What does a project manager do?
Their job is to oversee a project’s progress, communicate with stakeholders, and ensure that stakeholders’ needs are met. They also aid in the planning, managing, and completing of a project or task. They ensure that the project is completed according to specifications and all the specified deliverables.
The exact duties will depend on the industry they are working in and what kinds of projects they are overseeing. However, irrespective of the organisation they work for, there are responsibilities that they must adhere to based on a “project life cycle.”
This article will give you an overview of the four prominent roles of a project manager and their key responsibilities.
This is the first step in the project life cycle. Before assigning a team to a task, they must determine the nature of the job – create a brief. A brief, also known as the scope, provides an overview of the information needed to complete a task. They would then select the department within an organisation that would be responsible for executing the task. The information included in the brief has the budget, the type of outcome the project is expected to produce, what would make the project successful, who the stakeholders involved are, the main requirements for the project, and the things within and not within the scope. An essential element to look at would also be whether a similar project was executed before and its results. Was it successful, and what can be learned from past campaigns?
Once an internal stakeholder has approved the brief, planning occurs. They must create a project plan outlining the goals that must be met. Core KPIs for each phase of the project are created. The project plan should be flexible and regarded as a living document that the relevant stakeholders would use to make necessary changes as needed throughout the project.
This is where the magic happens. The team members are actively working on the assigned tasks outlined by the project plan. Based on the KPIs set out in the planning phase, they would ensure that the campaign is moving according to the KPIs and the allocated budget. But this only happens once the team has been assigned relevant tasks. If any issues arise during the execution phase, the team will flag this with the project manager, who will then try to facilitate the issue resolution. They would also check in with teams regarding progress made and may record this progress for future purposes when they monitor the strengths and weaknesses of the campaign.
Before calling it “a wrap,” a few things must be taken care of first. They would meet with the client, who would formally sign off that the project is finished. If there is a leftover budget, this can be given back to the client, or they can save it for another campaign. A final review must occur with the various stakeholders involved and ensure any external personnel are paid. The project is archived for future reference and use.
After working hard, they are required to set up a meeting with those involved and reflect on the wins and losses of the campaign. Good questions to ask are, “what could we do differently? What was successful? What can we learn from our recent campaign?”
Project managers form an integral part of any business. This job requires attention to detail, self-management and excellent time management skills. Some days may be stressful, but they can also be rewarding.