Why is the role of a project manager important?

project management cohesion

Have you ever asked yourself why the role of a project manager is important?

Many people may think that project management is an easy task and everyone can do it.

So, why should organization recruit project managers or pay external project managers to manage their projects? After all, having a project manager, costs a lot to an organization…

First of all, project management means much more than following a schedule and budget. It means not only monitoring the project from the start to the end in order to deliver the product by respecting the deadline, the budget and the scope needed. It means also aligning the vision of everyone more or less impacted by the project (customers, sponsors, suppliers, team members and support) in order to cover all project requirements, challenges, risks and constraints.

Here are some reasons why project management by a project manager is necessary and important:

Dealing with people:

Have you ever seen a successful football team without a leader? Have you ever seen a boat travel without a captain? That’s the same logic for project management.

In all projects, dealing with people is the biggest part of the project manager’s activities. In that case, knowing how to deal with people and being a good leader is important for a project manager.

A project manager should know how to be a good leader, identify clear objectives, help the team stay focused, make sure that everyone knows exactly his/her responsibilities, be capable to work with all stakeholders, share a clear vision with the team and lead them in order to succeed the project.

Ensuring alignment:

This is another reason why project management matters. A project manager helps align the delivery of the projects with the strategy, the vision and the goals of the organization, and must help the team get on the same page of what’s needed.

In order to make sure that all the team, including customers, sponsors and executing team members are aligned, a project manager should be a facilitator, good communicator, ambassador and capable to adapt different vocabularies and jargons.

A project manager should also ensure that the delivery will give an added value aligned with the business strategy. For that, it’s important, that a project manager knows enough about the organization and the business.

Managing internal and external constraints:

Project management is important because it ensures that all constraints are under control.

A project manager spends his time managing internal and external constraints, such as controlling costs, schedule, quality, scope and managing changes.

Controlling costs:

Project managers are constantly keeping a watchful eye on the costs in order to ensure that they are all considered and that the projects will not cost more than the allocated budget.

Project managers try also to identify all risks that can make a project over cost, and mitigate them by anticipating actions to avoid increasing costs.

In case that a project will cost more than what is being forecasted, project managers go to sponsors, justify the additional needs and try to negotiate an additional budget.

Controlling schedule:

Nowadays, we are living in a world where the competition is more and more intense. This competition usually puts projects under pressure. To make sure that there is a good atmosphere during the project, project managers plan a reasonable schedule and monitor it in order to deliver the necessary product/service on time.

In that case, project management is important, because project managers can influence factors that lead to delays. For example, they can negotiate to start by all critical activities with added value and omit or let certain irrelevant tasks at the end. They can anticipate the lack, absence or departure of certain resources to ask sponsors for having more resources at the right time. They can help teams fixing their problems in order to get the delivery timeline respected.

Controlling quality:

To meet the needs of the sponsors and satisfy customers, project management is important because project managers ensure the quality of the products or services that are being delivered.

During each phase of the realization, the project managers include a testing stage to control that what is being produced is conform with what was requested and responds to what was expected.

Controlling scope and managing changes:

These two concepts are linked together. Project managers continuously monitor the status of the project and manage changes that may impact the scope baseline.

The activities required for controlling scope and managing changes are necessary because they help stakeholders, including team members stay focused on what should be delivered in order to succeed the project. For that, project managers should make clear the actual scope and control it in order to ensure that what will be delivered is completed and meet the expectation. During the project life cycle, changes may happen, so project managers get ready to welcome change when these seem to be relevant in order to maximize the customer satisfaction.

Inspect and adapt:

Project managers are known to learn continuously and they are actions and results oriented.

Project managers learn continuously from what went well and what went wrong within their projects. Thanks to lessons learned, retrospective or inspect and adapt sessions, they list things that were successful in order to keep them. They identify things that should be done differently to start them in their future projects and list mistakes and things that should be stopped. Last but not least, they celebrate with the team the accomplishments and don’t hesitate to congratulate them for the work that was done.


To conclude, project management is very important for any organization that handles projects.

Without project managers, projects will simply fail or will be over budget or will be delivered late. Project management matters, because project managers help teams to stay motivated and focused on what they know to do in order to deliver an added value.

Article written by Sara MOUDRIK HORN

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