The Role of Project Manager
In today’s business world, there are many different jobs that are all necessary to the success of a company. They range from the top-level executives down to the mailroom personnel. Their duties differ but all are essential. One very important position is that of project manager. It’s a term you have probably heard but what is the role of the project manager?
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The Project Manager
Project managers have a complex job and generally use software to help them accomplish their assignments. Many look to the king of software but there are a number of excellent Microsoft Project alternatives from which to choose.
Project managers oversee the entire process of any kind of business project. They supervise the team and manage all resources during planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, and closing out the project. They aim to successfully complete the project and stay within the budget. It can be a high-pressure job and is not for the faint of heart.
The Five Phases
The life cycle of a project has five phases and the project manager has multiple responsibilities in each.
- Initiating –During this first phase, the project manager identifies all of the stakeholders and develops a charter for the project.
- Planning – Planning is a big and vital phase in which the project manager puts together a schedule, assesses risks, determines the scope, and how much time, how many resources, and which employees will be needed.
- Executing – The execution phase is a busy time for the manager as all personnel working on it must be supervised, quality must be managed at every stage, and communication must be open and constant.
- Controlling and monitoring – Throughout the execution of the project, the manager must carefully monitor and control the costs, scope, and stakeholder engagements.
- Closing – When the project is complete the manager closes it by stopping all phases and closing procurement.
Project management is a big job that requires attention to detail and solid skills.
The Necessary Skills
To be effective at their jobs, good project managers need a specific set of skills. Some of these include:
- Recognizing the contributions of employees and encouraging them
- Maintaining integrity and accountability for everyone involved
- Be a strategic business partner
- Be totally committed to the success of the project
- Motivating and respecting all stakeholders
Possessing and employing these skills can help a manager guide projects to success.
The Project Manager Certifications
Like most careers, project management has certifications that teach vital skills and can open doors to employment opportunities. The Project Management Institute offers the most widely recognized certification and every manager should have one from this institution. Other certifications worth pursuing are the Certified Associate in Project Management and the Project Management Professional. There are also many free courses in project management for people who plan to work on open-source projects.
Project manager is a challenging and rewarding position with many responsibilities. A successful project manager must have key skills as well as training and certifications to successfully guide and complete the projects they are assigned.