Project Manager Role – Small Company Versus Large Company

Is there a difference in how a program manager operates in small companies relative to large companies? In other words, are there special functions that the program manager will have in a small company that are not required in a large company? From my experience the answer is definitely yes.

For instance, in a large company the project manager will be responsible for communicating schedule, cost, and product development status to internal management. In addition, the project manager in a large company will interface with the integrated project team leads to help facilitate solutions to resource or priority issues. For the most part, in a large company, the project manager’s customers are internal to the company though direct communication with outside customers may also be required.

In a small company, the project manager will perform those functions required for a large company project manager, but also be in direct contact with outside customers on a frequent basis. In addition, the project manager may actually be responsible for a full product line(s). That is, in a small company the project manager may also be responsible for product roadmap execution, understanding the market and customer needs, making recommendations to management on future investments, interfacing with sales and marketing, presenting status on product lines to the corporate board of directors, and being in more direct contact with the individual contributors doing the detail work.

A project manager in a small company has a major impact on the sucess of the company.