Project Manager – the person who does the paperwork so that the engineer can do real work. Once upon a time called a secretary, but ego demanded that they be seen as more important, thus project manager.
Once upon a time, project management was done by “middle management” but became unfashionable in the 90’s so executives sacked them all in the name of efficiency and downsizing. Naturally, the executive managers suddenly found that they had a lot of paperwork to do, and meetings to attend for ‘non-serious’ things that left no time for golf. Instead of bringing back middle management (and admitting their mistake) they latched onto the NASA idea of “project management” which gave them a way out.
All of the secretarial functions were then handed to “projects” and golf resumed. The original intent of NASA was that a project would be run by several ‘project secretaries” and one ‘project manager’ who had authority. Today, it’s a bit different.
Alternate Definition: semi-retirement role for engineers who weary of being on the front line.