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The Role of a Project Manager

The Role of a Project Manager

What is a Project Manager?

The term Project Manager is used across several industries that produce products and provide services including construction, architecture and IT to describe someone who has the responsibility for the full lifecycle of a project.

The Project Manager takes the lead from initiation through planning, design, execution, monitoring, controlling to project closure.

What are some responsibilities of a Project Manager?

Risk Management

Key among the responsibilities of Project Manager jobs is the recognition that risk directly impacts the probability of the project being a success. As a result the Project Manager must be proven to formally and informally measure risks throughout the project lifecycle.

Most issues that arise throughout a project will arise (in one way or another) from risk – which itself arises from uncertainty. Most successful Project Managers are able to minimise risk by implementing and adhering to a strong belief in open communication. This allows team members to express their opinions and voice any concerns they might have as well as unveiling any unstated assumptions.

Project Management Tools

Nowadays there are several different Project Management tools available in order to help Project Managers organise their workforce and tasks. The most commonly used PM tools are now software based for example, Microsoft Project, Primavera, Basecamp, etc. These packages are designed to produce reports and charts in minutes that previously would have taken hours to do by hand.

Other key responsibilities of a Project Manager

The key responsibilities of a Project Manager are to ensure successful completion of a project, on time and to budget, however this involves many other stages. Although the role of a PM will vary dramatically from industry to industry and from project to project, several key activities will remain the same, for example a Project Manager is likely to be responsible for:

  • Defining scope
  • Planning scope
  • Activity and resource planning
  • Developing schedules and timescales
  • Cost estimating
  • Budgeting
  • Completing documentation
  • Risk analysis
  • Risk management
  • Progress monitoring
  • Team Management
  • Business Partnering
  • Scalability and portability analysis
  • Quality control

What skills do you need to be a Project Manager?

A good Project Manager must have a combination of key soft skills. Although Project management training is excellent, without suitable characteristics such as the ability to ask penetrating questions, uncover any unstated assumptions, good conflict resolution and general management skills completing projects successfully will be a huge challenge. A few key soft skills are:

  • Team and individual leadership
  • Oral and written communication
  • Conflict resolution
  • Negotiation
  • Delegation
  • Coaching and mentoring

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Helen Bayram