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What does a Project Manager do? Revealing the role, skills needed

A comprehensive guide on the Project Manger Role, Responsibilities, Qualifications and Skills and Salaries

Who is a Project Manager?

Alright, let’s kick things off by talking about the main player in the project management game – the Project Manager. Think of them as the captain of the ship, steering the project from start to finish. She is like the glue that holds everything together, making sure the team stays on course and reaches its destination. They’re the go-to person, the problem-solver, and the cheerleader all rolled into one.

Project Managers are usually assigned to the project right at the start, sometimes even before start – during the pre-sales and conceptualisation stages, and then go right until the end.

So, their role in short is – getting the project from one phase to the next, while keeping it within the stipulated scope, cost, quality, and time. Also, take appropriate actions if anything goes out of hand.

They probably needed a better Project Manager.

Project Manager Roles and Responsibilities

So, what exactly does a Project Manager do? Buckle up, because their to-do list is pretty extensive. And if you are aiming to be a Project Manager, you need to update all these skills in your Project Manager Resume.

First off, they’re the master planner. They sketch out the project roadmap, figuring out what needs to be done, when, and by whom. They’re also the chief communicator, making sure everyone on the team is on the same page. Think of them as the orchestra conductor, ensuring that every instrument plays its part in harmony.

Responsibility-wise, Project Managers wear many hats. They’re the risk-taker, always anticipating potential hiccups and having a backup plan just in case.

Deadlines? That’s their territory too. They are the indisputable time keepers. They keep a watchful eye on the clock, making sure the team stays on track and delivers the goods on time. And let’s not forget the motivational guru aspect – they boost team morale, making sure everyone’s in high spirits throughout the project.

Role of Project Manager in different phases of Project

Initiation – Planning and Defining Project Scope

Also known as Project “Kick Off” in the project management circles, Initiation is where the Project Manager and the team put on their analytical hats and gather all the info needed to understand the project.

  • What are the goals?
  • Who are the key players?
  • What resources are at our disposal?

It’s like preparing for a mission – you need to know the who, what, and how before diving in.

Project Planning – Detailed Activity Mapping and Resource Allocation

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty – Project Planning. This is where the Project Manager transforms into a strategic wizard.

They lay out the entire game plan, breaking down the project into smaller, more manageable tasks. It’s like planning a road trip – you’ve got to know your stops, your route, and how long it’s going to take to reach each destination. The Project Manager ensures everyone’s on board with the plan, and then it’s time to roll up the sleeves and get to work.

How do you eat an elephant ?

One Bite at a time.

(Image Source : seangallo.com )

Project Execution – Team, Time, and Budget Management

Alright, it’s showtime! Project Execution is where the action happens. The team dives headfirst into their tasks, and the Project Manager becomes the conductor, guiding everyone through their parts. It’s a bit like a dance – each team member has their moves, and the Project Manager ensures they’re all in sync.

Communication and Stakeholder Management

Project Managers are the ones calling meetings, taking reviews, building overall status reports and keeping everyone well-communicated with the overall progress.

This phase is all about turning plans into reality, making things happen, and pushing towards the finish line.

Project Budget Management and Payment Schedules

Project Payments are generally done in Schedules. It means that with completion of each phase, a proportional part of the budget is released. At each phase they are involved in approvals from the relevant authorities and customers. They also raise flags if the project is going out of budget at any stage and take additional budget approvals.

Monitoring & Control – Risk Assessment and Mitigation

Left alone – things tend to break. That is the basic law of entropy.

But the Project Manager makes sure that does not happen. Assuming he is a good at what his work !

The Project Manager keeps tabs on the project’s progress, making sure everything aligns with the grand plan, something they regularly track on their Project Management Software.

What do the project managers track ?

Mainly these things:

  • Project Scope – Raises the flag (more frequently its the additional bill) if anything goes out of scope.
  • Project Cost – Keeps the cost within the overall allocated budget.
  • Project Quality – Ensures that the delivery at all stages meets the decided quality requirements.
  • Time – Ensures that everything moves in time.

If anything goes off track, they’re the troubleshooter, finding solutions and keeping the project on course. It’s about staying vigilant, catching issues early, and adjusting the plan as needed.

Project Closing

Closing is the grand finale where the Project Manager ensures that all goals are met, boxes are ticked, and everyone can pat themselves on the back for a job well done.

