Think about your last project, did it come in on time and on budget? Its a hard job either way. The title 'project manager' often belies the task in hand.

Project managers are also known for managing without authority. That is; people report to you for the duration of a project within the scope of project work, but you are still spending most of your time reporting back to a line manager who can prioritise the project team member’s time contrary to your best laid plans. In that context project managers have to lead with other skills, such as negotiation, charisma, leadership and so on.

This myriad of skills is especially important at the scoping stage. The difficult question of how to get this right is addressed in Meridian West's article 'Getting the scope right'. This extract shows just how big this problem can be.