“the Role of the Project Manager Is to Command and Control.” Critically Discuss.

Topics: Management, Project management, Construction Pages: 5 (1436 words) Published: May 4, 2012
TOPIC: “The role of the Project Manager is to command and control.” Critically discuss.


In management, command and control refers more generally to the maintenance of authority with somewhat more distributed decision making [Command and Control Research Program 2011]. Being an effective project manager is among the most challenging jobs in the industry for two reasons. First it requires management skills and abilities different from those required in a traditional functional management position. Second, there are very few training opportunities available to those moving into the project management.[ Thornberry, Neal E. October 1987]. This article addresses the roles and responsibility of a project manager which in today’s modern techniques are not only restricted to command and control but spread out far beyond these factors.


A project is a series of inter related activities aimed at achieving well-defined objectives. A project has a specific start and finish. Project management is a logical process that helps people define, plan, and implement projects; it allows them to better manage resources (i.e. people , time, materials, and money)[Donnelly, Richard G., and Deborah S. Kezsbom] Project manager lead the overall effort of project management. Due to their multidiscipline and highly interdependent nature, projects, more then any other form of organizational and managerial work, demand a leader to motivate the team members. All activity is initiated and performed by people, not by reporting tools or procedure. A good project manager must be task oriented i.e. command and control techniques but also people oriented [Taylor, Huge N. 1989]. He/she must constantly strive to find and maintain then proper balance needed to achieve a project’s objective. The project managers role’s include the following. * Commanding

* Controlling
* Motivating
* Leadership
* Integrating
A project manager (PM) is generally taken to be the person accountable for delivering a project safely, on time, within budget and to the desired performance or quality standards determined by the client. [Burke (2006, p. 22]) puts forward the view that the optimum project balance occurs when the time, cost, and quality parameters are equal. The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) suggest that project managers stem from various backgrounds, possess relevant skills and competencies, and are required to govern a project throughout its life-cycle [(CIOB, 2002, p. 5)]. The implication is that a PM not only manages their team, but leads the team: leading by example, by gaining the trust and respect from their team through motivating, co-ordinating and maintaining morale. However, they must also utilise a range of other skills while leading the team to successfully deliver the project. [Griffith and Watson (2004, p. 31)] suggest that the person seen as the construction project manager executes many of the “classical” functions i.e. conducts, controls, and administers. Various sources of literature discuss the roles executed by the construction industry's project managers and the skills they require in order to be able to effectively manage their team towards successful delivery of a project. [Sommerville and Dalziel (1998)], when reviewing project manager’s role, clearly demonstrated the diversity of the role set and the then predominant roles.[Fryer (2004, p. 17)] states that managers can influence the way in which their subordinates behave either positively or negatively and argues that project managers engage in: planning, organising, directing, controlling and, developing staff. [Griffith and Watson (2004, p. 31)] describe the vital functions of a project manager as: forecasting, planning, organising, controlling, motivating, co-ordinating and communicating. They asked 50 construction managers to rank these seven functions in order of importance; the results...
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