It’s like wrapping up a movie – all loose ends tied, credits rolling, and a sense of accomplishment in the air. The Project Manager ensures that the project concludes smoothly, and if there’s any celebratory cake to be had, they’re probably the ones cutting it.

In technical projects, with the closing stages a lot of testing is done both internally ( Factory Acceptance Tests) and at customer’s end ( Customer Acceptance Tests). Once the customers are satisfied with the delivery, the last leg of the money rolls in.


Key Skills and Qualities

Alright, let’s delve into what makes a Project Manager stand out among the crowd. These key skills and qualities are like their superpowers, essential for steering the project ship through stormy waters.

A. Leadership and Team Management

Picture this: a Project Manager as the fearless leader, guiding their team through thick and thin. Leadership isn’t just about giving orders; it’s about inspiring, motivating, and bringing out the best in each team member. They’re the ones who set the tone, build trust, and create an environment where everyone feels valued and motivated to give their best.

B. Organizational and Time Management Skills

Ever seen someone juggle multiple balls without dropping a single one? That’s the Project Manager with their organizational and time management skills. They’re the masters of multitasking, creating schedules, setting deadlines, and ensuring that everything runs like a well-oiled machine. From arranging tasks to managing resources efficiently, they’re the architects of order amidst chaos.

C. Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Abilities

In the world of project management, roadblocks are as common as morning coffee. But fear not – the Project Manager is armed with problem-solving and decision-making skills to tackle any obstacle that comes their way. They’re the Sherlock Holmes of the project world, analyzing situations, brainstorming solutions, and making quick, well-informed decisions to keep the project on track.

D. Strong Communication and Interpersonal Skills

A project manager keeps every stakeholder in sync with the project status
Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

Communication isn’t just about talking; it’s about ensuring that everyone understands each other, like a well-choreographed dance. Project Managers excel in this arena, communicating clearly, listening actively, and bridging any gaps between team members. Their interpersonal skills are top-notch, fostering collaboration and harmony within the team, ensuring everyone is rowing in the same direction.

These skills and qualities aren’t just checkboxes; they’re the essence of what makes a Project Manager not just good, but exceptional at what they do. They’re the secret sauce that keeps the project engine running smoothly and the team spirits high.

Tools and Techniques Used by Project Managers

Now, let’s peek behind the scenes and explore the toolbox of a Project Manager. These tools and techniques are like their magic wands, helping turn project plans into reality.

A. Project Management Software

Enter the digital realm – Project Management Software is the Project Manager’s trusty sidekick. Platforms like Microsoft Project, Trello, or Jira are the command centers where plans are crafted, tasks are assigned, and progress is tracked. These tools bring order to the chaos, providing a centralized hub for the entire team to collaborate, share updates, and stay on top of their game.

(Source : Microsoft Project )

B. Gantt Charts and Critical Path Analysis

Imagine a visual roadmap that lays out the entire project timeline – that’s the power of Gantt Charts. Project Managers use these charts to break down tasks, set dependencies, and create a clear visual representation of the project schedule. Critical Path Analysis takes it a step further, identifying the most crucial tasks that, if delayed, could impact the overall project timeline. It’s like having a GPS for the project journey, ensuring a smooth route to success.

C. Risk Management Tools

No project is without its share of risks, and Project Managers are the risk mitigators. They employ Risk Management Tools to identify potential pitfalls, assess their impact, and develop strategies to minimize or eliminate them. Whether it’s financial uncertainties, resource shortages, or unexpected hiccups, these tools help Project Managers stay one step ahead, ready to navigate through any storm that may arise.

D. Communication and Collaboration Platforms

In the era of remote work and global teams, effective communication is more critical than ever. Project Managers harness Communication and Collaboration Platforms like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom to keep the channels open. These platforms become the virtual water cooler where team members chat, share updates, and brainstorm ideas. Seamless communication ensures that everyone is on the same page, no matter where they are in the world.

Armed with these tools and techniques, a Project Manager transforms into a modern-day maestro, orchestrating a symphony of tasks and ensuring that the project performance hits all the right notes. Each tool plays a unique role, contributing to the overall success of the project and making the Project Manager’s job a whole lot smoother.

Project Management Career Path and Development

Embarking on a career in project management? Buckle up for a journey that offers continuous growth and development. Here’s a roadmap to guide you on the path to becoming a seasoned Project Manager.

