What Does a Career in Project Management Look Like?
Even though a project manager's duties may vary depending on the industry, project managers are responsible for planning, executing, and overseeing a company’s project. Project management cuts across all sectors of the economy, from healthcare, energy, information technology (IT), and marketing and consulting to construction and engineering.
With the right skillset and qualifications, you can carve out a prosperous career as a project manager. To do that, however, you must first know what project management responsibilities entail and what a career as a project manager looks like.
Here’s what a project manager does.
1. Planning and Directing All Project Management Phases
Project managers are responsible for strategizing and establishing a work plan to kickstart a project. In a work plan, a project manager defines the project by identifying the objectives, scope, success criteria, and work schedule. This requires extensive consultations with other departments of a company, such as finance, IT, and human resources.
After defining the project’s objectives, a project manager will then identify potential risks, assumptions, and constraints. This braces the company for any setbacks they may encounter when implementing the project. It’s important to weigh all risk factors involved in a project so you can have a risk management plan as well.
2. Organizing the People Who Will Work in the Project
Having the right people on board will determine the success of your project. You must be able to attract and manage the best talents in your industry. If you think about it, directing a project is really about managing people. That’s why people management skills are vital in a project management position. Communication with team members and key stakeholders is crucial for keeping up with volatile circumstances and changing company initiatives.
Project managers don't only rely on a great cover letter to hire new talent. They use tried-and-tested interview tips when hiring employees to work on their projects as well. It’s estimated that most interview processes last for about 23 days on average. After acquiring the right personnel, you should then delegate duties appropriately to suit each employee’s skill set.
3. Calculating and Listing the Project’s Resources
It’s the duty of the project manager to know how much the project will cost in terms of resources and money. This calls for excellent accounting skills. You must estimate and document the project’s expenses from start to completion. These include human resource costs, material costs, market-entry costs, and a marketing budget. This will help you draw up a sound financial plan.
A good number of new projects fail or stall because they run out of money before project completion. A good project manager will avoid this by having a well-thought-out budget for their project. A solid budget should have room for miscellaneous or emergency expenses that cannot be predicted. For instance, if an earthquake, fire, epidemic, or another natural disaster affected your project’s progress, you should have some financial allowance to recoup the losses or damages and complete your project.
4. Establishing a Project’s Communication Plan
After establishing a sound work plan, bringing qualified staff on board, and having an accurate budget estimate, a project manager must develop a strong communication plan for their team. Poor communication amongst team members is a leading cause of project failure. As the project manager, you’re the liaison between your employees, the customers, and the stakeholders. You must develop a strong communication channel that keeps everybody involved in the project well-informed. This will increase work efficiency.
Today, companies and investors are looking for better ways to execute their projects with minimum downtimes and costs. This is why project management is one of the professional jobs that are in high demand in the modern economy. Project managers also earn a decent salary that varies depending on the industry.
For you to succeed as a project manager, you must be able to multitask and juggle multiple responsibilities. You must also have substantial finance knowledge, strong leadership skills, superior communication skills, and good people skills. Big and small companies alike are seeking professional project managers to help them plan and execute projects successfully.