Rick Freedman has just posted an article with the title of "Keep management roles in a project separate" in TechGuides.
In his point of view, every project engagement must have the following:
- Clear business meaning
- Defined success criteria
- Technical plan
- Project plan
- Sponsorship and stakeholder participation
Each of those engagements requires superior management of three elements:
- Process - managed by project manager
- Content - managed by technical manager
- Relationship - managed by relationship manager
The project manager must ensure that a clear scope has been written, a meaningful estimate has been derived, and a complete project plan has been developed, along with all the other process elements required by his chosen methodology.
The technical manager oversees all the technical decisions: the technical specifications, the materials list, the software stack, and the integration of all these components.
The relationship manager is required to manage the needs, expectations, emotions, and politics that are an inevitable part of every human endeavour, so that the perception of the end product matches the client team's vision.
It is not advisible for a single person to assume the job of all the three roles, because the required skills and temperament are different, and difficult to be mastered equally well by a single person. More importantly, playing all the three roles together will be facing conflict of interest. As such, separation of roles for these three essential management functions is strongly recommended in order to increase the success rate and client satisfaction.
I agree with him, do you?