Though you have a general idea of what a project manager role must be like, most people do not fit the job description. If you carefully look at the work leaders do, you will find a distinction. So, what are you—a project manager, leader, or supervisor? In this article at Project Smart, Kendall Miller helps understand the differences between these roles.
Different Sides of a Project Manager
As a project manager, you must be doing one of the following jobs:
- Project Leadership – You act as a bridge between business clients and software developers. You have enough technical knowledge to solve any development issues. However, your role is reviewing the codebase and writing some code lines when the development team is struggling.
- Project Management – You can either have client relationship experience or superior technical knowledge. Your real strength is your vast experience in project management tools, processes, and principles.
- Project Supervision – You are thoroughly trained in project management and even have an international certificate in your kitty. Nonetheless, you may not be accustomed to code writing. Neither can you help with bug fixes or code reviews.
To understand further, let’s discuss an example. A supervisor is a train engineer that has only one thing to take care of—speed. In comparison, a project manager is a pilot that has to maneuver an airplane based on several variables. The project leader is also a pilot but of a fighter jet on a combat mission.
Whichever role you fit into, your primary aim is to not have a bug within 90 days of the product release. Furthermore, your team of stakeholders must have enough project development visibility.
Fitting Into a Role
You really do not know which role you would be asked to cover next. Be it project manager, leader, or supervisor, you must be ready with your quick wit and experience:
- Unfamiliar projects need the guidance of a project leader that has tactical knowledge and technical skills.
- When the team has too many conflicting mindsets, you must become the diplomat that objectively listens to both sides of the story.
- Projects with tight deadlines need innovative thought leadership where you can make time to include all the project requirements.
- Distributed teams are hard to manage. The project manager in you must pull out all the stops to make the team deliver a successful project.
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