Because this is my area of expertise, I shall concentrate on
defence electronics projects, but the principles can be applied
to projects of any kind.
Managing a project is more than just the Project Manager, it’s a
team effort, particularly where large and complex projects are
concerned. The first thing to do, therefore, is to choose your
team but how do you decide who you need in your team.
First of all, there is of course, the Project Manager. This
person will quickly scan the requirements of the project in
order to decide who should be on the team.
In terms of defence electronics, there are a number of people
who the Project Manager will always need on the team and these
Technical Lead or System Design Authority (SDA) Commercial
Manager Finance Manager Quality Assurance (QA) Manager
The SDA is the person who will be responsible for understanding
and implementing the technical requirements of the project and
for deciding what support he needs in terms of technical
These could be any or all of the following:
Software engineers Hardware engineers Installation engineers
Test and Acceptance Engineers Integrated Logistic Support (ILS)
The Commercial Manager will be responsible for negotiation of
the contract with the customer and for ensuring that all
contractual terms and conditions are adhered to.
The Finance Manager will do much as the name suggests and look
after the financial aspects, from pricing and devising stage
payment plans, through to invoicing and all the myriad reporting
requirements in between.
The QA Manager will ensure that all quality assurance standards
are met and will be involved in witnessing testing and
In terms of a very large project, the Project Manager will also
need a Planning Manager and a Risk Manager, although for smaller
projects, he will probably undertake these duties himself.
A project which involves bought in items of any kind will need a
Procurement Manager on the team to deal with all aspects of
supplier selection and management, together with price and
In the initial, bidding phase, of a project, both a Bid Manager
and a Marketing or Business Winning Manager will be needed. The
Bid Manager will plan the activities required in the time
available and will be responsible for co-ordinating the actual
writing, reviewing and submission of the bid document while the
Marketing Manager will liaise with the customer. He will also
concentrate on gathering marketing intelligence in respect of
competing companies and consider the tactical aspects of the bid.
In our next article, we’ll look at what happens, now that we
have a team in place.