Ever considered what project managers do? Of course, there's this joke that goes around that project managers and supervisors just need to see that the work gets done, and that's not really a big job! The project management career is more than just supervision and being the 'boss'!
Do you believe that the project manager's job is so easy? Not really; there's a lot that project managers do that may sound easy. But in reality, their tasks take a lot of time, effort, and dedication.
In this blog, I will introduce you to the career of a project manager. The blog will cover the responsibilities of a project manager, how a project is handled, and the qualities of a good project manager.
As someone with a few years of experience working as a project manager, I would definitely say this blog is a good place to start.
What do project managers do?
Project managers are responsible for overseeing the entire lifecycle of a project, from conception to completion, to ensure it is carried out effectively and successfully. Being the heads of ever-evolving teams, project managers are unlikely to have a set job description. Planning the project's steps, making a budget, managing the team, and talking to clients are all activities that might fill up a day.
According to the Association for Project Management (APM), which is the world's most successful chartered club organization representing the challenge management profession, the following core areas of responsibility fall under the purview of project managers:
- Working out a strategic plan for completing the necessary tasks.
- Deciding who will carry out the work and when it will be done.
- Identifying, analyzing, and managing potential risks in a project.
- Making certain that the work is finished at a level that is considered satisfactory (including meeting compliance and regulatory obligations).
- Providing inspiration and motivation to team members.
- Coordinating the team and clients to get everyone on the same page.
- Ensuring that the work is completed in accordance with the timeline and the budget.
- Adapting one's actions to new circumstances as necessary.
- Checking to see if a project lives up to its promises in terms of outcomes and advantages.
What are the project lifecycle duties for project managers?
Here is what the duties of a project manager look like in the entire project lifecycle:
Initiating the project
A project manager will initiate the activities that are required to launch a new project or a major new phase in an existing project. This can apply to both new projects and major new phases in existing projects.
Planning the project
They are in charge of the procedures that involve determining, creating, and planning the scope of the project, in addition to all of its other features, such as the budget, the timeline, and the procurement.
Executing the plan
In order to accomplish the predetermined business goals, project managers are responsible for putting the project plan into action, managing the procedures involved in carrying out the activities that are scheduled for the project, and handling all communications (both internal and external).
If you are a project manager and seeking an efficient tool, I suggest you check out the HubSpot project management tool.
Monitoring and tracking tasks
They are in charge of procedures that involve tracking and governance and attempt to maximize productivity, performance, and team member engagement in order to achieve their goals.
Closing and delivery of the project
They are in charge of the closing procedures that must be carried out in order to end and finish a project or a significant portion of an ongoing project.
It is important to note, once more, that project managers are not solely responsible for carrying out all the tasks in each of the many technique groups. This is hardly the work of a group. Team rotations, both in terms of frequency and make-up, are determined mostly by the nature of the mission at hand.
What are the qualities of a good project manager?
Being a project manager can be challenging. It is important to grasp a hold of what you need to do and develop the qualities required to be a good project manager. Those already working as project managers and those hoping to enter the profession must demonstrate the following qualities and abilities:
- Communication (including active listening)
- Continuous learning
In addition to this, project managers need to have excellent organizational, managerial, and delegating abilities. And despite the fact that they are not always expected to be "technical wizards" (unless this is significant to their project), they are required to use a wide variety of technology-driven equipment and systems, including cloud-based mission and portfolio control software.
What makes a "good" challenge manager?
How do you define a "good" challenge manager? According to an article published in the Harvard Business Review, researchers Carsten Lund Pedersen and Thomas Ritter classified project managers into four broad types: prophets, gamblers, experts, and executors.
A prophet is a type of project manager who looks for ways to expand a company's reach beyond its current strategic bounds and offers advice based on an expansive and audacious vision that is very different from the status quo. It is the goal of prophets to have their followers, and colleagues buy into their vision and, in some cases, have faith in it.
Gamblers or risk-takers are project managers who explore significant business opportunities within existing strategy parameters but who lack a solid business case — not due to ineptitude or sloth, but because reliable quantitative data concerning the possibility of success is now lacking.
Experts are project managers who look for new opportunities for their clients' businesses beyond their current strategy bounds. In contrast to Gamblers, however, they have access to reliable qualitative data on which to base a compelling business case.
Executors are project managers who, supported by robust data and a compelling business case, actively seek out business opportunities within the framework of the organization's present strategy. But unlike Experts, their end goal isn't always far-sighted; often, there isn't even much of a challenge or even any danger involved. The simple desire to carry out the deed is enough to explain the desire.
It may seem intelligent to have Experts and Executors as project managers in an organization. Pedersen and Ritter say a variety of task control styles is aggressive. It's smart to have all types in a company (even gamblers).
Organization leaders are encouraged to also let each project manager work to their abilities. When evaluating the opinions and suggestions of different project managers, keep in mind that they all have unique frameworks and paradigms. Expecting gamblers to be risk-averse is like expecting experts to forge ahead without a business case.
Understand that not all projects are ideal for all project managers. Using Experts and Executors instead of Prophets and Gamblers is likely to improve organizational health. Prophets and Gamblers explore new business prospects and push present restrictions.
Over to you!
If you are an aspiring project manager, I hope this blog was helpful to you. Project management is an interesting career, even though there are challenges that you have to face. As for me, I work using tools like HubSpot to keep my work organized. Similarly, a good project manager needs to find the right tools and team to successfully close a project.
Editor: Amrutha Varma