Project managers are the point person in charge of a specific project or projects within an organization. In other words, project managers are the drivers of a project. Project managers ensure that the project is completed within the specified deadline and gets delivered to the client without any flaws. They are the ones that connect upper management and the teams tasked with the actual execution of the project. They make sure the scope of the project is sound, giving feedback regularly on the progress of the project. Being a project manager is no easy task!
There are a lot of skills you should develop in order to be an effective project manager capable of fulfilling your responsibilities.
Every project starts with a plan. A project will fail even before it starts without a plan. A project manager creates the plan how to achieve all the goals and objectives of the project. The plan will not only be a blueprint for the project, but is also a critical part necessary for the approval of the project. He or she will determine the scope, the schedule, the resources, and how to evaluate and report the progress of the project.
Build the Team (Organize)
One of the hardest thing to do as a project manager is whether to decide use the old team or make a new one. He or she must select which is the best skilled and experienced team members for the project. Once this is done, the project manager then assigns roles and tasks to each members. He or she will also brief the team on which tools to use for the project.
“Micromanaging will not help, project managers should allow members to have a little freedom to make their own decisions.”
The project manager has to take the lead right from the word “go.” Leadership starts with coordinating with the right people to ensure that the project progresses in a smooth manner. He or she needs to keep track of the project developments. Managers ensure that the project team members are meeting their deadlines and following the guidelines. Project manager should regularly hold standup meetings and ensure team members follow up on their assignments. Leading also means making every decision at every stage of the project – the buck stops at the project manager’s desk.
Time is ticking! A project manager must manage time well. This includes their own time, the team’s time, and the deadlines the project must meet (or beat). The project manager must define, schedule and accurately estimate the task duration to develop and maintain a realistic schedule. This includes team loading, milestones, and project deadlines.
Monitoring the Project
Mangers should always be checking and evaluating if the project is on the right track. This begins with the obvious: following all tasks and ensuring everything that needs to be done is accomplished on schedule and correctly.
Communication is critical! A survey showed that more than 60% of project time is spent by project managers communicating with the team and stakeholders. A project manager should have the ability to communicate clearly in order for the team to understand precisely what needs to be done. What good are all the skills if a project manager can’t communicate effectively?
Project Managers needs to predict and identify possible threats or developments to the project and take preemptive steps to avoid or mitigate them. The project manager is responsible to make sure the project sails on smoothly, and this includes devising and implementing risk responses. Again, the buck stops at the project manager’s desk!
Summary: Project Manager Responsibilities
For any project to be a success, it needs a complete team effort. However, everything starts with the project manager. From the word “go” the manager leads; starting with the project plan, down to managing the team, monitoring risks and project progress, through delivery.