A project manager manages the activities needed to perform to achieve the desired outcome of a project. He plays a vital role in planning, executing, controlling, and completing the project. His abilities determine the success or failure of the project. He should be motivated, passionate and goal-oriented as the entire project team relies on him, and he must keep the team motivated and focused. Furthermore, the project manager brings everyone on the same track.
A project manager is the key member of the project team who leads the project, and its success or failure depends directly upon how the project manager performs his duties. Without his role, the project would be in complete chaos. He decides the roles and responsibilities of each project team member according to their skill set. Other responsibilities include planning the project, defining the timelines, understanding the scope, cost, and budget, and ensuring that the project can be completed within the agreed-upon time and budget.
A project manager is involved in every phase of the project life cycle and performs different tasks during each phase. The main responsibilities include:
- Project initiation
- Project Planning
- Project Execution
- Project Monitoring and Controlling
- Project Closing
A project manager initiates the project by introducing it to the project team and other stakeholders. In this stage, he defines the goal and purpose of a project so that everyone makes sure they are working for the project’s success. Furthermore, this role explains what a project is and its deliverables.
Once the project manager has introduced the project to the project team and other key stakeholders, he starts planning the project. The project planning includes defining what needs to be done in how much time and cost. In this step, he also determines the effort required to complete the project successfully. The project is divided into multiple tasks, and a deadline is defined for each task. In a nutshell, the project manager divides a project into various milestones during this phase.
Now that the milestones and deadlines are defined, it’s time to execute it. The project manager ensures that the project team gets started with the project’s development and is following the right path. During the project execution, he keeps an eye on the project team and the project’s progress.
Project Monitoring and Controlling
When the project is under development, the project manager keeps an eye on the performed activities. Furthermore, he monitors the project’s progress. Other activities in this stage include cost management, time management, and comparing the actual progress rate with the planned progress rate.
This is the last stage in a project’s life cycle. The project manager ensures that all the activities necessary to complete a project successfully have been performed and that the team has achieved the desired outcome. In this phase, he delivers the project to the client, releases the resources, closes the contracts, clears the invoices for any third-party vendors, and documents everything for future use.
Skills of the Project Manager
To be a project manager, one needs the following skills:
- Leadership Skills: You must lead a team to achieve specific goals.
- Communication Skills: Also known as soft skills, this skill is required to effectively communicate with the project team and other stakeholders.
- Organization Skills: Crucial skills to organize different activities and multitask to keep the project going.
- Critical Thinking: Must-have to analyze the project to identify the risks and issues that may occur during the project development.