The Role of Project Manager

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Nowadays, with the development of project management, project success has been defined clearly. A definition of project success from Lock is that if the project finish on time, within budget and in good quality, the project is considered as a successful project (Lock, 2007). However, our understanding about the role of project manager is unclear. Different people hold various viewpoints about it. According to Lewis, people have a vague understanding of what is the role of project manager, because a majority of project managers are promoted from other jobs such as engineers or technologists and so on (Lewis, 2007). Some individuals think that the role of the project manager is to command and control. Is it enough for a project manager who is as a “single point of responsibility” (Burke, 2007) to manager a project? Definitely, the answer is no. How much authority do project managers exactly have?

Firstly, let us about the job of project managers and their authority. Being a project manager is a difficult task, because the responsibility of them is heavy, but they are just given small authority. Kerzner said that in typical organizations, it is a common phenomenon that project managers request permissions to control company resources from top management. Additionally, the relationship between project manager and line manager is more like a copartner relationship rather than a rank relationship. In some way, project manager services for the line manager, because line manager hold the uses rights of company resources. Project manager, therefore, have no capital to control and command line manager. In most cases, when some issues occur or some decisions are waiting for determining, project managers negotiate with line manager rather than control and command. (Kerzner, 2001, p. 9) From the position of project manager in organizations and the relationship between project manager and line manager, we can see that even thought as “single point of...
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