16 thoughts on “Project Manager or Project Leader?”

  1. Al, thank you for your informative comment.
    As a PM you were responsible for the entire project. As a PL you were responsible for only one WBS-element. Clear.

  2. In my career I have performed both organizational functions.  I agree the titles may be used interchangeably depending on the organization.  The roles may differ in the degree of accountability / responsibility.  In my role as a PM,  I was the one person who ultimately had the accountability  to the project owner  and responsibility for the project team to control the cost, schedule and QA/QC of the deliverables.  As a project leader I had the responsibility for managing the project deliverables for a specific WBS.  Whereas, the project manager had the accountability / reponsibility for the entire project.

  3. Hi all, I suggest the question is not about job title it but more about managerial skills vs. leadership skills of the Project Manager (or whatever job title the person who is charge of the project has been given.) The academic work tells you these are two elements of the indivdual make-up of senior members of any organisation, so I believe it can be used in the context of a project manager.  The managerial skills are about organising and controlling the team.  Leadership is about how you motivate and empower the team.  If the project leadership team has strong organizational capabailities then perhaps you can get by with a project manager who has less organiizational skills but strong leadehrship skills. You get my drift?  If your PM has neither then run for cover, fast!!!

  4. Project manager or project leader are one and the same their ultimate goal is to deliver through different processes and methodologies. Some comapnies call them PMs whereas other oerganisations call the PLs.

  5. Project manager and project leader both work in the same environment. The difference is: The Project manager looks only on the job completed and project leader goes extra mile in looking into human or social issues.However, it is 100% possible to play both roles and whoever does that- deliver projects successfully. 

  6. A project manager is regarded as the team leader of a particular project, so the difference is only in the nomencleture, in as much as the person is responsible for most of the key decesions involing the project proccess.

  7. In most cases they do the same role, depending on the organisation and how big the project is. An experienced project staff can become a project leader but will not have the management skills to handle high level management meetings, decisions and paperwork that is associated with Project Managers, but can have the charisma and techniques to co-manage or lead the staff to achieve some deliverables

  8. For me there is no difference between a Project Manager or a Project leader.
    The glossary of the PMBOK does not define a Project Leader, so I prefer not to use the title Project Leader.
    Whenever I run into a "Project Leader", I see them as a Project Manager.
    For the sake of a common vocabulary, we should only use the title Project Manager.
    The PMBOK defines a project manager as "The person assigned by the performing organization to achieve the project objectives".

  9. "Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile". Vince Lombardi

    Besides managing the project triple constraints, Project manager must be leaders and hence use their  leadership skills to get the job done.  As a PM, he has to direct , mentor, coach, and support the team  and the stakeholders throughout  the life cycle of the project. 

  10. For me there's no difference actually. It allso depends on how the organisation will call the ProjectManagers/Leaders of the projects. I've worked on different projects and one time I was called Projectmanager and the other time Projectleader. Fact is that both times I had the same role and tasks. So for me there's no difference.

  11. Project Managers address issues as early as possible if not immediately so as to minimize the negative impact or maximize the positive, while Project Leaders ensure that the project delivers on its requirements to the satisfaction of all stakeholders.

  12. In my opinion PM has full authority over project as it is defined in several methodologies. PL is one step below PM. As name suggest PM manages project and PL just leads it. Sometime both can have same responsibilities and authorities but, in general, leader is a subset of manager.

  13. Project management is the application of tools , skills and knowledge to obtain project deliverables-actual in management you apply different process and methodolgy to get the project deliverables ,but how you interact with your staff this is what mean leadership,how you control your poeple or motivate them it is the leadership ,leadership has different styles power,carisma,expert.
    so almost leadership interpreated into relation between the leader and the staff 

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