I am in the planning stage of a project and I am looking to hire a project manager. I would like to do some coding and keep eye on all parts of the project. However, i have a feeling that a project manager will get better results. I have the following options: 1) manage the project and not code 2) hire a project manager and code myself

I am worried that the project manager will feel impeded by having the project owner in the development team. If I run the project, the team might fall apart causing the project to fail. To stick within budget, I have to be involved in one capacity or another.

Does anyone have experience with this situation, any suggestions?

more info: 4 in-house developers each responsible for a specific area. The developers can also outsource work if agreed to by the project manager.

  • If you are the part of the development team the project manager will only work better.
    – superM
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 9:22
  • Thanks @superM. That is what I suspect. Is this a situation you have been involved with?
    – marabutt
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 9:42
  • Not actually the same, but quite close. My boss is a programmer and now he works in the management team. He is successful beacuse he knows almost every technical details. I could consider him a developer, except that he doesn't write code )))
    – superM
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 9:46
  • How big is the team? and have you been managing team members wit no problem?
    – Yusubov
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 9:46
  • @ElYusubov havn't managed them yet but they seem like good people.
    – marabutt
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 10:02

5 Answers 5


I'd suggest you go on developing and hire a project manager.

In the company I work I've seen several ways of management. My boss is a programmer. He doesn't write code now, but he used to for a long time. For some time he was trying to do all the management by himself, but this wasn't really a success.

Now he has hired project managers (two people), and the team works better now. He takes part in both technical and management discussions and sometimes prepares documents himself.

I also wouldn't worry about being in the development team and the boss at the same time. After all, you're going to hire someone professional, who must be able to work with any kind of people.

P.S. imho project management isn't very difficult to learn, especcailly when you work with a small team. Maybe some time after working with professional project managers, you will be able to do all the management yourself.

  • 1
    +1 for the P.S. But for that you need to hire a good project manager first :).
    – Zenon
    Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 19:20

The most important thing is to clarify beforehand who has authority about which decisions. The biggest mistake you can probably make is to micromanage the project manager.

A reasonable agreement might be "I decide the overall budget and hiring, and leave resource allocation, planning and operational decisions to you, even where they affect my own developmentwork; if you're uncertain about any big decisions, ask me."


Short answer: you need to hire professionals to grow business, and as a project owner you need to clarify the responsibilities and authority within the project/company.

Long answer: My understanding of a project manager is planning and leading software project(s).

1) Manage the work, who does what ?

2) Plans the work load - timing on what we deliver when?

3) Makes decisions under given budget and resources (people/hardware/space/time)

(*) look at provided links below for a complete reference

Good start point Wikipedia - Software project management on what a PM in software development expected to do. In addition, i would suggest to look at Q&A - How does Project Management Costs vary with the size of the whole software development project.


It can work - if you make sure you stick to the rules which are defined by your project manager. You hired him to manage - so if you undermine his task by managing yourself, you shouldn't have hired him in the first place.


From my experience you should not be involved in the development team and have a project manager. The manager's responsibilities are to complete a set number of requirements within a specific time frame and budget.

I have always found when the project owner becomes too involved in the project, the scope increases - they start seeing possibilities half way in and want additional functionality included since they see it as only a small change.

  • Thanks for your input, I agree that the specifications would be more likely to change. I remember seeing the demo for Diablo 3 in 2008 and that only came out this year. I think you have to able to change projects on the fly if someone brings out something better while your building it.
    – marabutt
    Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 8:49
  • Very true - you must be able to adapt to the world. Yet the difference here is ensuring your product is not delayed due to incremental scope creep. If for some reason there needs to be a shift in the design of the product the development methodology should allow this and the owner and project manager work to provide the development team with clear requirements on how to achieve this. I would also think separating these aspects also provides you with more opportunity to assess competitors and the market giving you greater agility to change direction.
    – John D
    Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 15:41

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