No matter where they work—construction, consulting agencies, marketing teams, manufacturing, HR teams, software developers, and event planners—or the types of projects they manage, project managers are the men and women on the front lines of projects, defending their teams, clients, and projects from miscommunication, missed deadlines, scope creep, and any other failures. They champion the well-being of the people involved in their projects and look to make or facilitate strategic decisions that uphold the goals of their projects. That’s a hefty job description, and it requires a fine balance of managing the administrative details of a project and its people. While PMs are often lumped in the “behind the scenes” aspect of project, to be highly effective, they need to be a part of the bigger strategic project conversations.
PMs are not robots. They are not on your team to just take notes and make sure you’re recording your time properly. Yes, they do work in spreadsheets and follow-up on deadlines at a sometimes-annoying rate. But the PM role is important on your team for several reasons.
There are so many intangible tasks and qualities of project managers that it’s not uncommon for people to not fully understand just what a PM does, and if they need one or not. Here’s the thing: You always need a PM, no matter what. That PM might be called a producer, account manager, designer, or even developer.