Project Manager Responsibilities
The key to success is often leadership – it’s a manager’s job to ensure that everything is organized and goes as planned. Project management involves much more than just overseeing the implementation of a project. Proper planning is needed to see a project through from beginning to end.
The first thing a project manager needs to do before anything else is to make meticulous plans before implementing a solution. A project manager’s main objective is making sure that the project is a success. Below we have outlined some of the key responsibilities of a project manager.
One of the first things that needs to be done is define goals to give the project a clear direction. If you are building a website this may include an inventory of every page and element on the site. Often the scope of the project will already be defined before any work or money exchanges hands.
Part of this also includes identifying stakeholders. A stakeholder can include clients, sponsors or anybody else that has a vested interest in the project. Defining goals involve the creation of a list things the stakeholders need to be happy in order of importance. This will require some investigation and feedback from stakeholders. After some concrete goals are defined, you can move on to the next step.
Deliverables are what the project will produce and these will depend on the nature of the work being done. If we continue on with the web development example, deliverables will be things like web content, web applications and site management. For a farmer deliverables could be 10 tons of green beans. You get the idea. Deliverables should have a tentative delivery date that can be set in stone later on.
Make a Schedule
Scheduling is one of manager’s biggest responsibilities. This not only involves the scheduling of tasks and due dates, but also meetings, personnel, milestones and so on. Managers need to calculate the duration of they expect to finish tasks and the resources needed for this to happen.
After these things are figured out, the work to prepare the deliverable(s) can begin. At this time it’s a good idea to come up with a firm delivery date. Today there are tons of free and premium scheduling software. Microsoft Azure, Basecamp and others can be great tools to support your project. Shop around for a solution that fits.
Manage Human Resources
The project manager is responsible for getting a team of people together to produce the deliverables. This includes identifying anyone involved in producing deliverables. This can be employees, volunteers, steak holders or anybody affiliated with the project.
Identify who will be part of the core team and figure out who to delegate responsibilities to. Everyone should have a clear role within the project. Details like starting dates, due dates, milestones and expectations are all part of managing human resources.
Ensure Effective Communication
A document that identifies all parties involved in the project that need to communicate back and forth needs to be drawn up. This will clear up any questions people may have. Define roles, access, privileges and protocol for communications regarding the project. All the elements supporting communication need to be taken into account and addressed. This can include things like emails, cloud solutions and group discussions.
Assessing risk is something that should be a recursive part of each step when planning and implementing a project. You have to identify any possible risks as well as new ones as they pop up. This should not be overlooked. A log of risks should be kept and regularly reviewed.
For the stakeholders, the bottom line is usually the most important part of success. It’s a manager’s job to make sure everything is working within the budget as well as reasonably meeting deadlines. Even the best laid plans of mice and men go awry. Plans may have to be refined over and over to adjust to real world conditions.