What is a Project Manager?

Published on Sep 20th, 2010 by

What is a Project Manager?

After some light thought there was no better way to start this blog than with this very essential question. This is the first post of the new Journeyman PM blog after all.

Wikipedia defines “project manager” like this:

  • Project managers can have the responsibility of the planning, execution, and closing of any project, typically relating to construction industry, architecture, computer networking, telecommunications or software development. Many other fields in the production, design and service industries also have project managers.

I’ve heard some of the following interesting definitions of what a project manager ought to be all are true in their own way …

  • A project manager is someone who makes sure that the promises of others are kept.
  • A project manager is just as much a coach as a leader.
  • A project manager is, in essence, a translator.
  • A project manager is a 3D manager, a PM faces all directions (client, project team, management, …).
  • A project manager is someone who creates the premises for others to do their work.
  • A project manager is the guide who takes us from the beginning of a journey to the end.

And a slightly poetic one to finish by L.R. Sayles:

  • A project manager functions as a bandleader who pulls together his players, each a specialist with individual score and internal rhythm. Under the leader’s direction, they all respond to the same beat.

I’ve been blogging for quite some time now at heymans.org (the former Journeyman Project Management blog) and before that I wrote about coding, Python, Java, mind mapping and photography under the same domain. This is a new start for both this blog and the other one.

Thank you for visiting, and joining me in the kick-off of this blogging project with a mildly philosophical note. I hope to see you back soon and welcome you to contact me any time you want for anything project management. I’d be more than happy to listen to you advice, questions or requests.

Latest Comments (5)

Heymans.org » Blog Archive » Announcing Journeyman PM

[…] I have just launched a new blog called Journeyman PM, a spot on the web where I will continue writing exclusively about Project Management. So head over there if you want to read my first post “What is a Project Manager?“. […]

September 21, 2010 08:17 Reply

Barney Austen

Hi Bert.

I would add “The guide who takes us from the beginning of a journey to the end”.

I like the pretext of this blog i.e. the soft-skills element of the PM. I believe that this is the most important facet of any PM and look forward to reading your thoughts.

Good luck with the new blog!


September 21, 2010 10:21 Reply


Hi Barney,

thanks for the suggestion! I'm adding it to the list.

- Bert

September 21 2010 10:29 am

Pedro Pardelinha

Hope to see fantastic articles in your new blog!

Greetings from other PM blogger,

September 22, 2010 17:05 Reply


Thanks Pedro, I'm aiming at bi-weekly posts and want to keep the quality and the value to the readers as high as I can.

September 22 2010 19:10 pm

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