The functional manager’s role in projects is to supply resources and provide supervision to the project managers and project team members. Based on their skill level and experience this will range from extensive supervision to little or none. Functional managers will also act as project sponsors. So they need to be able to distinguish this specific role from their normal duties.
From an organizational project management view the functional manager plays an important role in the project processes of a company. Cadence effectively supports functional managers by Executive Briefings, Managing Project Managers and Team Members, Sponsor or Portfolio Management training courses, coaching and consulting.
Coach/Mentor – Advises the project manager on leadership techniques and serves as a sounding board for political issues. Is an information resource to the project manager.
Door-Opener – Helps the project manager gain access to higher level company management. Supports the project manager as focal point for project communications.
Resource Provider – Provides human and financial resources to the project within the limits of their control.
Trainer – Provides tutorials to the project manager on project management tools and techniques in a one-on-one environment.
Process Promoter – Is a strong advocate inside and outside the department in the consistent use of the company-defined project management process.
- Select or participate in the selection of the project manager.
- Support the project manager.
- Monitor status of projects.
- Train and develop project manager.
- Conduct performance reviews.
- Provide additional resources as appropriate.
- Resolve resource bottlenecks.
- Ensure quality of performance.
- Provide managerial assistance when needed.
- Participate on steering committees when appropriate.
- Ensure that the Project Manager is utilizing the company project management process.
- If necessary, replace the project manager.