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Can you run a project without a project manager?

Paul Naybour Paul Naybour

Published: 9th September 2013

In tough difficult times for companies, often one of the default methods of improving the bottom line is to cut budgets and reduces the overall cost of running the company. When slashing budgets, the training budget is often the first to go, but this can actually end up doing harm to the business.  One such issue is removing a project manager from the company, as they are often seen as expendable. The project manager oversees every project that goes on in the business, making sure everything in on track, the plans are up to date and changes are under control. The project manager essentially monitors what other individuals do, and because much of the work is done without the project manager, companies make the mistake of believing it can succeed without this position filled. However, in the long run, the companies often find out this is not the case, and it actually ends up costing them a significant amount of clients, customers and hinder the bottom line.

Why Save Project Manager?

While most of the actual work is done by other employees, the project manager is the individual who keeps track of everything and makes sure everything runs smoothly. Essentially, the project manager is the coach of a sports team. While the players are the ones who must perform a given play, the coach is the individual who lets the players know what to do, when they need to do it and how one position is going to interact with the other positions. The same is true for the project manager. While the project manager is an individual who watches others perform the given task, they let the individuals know when a task must be completed, pass along different requirements to other departments, making sure everyone is kept up to speed, all while doing this not only with one project, but with all of the different projects inside the business. Without the project manager on hand, willing to help out with this situation, the different departments are not going to be able to communicate with one another and know what the other departments are doing in relation to what they are doing. Even if the business puts in charge the department head to handle the given tasks, they need to be able to interact with a middle ground individual who knows what the complete game plan is and how it is going to work.
Without the project manager as the person overseeing everything, there are going to be problems with the projects and some of these are actually going to fall apart. During the normal course of a project, there are problems, but the project manager, because they know how all of the different departments work together, can assist in correcting the situation by having the different departments alter their present course and make the necessary changes in order to prove successful. Without the project manager, the department heads do not know how to alter their present course, as they do not know what is going on with the other departments and what the other groups of employees are doing in order to correct the situation.
While the project manager might appear to be an expendable individual when it comes to budget cuts, they really are not, in any shape of the word. Without the project manager present, the company is going to risk project over runs . With the budget no longer there, and the project manager gone, there is no longer any individual who can alter what the departments are doing, and without this individual, the entire operation can fall apart. The old saying goes you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, and this is the truth when it comes to the project manager. This is a an extremely valuable position and is someone who needs to be maintained and employed.

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