Anyone can manage a project

Project Manager

Project Manager Band LeaderYes, they can, but the size and complexity must suit the Project Manager’s (PM’s) skills and experience.

Small

For small projects the PM may be the person who had the original idea or someone who is looking to gain experience.

These projects might last for a few days or a few weeks, but they will be straightforward and not impact many people. A small amount of planning will be required and must be completed before the project starts properly.

Medium

For simple, medium sized projects the PM could be someone with a bit of experience or someone who is looking for experience and who is carefully mentored.

These projects will last for up to 6 months, will be straightforward, will not impact too many people and will not be contentious. Medium sized projects will need a Plan so that progress can be monitored and reported upon. It is important that the planning stage is not missed, or the project will run into trouble.

Complex and Large

For complex and large projects, the PM should be experienced and have a track record of successfully delivering projects.

These are projects that last longer than 6 months, usually impact many people, can be contentious in their nature and may or may not be straightforward.

The PM may appear to take a long time planning how they will deliver these projects, but time spent at this stage will prevent time being wasted later when the unexpected appears on the horizon. Risks need to be identified and addressed as early as possible.

Project Management

Change Projects

When a project is expected to change the way people work, it is important to also involve a Change Manager.

For smaller projects the Project Manager and the Change Manager can be the same person.  For complex and large projects, it is more effective if these roles are taken by different people who work closely together.

The Change Manager is responsible for ensuring that the people who are expected to put the outcomes into practice understand the changes and are ready and willing to change the way they work. Many a project has fallen down at the point it is handed over to the business because the workforce is not ready, they don’t understand what they are expected to do, or they are hostile because they haven’t been involved.

Change Management will be the topic of my next blog.

Jo is an experienced Project Manager and Change Manager, having managed projects ranging from small, £10k projects to the strategic spend of £Millions.  Jo has led teams of 1 to 20 people and engaged with over 80 impacted groups on one project. Jo’s contact details are at https://www.lothiancm.co.uk/contact/