Today there are few enterprises, corporations, institutions, and organizations that don’t use the project model in getting things done. This is a model that brings together cross-functional teams, which is to say experts from a variety of disciplines, to produce results. A typical project team in a high technology company might include systems architects and designers, developers, quality assurance engineers, documentation specialists (technical writers), marketing personnel, sales executives, and technologists. At the top of this diverse group is the project manager.
The project manager is the team captain, the coach, the cheerleader, and the diplomat. In order to make the project model work efficiently, each project is generally regarded as a small organization within the larger company. The project manager is responsible for viewing and understanding the project life cycle (PLC) and making sure it flows smoothly. He or she sets up a task list for the team members and sets the timelines for the completion of each of the tasks. There is also a timeline for the overall project completion. The project manager reassesses the progress on a regular basis and keeps track of the deliverables of each member of the team. There are usually meetings at which the project manager gets reports from each part of the team and helps resolve problems. It is also the project manager’s job to assess the risks that affect the completion of the project and keep track of the budget as the project progresses. It is easy to see why most enterprises require that these key employees earn a project management certificate as part of their job qualifications.