Sometimes it seems like a good idea for a team to bring on a project manager. This person is someone who can be a go-between for management and the hands-on team. They can translate technical specifications into layman’s terms and prioritize projects to realistically meet time demands. It benefits the management because they have one point of contact who can explain the project to them in a way they can understand. For a team juggling many projects it can be a relief to have someone at bat for them when the demands are becoming cumbersome.
Adding this position can streamline communication and speed up workflow. Bringing in a project manager to handle the schedule instead of an actual manager who can assist with the work load saves the company a substantial amount of money or it can turn a team toxic. It all depends on who they hire.
I was on a team that hired someone who looked good on paper but this person turned out to be flightier than a paper airplane. She was very good at pointing fingers and shifting blame where it needed to fall to avoid any of it falling on her. If she was talking to the team the management was the problem. If she was talking to the management then the team was the cause of any missteps or mistakes. Under no circumstances would she admit that she dropped the ball on a deadline. She was often confused by the details but made assignments anyway without asking for assistance.
She thought her position put her above the team instead of part of it and treated her coworkers as lesser employees. It didn’t matter if people with more experience voiced concerns about advancing approaches that the heads of the company had already vetoed she thought she knew best no matter what. The team grew weary when she would pour hours of their time into projects she told them were approved at the top level but actually were just Okayed by her.
In the end the effort to save money and time just wound up wasting it. This particular project manager created a hostile environment which stifled forward thinking, trust, and teamwork.
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By Heather Fairchild - Heather is a writer and blogger for Nexxt. She researches and writes about job search tactics, training, and topics.