Using excellent interpersonal and organizational skills, a project manager is responsible for planning, executing, and closing a project all while serving as a guide or leader to their team members. Managers are natural leaders and organizational experts who keep their teams aligned by delegating and prioritizing specific tasks and keeping the overview. Here, we explore the primary responsibilities of a project manager.
Components of a project manager’s job
Defining the project scope: the project manager works with stakeholders to define the project’s goal, deliverables, and timelines. Usually the project manager write an elaborate briefing in which the project is explained, it's important that each team member reads this so everyone in the team is aligned and can start collaborating.
Designing a project plan: the project manager creates a detailed plan that outlines the tasks, resources, timelines and deadlines required to complete the project successfully. Usually tasks are being tracked in a project management tool which has a Kanban task tracking functionality.
Assigning tasks: the project manager assigns tasks appropriately to team members who can best complete them and ensures that everyone has the necessary resources and information to complete their work. Tasks are assigned in such a way that the project goals will be reached as efficiently as possible.
Monitoring progress: the project manager tracks progress throughout the project. The manager identifies and addresses issues or bottlenecks that arise during the project. If such problems occur they are usually resolved by improving team communication and collaboration.
Controlling costs and budgeting: the manager is responsible for managing the project budget, ensuring that resources are used effectively and efficiently. If a project takes longer than expected costs will rise, so it's of uttermost importance for a project manager to keep everything on track but also making sure not to micro manage.
Communication with stakeholders: the project manager communicates regularly with stakeholders/clients to provide updates on progress, address concerns, and manage expectations. They also serve as a pathway of communication between the team and the stakeholders. They need to keep everyone at both sides happy.
Managing risks: the project manager identifies potential risks to the project and develops strategies to mitigate them. Some risks and delays cannot be prevented, in that case it's important that the manager clearly communicates this to the client and makes sure he or she has the proper arguments/reasons.
Leading the team: the project manager provides leadership and guidance to the project team, encouraging collaboration and fostering a positive team environment. The project manager is usually the one that spends most time in the project management tool (eg. Asana, Clickup, Hello Ivy, Basecamp, Monday, etc…)
Resolving conflicts: project managers are experts in conflict resolution so, if a conflict between team members arises, they step in to diffuse and create a solution. It's extremely important that the manager is on top of this and identifies these kind of problems in time.
Closing the project: The project manager ensures that all project deliverables have been completed and that the project is closed out in an orderly and efficient manner. They ensure all tasks from staff members are completed and they get final approval from the stakeholders.
A project manager wears many hats, yet is not an expert in every detailed aspect of the project; that’s what the other team members are for! Overall, a project manager is critical in ensuring that projects are completed successfully, on time, and within budget. A project manager has a bird's eye view of the project.