Who are Project Managers and What Do They Do?

Organized, passionate, and goal-oriented are a few terms used to describe a project manager.

They are individuals who understand what projects have in common, and their strategic role in how organizations succeed, learn, and change. By using project management skills, project managers oversee projects that drive success. 

Project managers are change agents: they make project goals their own and use their skills and expertise to inspire a sense of shared purpose within the project team. They enjoy the organized adrenaline of new challenges and the responsibility of driving business results.

Additionally, project managers work well under pressure and are comfortable with change and complexity in dynamic environments. They can shift readily between the "big picture" and the small-but-crucial details, knowing when to concentrate on each.

Project managers cultivate the people skills needed to develop trust and communication among all of a project's stakeholders: its sponsors, those who will make use of the project's results, those who command the resources needed, and the project team members.

 

What Does a Project Manager Do?

Project Managers have a broad and flexible toolkit of techniques, resolving complex, interdependent activities into tasks and sub-tasks that are documented, monitored, and controlled. 

They adapt their approach to the context and constraints of each project, knowing that no "one size" can fit all the variety of projects. And they are always improving their own and their teams' skills through lessons-learned reviews at project completion.

Responsibilities of a Project Manager include: 

  • Defining the scope of a project as it relates to the overall business objectives and needs
  • Planning and monitoring each task throughout a project to ensure each item is completed in a timely manner. 
  • Managing the project resources including the team’s time and hours 
  • Communicating effectively on each status of the project to corresponding stakeholders
  • Foreseeing and eliminating possible blockers 
  • Documenting each step in the process using different project management tools available 
  • Ensuring top quality and success of a project 

 

Future of Project Managers

Project managers are found in every kind of organization -- employees, managers, contractors, and independent consultants. PMI offers the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certification as an opportunity to prove leadership experience and expertise in any way of working.

With continued experience, project managers may become program managers (responsible for multiple related projects) or portfolio managers (responsible for selection, prioritization, and alignment of projects and programs with an organization's strategy).

And they are in increasing demand worldwide. For decades, as the pace of economic and technological change has quickened, organizations have been directing more and more of their energy into projects rather than routine operations.

Today, senior executives and HR managers recognize project management as a strategic competence that is indispensable to business success. They know that skilled and credentialed practitioners are among their most valuable resources.

 

Learn the Basics of Project Management 

KICKOFF is a free, 45-minute digital course and tool kit that guides you through the basics of project management, so you can effectively launch your project(s) from start to finish. 

Get Kickoff

 

Learn the Basics of Project Management

KICKOFF is a free, 45-minute digital course and tool kit that guides you through the basics of project management, so you can effectively launch your project(s) from start to finish. 

 

Get Kickoff

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