Is the Project Manager a Risk?
As we have seen throughout this introduction, there are several aspects regarding the management of project risk and procurement that the project manager either has direct responsibility for or will be involved in to some degree. Because the project manager has several responsibilities, such as the development of the project work breakdown structure, estimating a budget, and developing a project schedule, we can see that the project manager can pose a risk to the project based on his own knowledge, experience, and skill set—yes, a project manager himself can be a risk!
In some cases, the organization does not employ professional project managers to oversee projects but simply chooses a functional manager or someone else within the organization to oversee project activities. In this condition, the manager selected to oversee a project can cause several problems as a result of mismanagement. Even professional project managers hired within the organization to officially develop and manage projects have a wide variety of experience and skill sets, and they can introduce potential problems throughout the project lifecycle.
As more organizations see how the benefits of properly managed projects far outweighs the damage control resulting from projects with budget overruns, delayed schedules, and incorrectly developed project deliverables, they realize how important it is to select a project manager with the skills and experience to properly develop and manage a project. And when an organization understands that successes and failures on a project are not only the result of the project manager’s abilities and work ethic, but is a result of everyone’s efforts, including the project staff and supporting departments, a culture of effective risk management can be felt throughout the organization. This culture of risk awareness, with everyone considering risk management a part of his or her job, can be one of the strongest assets the project can have.