Role of the Project Manager
The Project Manager has sole responsibility and authority for project and contract direction and control. Support Managers (Task Managers) that report within the various line organizations and departments have the responsibility for work definition and effective management of the resources to accomplish the authorized work. The Project Manager is responsible for each contract's end item (i.e., knowing what needs doing, by whom, when, and the required amount of resources by cost element and/or cost code).
Senior Management appoints the Project Manager. Normally the Project Manager is accountable to the General Manager, or Vice President,or President depending on the size of the organization; and is accountable to the Customer for project and contract success. The Project Manager has the delegated authority to commit the organization on matters concerning performance that are within the contract scope.
The Project Manager is responsible for defining the organizational structure of the project and for interfacing with the functional organizations. The Project Manager directs and controls all work performed within the framework of the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). The Project Manager has the authority for WBS element's task assignment; control and assigns budgets; and master project schedule(s). The Project Manager makes final decisions on tradeoff studies, and task changes within the contract statement of work. The Project Manager is responsible for daily communications and formal project reviews with both the customer and his/her senior management.
Projects vary in duration, value, and complexity. On a large or complex project, the Project Manager may elect to appoint one or more Assistant Project Managers. The Project Manager may delegate single or multiple responsibilities, including budget responsibility to an Assistant Project Manager. The Project Manager may direct the Assistant Project Manager to control all work performed within the framework of various assigned WBS legs. This includes defining work scope, authorizing work, assigning and controlling budgets, and monitoring progress.
Most companies operates under a functional organization structure. The functional organization maintains adequate technical resources and disciplines within their own organization entities. The Project Manager shall provide written direction to the various functional organizations on their individual contribution. This written direction, called the work authorization, provides the Support Managers (Task Managers) with the contract's work scope, schedule, and budget information.