Many companies and organizations today establish a project management team to carry out a number of project-related tasks and responsibilities. Project management tasks and responsibilities certainly vary between project, stakeholder, and industry.
Project management is where it’s at today. Being a certified project manager and having extensive technical and project management skills, abilities, and experience is proven to be extremely vital and a huge asset to companies today. So what is a project manager anyway?
The Scope of a Project Manager. Again, this heavily depends on the industry in which a project manager works, but in short. He or she is the heart and soul of a project. A successful project manager takes in new information from a particular stakeholder, and carries through the necessary steps in the project life cycle to the outcome and delivery of the project to the customer.
There are also more fine-tuned, detailed tasks in between the steps as well such as drafting, following, and managing schedules and deadlines, as well as project milestones; managing budgets and following company profit and loss or P&Ls; identifying, managing, and responding to risk; and analyzing, managing, and overseeing stakeholder requirements and ensuring they are visible and met appropriately upon delivering the project at the end.
A Good Leader. Aside from all the logistics and details of project management itself, a good and successful project manager is also a good leader. He or she will work with team members, vendors, other functional areas within the organization, or all of the above on projects of different size, level, and complexity, and encourage participants in the project to succeed as team members both on the project and in their careers.
Project managers should keep in mind that managers manage projects, clients, talent, and resources. Leaders also manage those same things, but encourage colleagues and team members to strive to be better team members.
Project Execution and Plan of Attack. How a project manager manages a project and the decisions he or she makes is a reflection on what a project manager does and how well he or she performs. While many organizations have set work breakdown structures that each project manager needs to carry out with each project, a large part of project management is also about creativity and is open to interpretation, specifically regarding the logistics and details of how a particular project is carried out and even with problem-solving. Project managers need to be able to keep a level head during challenging projects, any change in specifications, risk levels, or steps that lead to schedule delays as well as an open mind in how to address problems and solve them.
All in all, being a project manager is an extremely important role and one that requires a lot of attention, organization, management and leadership qualities, and communication. Even though those responsibilities can vary greatly between industry and organization, the core of project management is still true. Managing and overseeing the overall project scope, acting as a leader while managing a project and customer specifications and expectations, and developing your own project execution plan style and plan of attack are all pertinent to the larger realm of project management.