We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Project managers have a great deal of responsibility, and are often pulled in several directions all at once, as well as wear multiple hats on any given project on any given day. Having multiple responsibilities on a number of projects, and perhaps a number of balls in the air, can make a project manager late properly procure a concluding project, and therefore, late to picking up a new one.
Professional project managers know that one project no sooner finishes and there is at least two more on your desk waiting for you to pick up. Furthermore, eager team members that may already be assigned to your project might be frustrated to begin the project, but the project manager is late to the game. Why is that? Again, because project managers have a great deal of responsibility on their shoulders, he or she needs to make sure each responsibility, task, and project step and milestone are properly dealt with, which eats up a lot of time.
In addition, prior to completing concluding a project and moving on to the next, a project manager needs to take the proper procurement steps to properly close out the project. This is also a very time consuming step that requires a lot of attention and diligence. This can involve paying out suppliers and vendors who may have worked on the project, documenting project specifications, archiving important documents such as the statement of work, work breakdown structure, procurement documents, or even a client prototype, if one was required during gathering requirements. All these items need to be properly documented and archived while closing out a project.
Let’s also say the project that was just completed was for a new account or client, a project manager should take extra care in making sure all specifications, policies, and requirements were properly documented and that good notes will be filed along with the project in the event that your firm will work with the same client again in the near future, which is very likely.
So, by the time everything is necessarily closed, documented, and archived from a previous project, the project manager is often already behind the eight ball on the next one. Again, in addition to other responsibilities and wearing multiple hats on other projects that need to be catered to and dealt with on a daily basis, these main reasons are often the cause as to why a project manager is often behind in getting the next new project up and running. Obviously this can be a critical issue, particularly if scheduling is already a big risk.
So, for those who fall under the category of “frustrated team members” who are eager to get rolling on a new project who might be reading this, cut project managers a little slack. And, project managers, we’ve all been there and we all understand. We can all agree that this is often a good reason project managers are late to their own show.