A project is a temporary process or endeavour which has a clearly defined start and end, a set of activities and tasks, a budget and a specified business case. It is undertaken to deliver a unique and well-defined product, service, goal or objective or to deliver well defined benefits.
A project manager is responsible for ensuring the project is completed on time, on budget, within scope, to the business requirements and meeting quality standards. A project manager must ensure success of the project by managing risks and minimising their impact throughout the life of the project.
The project manager is responsible for the creation of project documents and reports that are used to determine the progress and success of the project. These documents ensure there are detailed implementation plans for the project, that relevant approvals have been gained, that each phase of the project is completed and that agreed milestones have been met before moving to the next phase.
A project manager exhibits capabilities in line with the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA).
Works under broad direction. Work is often self-initiated. Is fully responsible for meeting allocated technical and/or project/supervisory objectives. Establishes milestones and has a significant role in the assignment of tasks and/or responsibilities.
Influences organisation, customers, suppliers, partners and peers on the contribution of own specialism. Builds appropriate and effective business relationships. Makes decisions which impact the success of assigned work, i.e. results, deadlines and budget. Has significant influence over the allocation and management of resources appropriate to given assignments.
Performs an extensive range and variety of complex technical and/or professional work activities. Undertakes work which requires the application of fundamental principles in a wide and often unpredictable range of contexts. Understands the relationship between own specialism and wider customer/organisational requirements.
Advises on the available standards, methods, tools and applications relevant to own specialism and can make appropriate choices from alternatives. Analyses, designs, plans, executes and evaluates work to time, cost and quality targets. Assesses and evaluates risk. Communicates effectively, both formally and informally. Demonstrates leadership. Facilitates collaboration between stakeholders who have diverse objectives. Takes all requirements into account when making proposals. Takes initiative to keep skills up to date. Mentors colleagues. Maintains an awareness of developments in the industry. Analyses requirements and advises on scope and options for continuous operational improvement. Demonstrates creativity, innovation and ethical thinking in applying solutions for the benefit of the customer/stakeholder.
Within the SFIA profile, the project manager has four levels, based on the capabilities of the project manager:
Sets organisational strategy governing the direction and conduct of project management, including application of appropriate methodologies. Authorises the management of large scale projects. Leads project planning, scheduling, controlling and reporting activities for strategic, high impact, high risk projects. Manages risk and ensures that solutions to problems are implemented in line with change control processes.
Takes full responsibility for the definition, documentation and successful completion of complex projects (typically with significant business, political, or high-profile impact, and high-risk dependencies). Adopts and adapts project management methods and tools, selecting appropriately from plan-driven/predictive approaches or more adaptive (iterative and agile) approaches. Ensures that effective project control, change control, risk management and testing processes are maintained. Monitors and controls resources, revenue and capital costs against the project budget and manages expectations of all project stakeholders.
Takes full responsibility for the definition, approach, facilitation and satisfactory completion of medium-scale projects (typically with direct business impact and firm deadlines). Identifies, assesses and manages risks to the success of the project. Ensures that realistic project plans are maintained and ensures regular and accurate communication to stakeholders. Adopts appropriate project management methods and tools whether predictive (plan-driven) approaches or adaptive (iterative/agile) approaches. Ensures Quality reviews occur on schedule and according to procedure. Manages the change control procedure, and ensures that project deliverables are completed within agreed cost, timescale and resource budgets, and are signed off. Provides effective leadership to the project team, and takes appropriate action where team performance deviates from agreed tolerances.
Defines, documents and carries out small projects or sub-projects (typically less than six months, with limited budget, limited interdependency with other projects, and no significant strategic impact), alone or with a small team, actively participating in all phases. Identifies, assesses and manages risks to the success of the project. Applies appropriate project management methods and tools whether predictive (plan-driven) approaches or adaptive (iterative/agile) approaches. Agrees project approach with stakeholders, and prepares realistic plans (including quality, risk and communications plans) and tracks activities against the project schedule, managing stakeholder involvement as appropriate. Monitors costs, timescales and resources used, and takes action where these deviate from agreed tolerances. Ensures that own projects are formally closed and, where appropriate, subsequently reviewed, and that lessons learned are recorded.
Whilst a formal tertiary qualification is considered highly advantageous to work as a project manager, it is not essential. Significant experience working within project teams is essential and experience within the area of ICT is highly regarded. Very strong communication and negotiation skills are essential, as is a thorough understanding of the project objectives and goals. Skills in team leadership and risk management are essential for a project manager.
Undergraduate courses in information technology and post graduate courses in project management are well regarded. Experience in Prince2 Project Management Methodology is highly regarded.
There are a number of ways to develop and improve project management skills. Formal training and on the job experience are important ways to improve and develop the required skills.
Skills in project management can be gained by attending courses in project management.
NOTE: These role descriptions are based on the QGCIO ICT career streams content and we gratefully acknowledge QGCIO.
SFIA Level: 4 to 7
Contract Rate Low:
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Annual Salary Low:
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Recommended Qualifications: Prince2 Practitioner