Who is the project manager?

by Stuart on 25 August 2010

I was talking to a finance lady from a local charity which had just received Lottery funding for what sounded like a major project.  She was trying to get her head around the 70 or so milestones required by the project, and was having some project management training.

Her tale of woe was that her organisation did not seem to be taking project management seriously.  They figured that the chief executive could do the job with help from this finance lady.

No! No! No!

This is a recipe for disaster.  Aside from the fact that in organisation of this size, the CEO’s job is strategy, networking, directing, not hands on project management, we’re talking here about  a decent sized project and it deserves some thought about who will manage it.  Under no circumstances should the attitude be “Oh, Joe can do that” – on top of everything else Joe does.  Take some time and figure out who has the skills to manage this project properly, who has the time, and who’s prepared to take responsibility for it.  And this should be one person.

Today, the voluntary sector expects and is expected to deliver high quality services that match the standard of those provided by the statutory and commercial sectors.  The only way we’re going to do this is to take PM seriously and do it properly.  It’s not an end in itself – it’s a useful tool that allows us to deliver good stuff to the people we’re supporting, and what’s more, to demonstrate to our funders that we are using their money effectively.  Decent PM gives an organisation a much better chance at delivering well, and of attracting more funding for more projects that will deliver more good stuff to the people we’re supporting.

Please, please take it as seriously as you take your financial systems.  It will pay off.

Any if anyone from the nameless charity is reading this – listen to your finance lady.

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