Project Manager and Team Selection

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The nature of the project will define the managerial skill requirements of the leader.

After the evaluation phase, certain projects will have been chosen to go into the forward business plan and will need to be implemented. The first managerial task is to select the Project Manager or Leader and the members of the team.

Several points need to be considered and questions asked before the Project Manager is selected. The generic and first question that needs to be answered is "what type of project is it?" Does it, for instance, involve one or more of the following?

• The introduction of a new product or range of products

• The start of a new business venture

• The development and establishment of a new process

• The introduction of a new technology

• The design and commissioning of a new plant

• The carrying out of large scale customer or field trials

The nature of the project will define the functional or technical skills that will be required by the Project Manager. For instance, if the project involves the introduction of a new product, the person could be a chemist, biochemist or biologist from R&D or somebody from within the marketing function. For the design and commissioning of a new plant, an appropriate manager would be a chemical engineer from either R&D or manufacturing. The Project Manager for an extensive field or customer trial will be somebody with knowledge of the application technology, for example trials of a new agrochemical are very likely to be lead by a botanist or an ecologist.

Ideally the Project Manager would lead the project from its inception to completion. For projects under two years in duration this does not present a problem, but in the Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industry many projects take much longer than this to complete, especially new drugs and those involving new chemicals and chemistry. Typically these can take up to four years, and very much longer with a pharmaceutical product, from the start of research to release onto the market. Therefore we do not live in an ideal world and senior managers are faced with a practical reality; the time frame is often too long to keep one person involved as the Project Manager and likewise with the individual team members.

In these circumstances it will be necessary to change both Project Manager and probably team members during the course of the project. It is clearly better if this is done in a planned manner rather than having a change forced on the Manager by circumstances, such as an individual being promoted or moved to another function or business. One approach to this is to break the project down into management phases.

For example, let us consider a project that involves the introduction of a new speciality product. This is classically divided into the invent-make-sell phases. The process is much more complicated than this, and this has already been described in Section D, 2.2. Invent-make-sell is more accurately split into four phases, namely research-process develop-manufacture-launch. The initial project team should have represen tatives from the parties interested in all four phases, i.e. research, development, manufacturing and marketing, and these should remain represented throughout the lifetime ofthe project. A planned strategy for the change ofProject Manager at some point during these phases can then be agreed. The use of two Project Managers is the best, and probably the only alternative to one Project Manager throughout the lifetime of the project. The use of three Project Managers is undesirable and the worst case of four should be avoided at all costs, since this is back to functional roles, making nonsense of the project team approach. As stated, the hand over point from one Project Manager to another should be agreed at the start of the project. A natural break can usually be identified based either on time or function and role. In this case it could be that the Project Manager for the research and the process development phase is from R&D whilst the manufacture and launch is managed by marketing personnel. The following is an interesting example of this two-leader/team approach [D-15].

The Cibacron LS range of reactive dyes for cotton, sold by Ciba Speciality Chemicals, was developed in record time by a small team practising a new faster-to-market philosophy. In total it took two years to develop and introduce the new products, half the time it normally takes.

Three people were involved in decision making during the project's first phase: one each from research, screening/application and marketing. After the research and selection phase, a second team took over the implementation and promotion: screening/application, marketing and promotion. Pre-testing was conducted with selected textile industry customers to fine-tune the product.

When involved in the choice of Project Manager for a multi-functional team, an R&D Manager needs to recognise that the driving force for completion of the project, as in the above example, is from manufacturing and marketing. These functions will be occupied with the detailed implementation of the outcome of R&D and are the best people to provide the management of the project beyond the research phase. This axis is illustrated in Figure D16.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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