A. Educational and Professional Requirements

While there’s no one-size-fits-all route to project management, a solid educational foundation lays the groundwork.

Many Project Managers hold degrees in business, engineering, economics, or related fields. However, practical experience is equally vital. Starting in entry-level positions and gradually moving up the ranks allows you to understand the nitty-gritty of project dynamics.

B. Certification and Training Programs

Professional Certifications can expedite the career journey of a Project Manager. Certifications like

are industry-recognized stamps of expertise.

Training programs, whether online or in-person, provide valuable insights and keep you abreast of the latest trends and methodologies. Continuous learning is the name of the game, and these certifications are your tickets to staying relevant.

C. Advancement Opportunities in Project Management

As a Project Manager, the road doesn’t end; it forks into various exciting paths. You could specialize in areas like IT project management, construction project management, or even agile project management. Climbing the corporate ladder is another avenue – from Project Manager to Senior Project Manager and beyond, each step comes with new challenges and responsibilities. Some may transition into roles like Program Manager or Director of Project Management, steering the ship on a larger scale.

Remember, the beauty of project management lies in its adaptability. Whether you prefer a linear climb or wish to explore different facets of the profession, the opportunities are vast. It’s not just a career; it’s a dynamic expedition where every twist and turn brings new lessons and horizons to conquer. So, if you’re eyeing the helm, gear up for a thrilling journey in the ever-evolving world of project management.

Project Manager Role in Specific Fields – What does a Project Manager do in Construction, Healthcare, Environment, Information Technology

1.Construction

In the construction domain, a Project Manager oversees the entire project life cycle, from planning to completion. Their role includes coordinating with architects, contractors, and subcontractors, ensuring that projects adhere to timelines and budgets. Qualifications often include a bachelor’s degree in construction management or a related field, coupled with hands-on experience in the construction industry.

2. Healthcare

Project Managers in healthcare are instrumental in implementing new systems, managing facility expansions, or launching healthcare programs. They collaborate with medical professionals, IT specialists, and administrators to ensure projects align with healthcare regulations. A background in healthcare management, coupled with strong project management skills, is often sought after.

3. Environment Projects

For environment-focused projects, Project Managers play a crucial role in executing initiatives related to sustainability, conservation, or environmental impact assessments. They work with scientists, engineers, and regulatory bodies, ensuring compliance with environmental standards. A background in environmental science, coupled with project management expertise, is highly beneficial.

4. IT/ Information Technology

In the IT sector, Project Managers lead the charge in software development, system implementations, or IT infrastructure projects. They collaborate with developers, analysts, and stakeholders to define project scope and objectives. Qualifications typically include a degree in computer science or a related field, complemented by project management certifications like PMP or PRINCE2.

In all these fields, effective communication, problem-solving, and organizational skills are paramount. While educational backgrounds may vary, possessing industry-specific knowledge alongside robust project management capabilities is the winning combination for success. Project Managers in these fields are the navigators, ensuring projects sail smoothly in their respective industries.

How much does a Project Manager make – Project Manager Salaries

Here’s a brief overview of Project Manager salaries in the Construction and Information Technology fields across different countries.

In India, Project Manager salaries are generally more budget-friendly but can vary based on the city and the company’s scale. In the USA, salaries tend to be higher, reflecting the larger economy and the demand for skilled project managers. The UK falls in between, with salaries that are competitive and often dependent on the region.

The Average Project Manager Salary in India is ₹17,00000 per year as per Glassdoor and is in the range of 900,000 to 2100,000 per year.

Project Manager Salary Estimates

Note: Salaries are approximate and can vary based on factors such as experience, location, and the specific company.

These figures provide a rough estimate, and it’s always advisable to research specific industries, locations, and company policies for a more accurate understanding of Project Manager salaries in these regions and fields.

Well, that brings us to the end of this guide on project Management roles, skills, salaries, and more. Let us know in comments if you have a specific question about project management, and we will be happy to help you.

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Gaurav
Gaurav
With a trajectory spanning from engineer to Ex-President of Sales at Whitehat Jr, Gaurav Yadav is a dynamic leader and startup consultant. Armed with an MBA from the Indian School of Business, he scaled organizations to 5X+ multiples, hiring over 4000 team members. A strategic mind and influential CXO, Gaurav passionately guides careers and shapes startup growth strategies, leaving an indelible mark on every venture he touches.

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