The Art of Project Management: Expert advice from experienced project managers in Silicon Valley, and around the world

How can you choose the most appropriate job title when wearing many ‘hats’ in your company?

Hello, this is Laura Lee Rose.  I am a speaker and author. I am an expert in time and project management.

I help busy professionals and entrepreneurs create effective systems so that they can comfortably delegate to others, be more profitable and have time to enjoy life even if they don’t have time to learn new technology or train their staff.  I have a knack for turning big ideas into on time and profitable projects.

At the end of the day, I transform the way you run your business into a business you love to run.

Today’s comment came from a busy business owner:

toomanyhatsAs a very new small business, anyone I bring on to my team is going to be responsible for more than one area of expertise. How can I name or define their positions when they are going to be doing much more than one thing?


Regardless of the title – you should have a full job description and even a Personal Business Commitment (PC) Plan for each of your employees (SMART Goals for the coming year).  Their PBC’s should be based off your PBC’s and shows specifically how their role and responsibilities will help you achieve your PBC’s or SMART Business Goals for the coming year.  Then during your quarterly performance reviews, you can easily measure their performance against their yearly goals – and give the appropriate tweaks and encouragement.  Explicitly spelling out their roles and responsibilities is slightly different that giving their position a title.  If you need help creating PBC’s, lets chat.


When giving titles, I recommend select a title that best supports or helps achieve their business goals. Consider the end-user of their business cards.   For example – if you have a employee that is a developer, but he also goes on the road with the Sales Staff to setup the demos and man the trade-show booths; I would give him the title of Subject Matter Expert or Technical Sales Engineer.  Something – when given to the customer assures the customer that he is knowledgeable about the client’s use of the product as well as encouraging the client to call them about making the sale.

What if your project manager also does the accounting and bookkeeping for your small business?  This person also answers the phones and fills in as the receptionist.   Although this person wears many hats, the title on their business card should be Project Manager, because affluent clients receiving that business card are more apt to carry on business dealings and conversations with the Project Manager over a book keeper or receptionist.

If you only have one sales person on your team and they also man the tech support line, their title on their business card should be Sales Manager – because an affluent client feels more important talking to the Sales Manager – than either sales person or a technical support person.  They feel that the Sales Manager can actually get something done in the company.

Think about your business goals – and which title (from their many hats) is going to support bringing in the money.

Also – there is nothing wrong with creating multiple business cards with the different job titles.  Then you give out the appropriate card at the right occasion.  I don’t recommend doing 1 business cards with all the titles like:  Project Manager/Developer/Tester.  You want to present clarity, confidence and expertise to your potential client.  Showing them that you are a jack of all and master of none will defeat the purpose.


About the Author

Laura is a Corporate Exit Strategist for the Blooming Entrepreneur. She is a certified business and personal life coach, specializing in time management skills, project management training and work/life balance strategies. She has been in the software and testing industry for over 20 years. She’s worked with such companies as IBM, Ericsson, Staples, Fidelity Investments and Sogeti in various client advocacy and project management roles. The techniques she uses in her business coaching and client advocacy work saved these companies both time and money, which resulted in on-time, quality product delivery with higher client satisfaction. Laura now uses her client focus, project, quality and people management skills in her personal life coaching career. As a personal life coach, she helps people transform their life by integrating their goals and dreams into their everyday lives. Laura uses creative and practical tools to help her clients realize what really matters to them. She helps others to easily transition into their next chapter whether it’s the next ladder of success within their corporate environment or into the entrepreneurial playground. I am not a fan of choosing to act in spite of fear. Rather, together we will collaborate toward a plan of inspired action. We will develop a plan together that you feel confident and excited about. For us, Taking The Leap will be magical, exhilarating and natural. If you are eager to take that next logical step but are unsure what it is signup for the Corporate Exit Strategy Coaching group. We have books, tapes, training materials, twice-monthly group coaching events, 3-day workshops, and individual coaching sessions to help you on your way toward your freedom and prosperity.
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