6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–The Role of a Project Manager


I am starting a project of going through the 6th Edition of the PMBOK® Guide and blogging about its contents.    The 6th Edition was released on September 22nd by the Project Management Institute, and the third chapter discusses the role of the project manager.

In the first section 3.1 Overview, a useful analogy is made between a project manager and an orchestra conductor in the following areas:

  • Membership and roles–a project and an orchestra are both made up of many members, each playing a different role, and the project manager, like the orchestra conductor is the leader of the team.
  • Responsibility for team–both the project manager and orchestra conductor are responsible for the outcome of what their teams produce, and they need to take a  holistic view of their team and the product of their work in order to make sure the objectives (a project on the one hand, and a concern on the other) are successfully achieved.
  • Knowledge and skills–a project manager needs to know enough about project management to lead the team, but does not need to know enough to do every role on the project.  He or she will be relying to an extent on the technical expertise of the members of the team, just in the same way that an orchestra conductor may lead the violin players as part of the orchestra without being able to play the violin.

The second section 3.2 is the subject of the next post.

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