“What do project managers do?” is a famous question that sparks the curiosity of both those looking to hire and those aspiring to be project managers.
In short, project managers are the backbone of any project, leading it from start to finish. Everyone who has worked on a project understands the difference between an organized project and one that is chaotic and the project manager is crucial in keeping things on track.
As project management becomes necessary for every business, 89% of high-performing organizations employ one.
What does a project manager do on a daily basis? Learn more about the role of a project manager and some of their daily tasks and responsibilities.
What is a Project Manager?
What does a project manager do? By the book, a project manager is a professional who organizes, plans, and executes projects while adhering to deadlines and budgets.
These professionals lead teams, define goals, communicate with stakeholders, and complete projects. Whether running a marketing campaign, building a building, developing a computer system, or launching a new product, they are ultimately responsible for the outcome.
Due to their versatile role, project managers are in high demand in almost every industry. Let’s dig deeper into what project managers do, why you should consider a career in project management, and how to get started.
Top 10 Project Managers’ Roles And Responsibilities
Project management is a delicate blend of science and art. In the modern business environment, project managers should be aware of all innovative project management systems and industry jargon that they can pick up.
Regarding people and resource management, today’s project management trends have expanded to include several industries under the same umbrella.
So, without further ado, let’s go over all of the essential duties and responsibilities of project managers:
- Planning Everything From Execution to Delivery
Planning is essential for meeting project deadlines, and many fail due to insufficient planning. First and foremost, effective project managers define the project’s scope and identify available resources.
Good project managers understand how to set realistic time estimates and assess the team’s or teams’ capabilities.
They then develop a clear and concise plan for carrying out the project and monitoring its progress. Because projects are inherently unpredictable, good project managers understand how to make necessary adjustments along the way before the project reaches its conclusion.
Overall, this project management role entails:
- Division of the project into tasks,
- Organizing the tasks and subtasks,
- Creating an appropriate timetable for the creation of specific deliverables,
- Establish benchmarks, and
- Emphasizing the project’s dependencies.
- Project Team Organization And Motivation
Good project managers do not bog down their teams with elaborate spreadsheets, lengthy checklists, and whiteboards. Instead, they put their teams in the spotlight.
They create simple, straightforward plans that motivate their teams to achieve their full potential. They reduce bureaucracy and direct their teams on a clear path to the end goal.
A project manager may be required to perform human resource duties such as:
Negotiating current employees’ job responsibilities, managing their time, and achieving their commitment to the project. Bids and contracts may be required, and everyone must be kept in the loop to ensure that the team moves forward as planned.
- Effective Work Delegation
It is critical to delegate responsibilities to teams wisely in many situations, such as a large project or various tasks involved. Work delegation is a leadership skill every project manager must adhere to and master.
A manager should not abuse this authority by blaming or degrading team members. The tasks must be prioritized so that the team members can become more effective in their abilities.
Managers should also understand their teams’ strengths and weaknesses and delegate tasks accordingly.
As a result, be a good leader who fosters trust through meaningful delegation.
- Time Management Control
Clients typically assess a project’s success or failure based on whether it was completed on time. As a result, meeting deadlines are non-negotiable. Good project managers understand how to set realistic deadlines and consistently communicate them to their teams.
They are proficient in the following tasks:
Define the term “activity.”
Calculate the duration of the activity.
Make a schedule.
Keep a schedule.
- Cost Estimation And Budget Development
A good project manager understands how to keep a project within its budget. Even if a project meets the client’s expectations and is completed on time, it is still considered a failure if it exceeds the budget.
To avoid massive budget overruns, good project managers regularly review the budget and plan ahead.
- Project Risk Analysis And Management
The larger the project, the more chance to run into obstacles and pitfalls that the project manager did not anticipate.
Hiccups are unavoidable, but experts know how to identify and evaluate potential risks meticulously and almost intuitively before the project begins. They understand how to avoid or at least mitigate risks.
- Keep Track of Progress
During the early stages, project managers and their teams have a clear vision and high expectations of achieving the desired outcome. Still, the road to the finish line is never without obstacles.
