffers.
Harley reports that since 2002 IT projects have seen almost no increase in their rate of success. The failure rate, however, is on the rise. If project teams learn to value their manager as a coordinator of the project, someone with their own unique skills to offer rather than a catch-all for everything that needs doing, they might just began to see a higher rate of success.