Who is a Project Manager?
A project manager is a person who has the overall responsibility for the successful planning, initiation, design, execution, monitoring, controlling, and closure of the project. Construction, petrochemical, architecture, information technology, and many different industries that produce products and services use this job title. Projects are naturally unpredictable, the project manager should know how to make adjustments along the way as needed before the project reaches its final stages. Project managers help in evaluating potential problems and technical hitches and developing solutions.
What key skills should a project manager have?
Project managers must have a combination of skills including the ability to ask penetrating questions, detect unstated assumptions and resolve conflicts as well as more general management skills. Key among a project manager’s duties is the recognition that risks directly impact the likelihood of success and that this risk must be both formally and informally measured throughout the lifetime of a project.
What are the risks associated with any project?
Risk arises from uncertainty, and the successful project manager is the one who focuses on this as a primary concern. Most of the issues that impact a project result in one way or another from risk. A good project manager can lessen the risk significantly often by adhering to a policy of open communication, ensuring every significant participant has an opportunity to express opinions and concerns. A project manager is a person who is responsible for making decisions both large and small. Project managers have to make sure that they control risk and minimize uncertainty. Every decision they make must directly benefit their project
Roles and responsibilities of a project manager.
The role of a project manager encompasses many activities including:
1) Activity and resource planning:
Planning is instrumental in meeting project deadlines and many projects fail due to poor planning. First and foremost, good project managers define the project scope and determine available resources. They know how to realistically set time estimates and evaluate the team’s capabilities. Then they create a clear and concise way to both execute the project and monitor its progress. Projects are naturally unpredictable, so a good project manager should know how to make adjustments along the way as needed before the project reaches its final stages.
2) Organizing and motivating a project team:
Project managers should not get their teams bogged down with elaborate spreadsheets, long checklists, and whiteboards, instead, they put their team front and center, they develop clear straightforward plans that stimulate their teams to reach their full potential. They cut down on bureaucracy and steer down their teams on a clear path to the final goal.
3) Controlling and time management:
Clients usually judge a project’s success or failure on whether it has been delivered on time therefore meeting deadlines are non-negotiable. Good project managers know how to set realistic deadlines and how to communicate them consistently to their teams. They know how to effectively do the following i.e. define activities, sequence activities, estimate the duration of activities, develop a schedule and maintain a schedule.
4) Cost estimating and developing the budget:
Good project managers know how to keep a project within its budget even if the project meets the client expectations and is delivered on time it will still be a failure if it goes over budget. Project managers should frequently review the budget and plan ahead to avoid massive budget overruns
5) Customer support and satisfaction:
In the end the project is only a success if the customer is happy, one of the key responsibilities of every project manager is to minimize uncertainty, avoid any unwanted surprises and involve their clients as much as reasonably possible.
Good project managers know how to maintain effective communication and keep the company’s clients updated
6) Analysing and managing project risk:
The bigger the project is, more likely there are to be hurdles and pitfalls that weren’t part of the initial plan. Hiccups are inevitable, but good project managers know how meticulously and almost intuitively, identify and evaluate potential risks before the project begins. They know how to then avoid risks, or at least minimise the impact.
7) Monitoring Progress:
During the initial stages, project managers and their teams have a clear vision and high hopes of producing the desired results, however the path to the finish line is never without some bumps along the way. When things don’t go according to a plan. A project manager needs to monitor and analyse both expenditures and team performance and to always efficiently take corrective measures.
8) Managing Reports and necessary documentation:
Finally, experienced project managers know how essential final reports and proper documentation are. Good project managers can present comprehensive reports, Documenting all project requirements to fulfil. As per the project’s history, including what was done, who was involved and what could be done better in the future.
For a project to be successful, it requires a complete team effort. The roles and responsibilities assigned to the team members could be small or huge but at the end of the day every role and responsibility matters as it’s a collective team effort. It is the effort that drives the project on the successful path. Project Managers and project management team are like the two faces of a coin. Hence for the success of the project, whole team need to work efficiently.