Project Manager Definition
A project manager is a facilitator. The ideal project manager does whatever it takes to ensure that the members of the software project team can do their work. This means working with management to ensure they provide the resources and support required as well as dealing with team issues that are negatively impacting a team's productivity. The project manager must possess a combination of skills including the ability to ask penetrating questions, identify unstated assumptions, and resolve personnel conflicts along with more systematic management skills.
The actions of a project manager should be almost unnoticeable and when a project is moving along smoothly people are sometimes tempted to question the need for a project manager. However, when you take the skilled project manager out of the mix, the project is much more likely to miss deadlines and exceed budgets.
The project manager is the one who is responsible for making decisions in such a way that risk is controlled and uncertainty minimized. Every decision made by the project manager should ideally be directly benefit the project.
On small projects, the project manager will likely deal directly with all members of the software development team. On larger projects, there is often a lead developer, lead graphic designer, lead analyst, etc. that report directly to the project manager.
- Product Manager (focuses more on a particular product)
- Team Lead