and maintainer of:
At logicLAB we are aiming at eliminating the term project manager all together. Our experiences with (external) project managers are not good.
It seems as if project managers in the external projects we are involved tend to get a role of secretaries.
Internally we simply cannot afford a secretary, externally I do not mind a secretary, but if the project manager holds some of the following traits, I think the project is better of without the project manager and the secretary role is an unnecessary luxury.
or critical issues
If you examine the above bullets some can be turned around to be positive traits of a project manager. But in general I think it is important that a project manager are involved in the project just as much as the participants.
The project manager should act as mediator between the "customer"/requirement stakeholder and the developers.
The projects we are working on for this particular client have often had 2 project managers:
Guess what happens to that particular setup.
Anyway they have now proposed a new setup where the technical project manager gets a title of technical lead. When discussing this with a (quite good) project manager at my clients, I emphasized the importance of power in such a structure. As I wrote earlier the project manager has to be the mediator, so the person has to be able to get the stakeholder and technical lead to agree on the scope and contents of the project.
So if we revisit the bad traits, some of the could be positive, if the person playing the role of project manager is the right person.
So my project manager, perhaps the word super should be prefixed, is a person, which has the weight to control the project participants. The person should aim to honor the requirements from the customer, following the guidelines from the technical lead. Some requirements can perhaps not be fulfilled and some technical aspects might require tweaking or simpler solutions due to other project constraints, such as deadline, resources, budget.
I could outline the complete profile for a project manager which could be eligible for working in logicLAB, but we actually try to replace the project manager role with a very small shell script