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Role of a Functional Manager

Who is a Functional Manager:

A functional manager manages and owns the resources in a specific department, such as IT, engineering, public relations, or marketing, and generally directs the technical work of individuals from that functional area who are working on the project. The degree to which a functional manager is involved in the project depends on the form of organizational structure.

In a matrix organization, the functional manager shares responsibility for directing the work of individuals with the project manager. In a projected organization, the project manager does all of the directing. In functional organization, the functional manager does all of the directing. It is the responsibility of the project manager to avoid any conflicts with the functional manager and coordinate the respective needs regarding the use of resources to complete the project work.

The activities of a functional manager may include:

  • Assign specific individuals to the team, and negotiate with the project manager regarding resources

  • Participate in the initial planning until work packages or activities are assigned

  • Provide subject matter expertise

  • Approve the final schedule during schedule development

  • Approve the final project management plan during project management plan development

  • Recommend changes to the project, including corrective actions

  • Manage activities within their functional areas

  • Assist with problems related to team member performance

  • Improve staff utilization

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