When things don’t go as planned, a project manager must monitor and analyze both expenditures and team performance and take corrective action as soon as possible.
- Creating a Shared Vision
A project manager should have a clear vision of where they want to go as well as the ability to understand the big picture of any project. The vision should be communicated to the entire team so that everyone understands how important their role is in achieving the desired results.
The team should be aware of the workload and make every effort to convert goals into missions. The manager should set the appropriate tone to ensure smooth sailing.
- Managing Reports And Other Required Documentation
Experienced project managers understand the importance of final reports and proper documentation.
Good project managers can present comprehensive reports demonstrating that all project requirements were met and the project’s history, including what was done, who was involved, and what could be done better in the future.
- Ensure Client Satisfaction
Finally, a project is only successful if the customer is satisfied.
One of the most important responsibilities of any project manager is to reduce uncertainty, avoid unpleasant surprises, and involve their clients as much as possible in the project.
A good project manager understands how to communicate effectively and keep the company’s clients updated.
What is The Difference Between a Program Manager And a Project Manager?
Simply put, a program manager controls all projects in a specific department. In contrast, a project manager is in charge of only one or a few.
Let’s get down to business.
Program managers maintain a high-level perspective (defines project time and budget). In contrast, project managers adhere to the program manager’s time and budget estimates.
The project managers will create a priority list for the team to follow while developing the project.
The program manager creates a roadmap that depicts all of the projects that must be completed within a specific time frame.
On the other hand, the project manager develops a project roadmap that includes all of the tasks, user stories, and dependencies that must be completed for the project to be completed successfully.
A project roadmap also enables the project manager to track the team’s progress and identify and prevent problems before they occur.
The program manager is concerned with achieving the company’s objectives. In contrast, the project manager is concerned with successfully completing the project.
A good program manager understands how to work effectively with their project managers to define best practices and streamline workflows.
A good program manager understands how to communicate effectively with customers to discover what they truly desire.
A good project manager strives to complete projects on time while staying within budget.
Regarding KPIs and metrics, project managers track and document the ROI of their projects, reporting to the program manager.
Based on the performance of previous projects, a program manager creates new time and cost estimates.
So, what is a Project Manager’s salary? According to Glassdoor, a project manager’s annual salary is approximately $67,000, whereas the average salary for a program manager is around $60,000 per year.
What Are The Requirements For Becoming a Project Manager?
Project managers oversee project planning and execution within an organization or business. They must be capable of strong leadership, excellent communication skills, and meticulous attention to detail. They may be in charge of small or large projects.
Some requirements vary by company but typically include at least three years of experience in a related role and formal training and/or certification.
Project manager skills you need to qualify to include:
- Strong organizational skills with an eye for detail;
- Good interpersonal communication skills;
- The ability to work independently without supervision;
- Problem-solving skills;
- Knowledge of project management techniques and principles;
- Experience managing teams/projects;
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite.
Careers in Project Management
“Will project managers be in high demand in a few years?” — If you’ve been thinking about a career in project management, you’ve probably asked yourself this question more than once.
By 2027, 87.7 million people will be employed in project-based jobs. In addition, 71% of global organizations will have project management roles.
According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), 22 million positions will be opened by 2027, representing a 33% increase over 2017.
You’ll be spoiled for choice as a project manager because you’ll be able to work in various industries.
Project managers are most commonly associated with roles in information technology. Still, you can also work in finance, insurance, construction, engineering, manufacturing, and other fields.
Do you Want to Become a Project Manager?
Being a project manager is by no means an easy job.
No two days will be the same as a project manager. You’ll be juggling multiple projects at once. In addition, your daily schedule may be quite hectic at times. But that’s part of the appeal. You’ll get there if you work hard enough.
If you’re ready to take the next steps toward this new career, enroll in our online MBA in Project Management: This accredited 100% online programme will give you the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to gain employment managing projects of all sizes as a senior team leader, project manager or project director.
If this sounds good to you, download our prospectus to learn more about the programme. Or, if you are already familiar with the concept of our studies, contact us today to see how we can grow together.