Project manager

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Description 

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. ICT projects undertaken within the Queensland Government align with best practice methodologies.

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)[1] and the Queensland Public Service Workforce Capability Success Profile.[2]

Within the SFIA profile, the project manager has level 5 capabilities, i.e. ensure and advises on the skills outlined below.

Autonomy

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.

Influence

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.

Complexity

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.

Business Skills

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.

 

  SFIA Skill

SFIA Skill Code

SFIA Skill Level of Responsibility

SFIA Skills Level Descriptor

Consultancy

CNSL

5

Takes responsibility for understanding client requirements, collecting data, delivering analysis and problem resolution. Identifies, evaluates and recommends options, implementing if required. Collaborates with, and facilitates stakeholder groups, as part of formal or informal consultancy agreements. Seeks to fully address client needs, enhancing the capabilities and effectiveness of client personnel, by ensuring that proposed solutions are properly understood and appropriately exploited.

Project management

PRMG

5

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, consistent with the methods in use (agile, waterfall, etc). 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.

Relationship management

RLMT

5

Identifies the communications needs of each stakeholder group in conjunction with business owners and subject matter experts. Translates communications / stakeholder engagement strategies into specific tasks. Facilitates open communication and discussion between stakeholders, acting as a single point of contact by developing, maintaining and working to stakeholder engagement strategies and plans. (For example, may oversee the organisation's promotional/selling activities to one or more clients, to ensure that such activities are aligned with corporate marketing objectives). Negotiates with stakeholders at senior levels, ensuring that organisational policy and strategies are adhered to. Provides informed feedback to assess and promote understanding.

Change implementation planning and management

CIPM

5

Creates the business readiness plan, taking into consideration IT deployment, data migration, capability deployment (training and engagement activities) and any business activities required to integrate new digital processes or jobs into the "business as usual" environment. Determines the readiness levels of business users with regard to upcoming changes; uncovers readiness gaps and creates and implements action plans to close the gaps prior to going live. Assists the user community in the provision of transition support and change planning, and liaises with the project team. Monitors and reports progress on business readiness targets, business engagement activity, training design and deployment activities, key operational metrics and return to productivity measures. Defines the series and sequence of activities to bring stakeholders to the required level of commitment, prior to going live.

Benefits management

BENM

5

Identifies specific measures and mechanisms by which benefits can be measured, and plans to activate these mechanisms at the required time. Monitors benefits against what was predicted in the business case and ensures that all participants are informed and involved throughout the change programme and fully prepared to exploit the new operational business environment once it is in place. Supports senior management to ensure that all plans, work packages and deliverables are aligned to the expected benefits and leads activities required in the realisation of the benefits of each part of the change programme.

Business risk management

BURM

5

Carries out risk assessment within a defined functional or technical area of business. Uses consistent processes for identifying potential risk events, quantifying and documenting the probability of occurrence and the impact on the business. Refers to domain experts for guidance on specialised areas of risk, such as architecture and environment. Co-ordinates the development of countermeasures and contingency plans.

 

Queensland Government roles align with the Queensland Public Service Workforce Capability Success Profile.

The success profile is a sector wide, one-government approach to the leadership behaviours expected of all public sector employees to support high performing workplaces.  The profile describes three performance dimensions (vision, results and accountability) and 13 leadership competencies required against four role types: 

  • Individual contributor (manages self)
  • Team leader (manages individuals)
  • Program manager (manages multiple teams/projects)
  • Executive (manages program managers)

When developing a Role Description, identify the role type and then focus on the most important attributes and create a balance between SFIA skills and leadership skills. 

Entry points

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. 

Learning and development

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.

 

  1. The Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) provides a common language that integrates with an organisation’s way of working, to improve capability and resource planning, resource deployment and performance management.  This role profile quotes extensively from the SFIA, under licence from the SFIA Foundation.  Information about the SFIA can be found at http://www.sfia-online.org/en
  2. The Queensland Public Service Workforce Capability Success Profile plays a key role in translating the government’s ‘talent management requirements’ into clear behavioural terms, while at the same time delivering organisational change and growth.  The success profile is being utilised to align sector-wide talent management strategies, including workforce planning, talent acquisition, leadership development, capability development, performance management, career management and succession planning.

http://www.psc.qld.gov.au/includes/assets/PSC_Workforce_Capability_Success_Profile.pdf

The supporting Companion Guide can be found at

http://www.psc.qld.gov.au/includes/assets/Companion_guide_QPS_Workforce_Capability_Success_Profile.pdf