The business world has gone dynamic and competitive; amongst all, a key challenge for project managers is to deal with the unexpected bombardment of events such as employee absenteeism, changes in project requirements, conflicts between team members, and many more…The more difficult part is that, not all of these events can be predicted and their impact is at times much stronger than it is anticipated. Coping up with all these challenges alongside driving the project to its defined objectives demands a strong skillset to diagnose things, and above all a critical and strategic mind.
For those aspiring project managers, this post brings an insight to the roles and responsibilities that a manager needs to perform. So let’s take a look at what it is about being a project manager:
Role of a project manager:
First and foremost, a project manager is a leader. He directs the team towards a common vision throughout the project lifecycle. He is the one who facilitates them with resources and frameworks to collaborate and work effectively. He coordinates with the team to solve issues and work towards integrating the goals and activities of all those involved in the project. He inspires them during difficult situations and keeps them focused towards meeting project objectives.
This is an informational role where the project manager performs two types of communications – one is formal in the form of presentations, meetings, etc. and the other one is informal communication in the form of email messaging, calling, etc. Typically, the manager has to provide team members with relevant, accurate and timely information, ensuring that right information reaches out the right people.
Coach and guide
In order to make team members fully understand their job responsibilities and tasks, a project manager must teach them the importance of their role and that how accomplishing their job well can promote their personal and professional growth over time.
For the successful completion of a project, availability of efficient and effective resources, both financial and human, is an absolute necessity. The project manager’s job is to identify such resources and get them on board, so that they can be utilized during the different phases of a project.
Managing the triple constraints
Objectives of every project should always be accomplished within these 3 constraints – Time, Cost and Scope. The time required to produce the final output, the cost or simply the amount of money to complete it and the scope i.e. the functional elements of the project. A manager must understand that it is highly crucial to recognize the functionality of these constraints and staying on the top of all the key attributes that relate to them.
Responsibilities of a project manager:
Project plan development
A project plan acts as a guide to implement and monitor its workflow and progress, Therefore, it is the duty of the project manager to ensure that the plan should be flexible and dynamic in nature, so that it can smoothly allow desirable changes in the project as it moves further.
Establish a project structure
Once the planning part is done, the next step is to organize different elements of the project to enhance its efficiency and effectiveness. The key consideration here is to identify the structure of the company, recognize the roles and positions that’d be needed to complete the project and to figure out the services that might be provided by the third parties. The main focus is to coordinate and to maintain the flow of information. Tasks should be delegated to the team members according to the nature of task and skillset of the individuals.
Now that the project has been organized, the next responsibility of the manager is to lead individuals as a team in a unified manner. It is important because a team consists of people having different skillsets, experiences, cultural beliefs and understanding levels. Making them work altogether in harmony contributes much towards the project’s success.
Keeping an eye on the progress of the project is critical to reach the final destination and achieve the defined goals. A project manager should know whether team’s efforts are contributing towards its growth or not. As team members are assigned their respective tasks, the manager should use tools and techniques to evaluate their performance and skillset. Along with that, he should track how far the project has reached and how far it needs to go till the final output comes out. For this, one can use online reports wherein project’s roadmap, burn up chart, resource utilization, etc. can give detailed information of its progress.
Proportioning roles and responsibilities together
As the project management process moves on, managers need to utilize their skills, experience and expertise to bring a project to a successful conclusion. Depending upon the size, complexity, phase and cultural diversity, the project manager should perform these roles and responsibilities, in combination or one at a time. In my opinion, a project manager needs not to be highly technical; but he should be an excellent communicator.