Planning and organizing, managing tasks, budgeting, controlling costs, and other factors, so that the project can be completed within the approved budget and timeframe.
- Planning and organizing
- It is making use of productivity tools and creating processes. you might need to use certain tools and develop processes to improve information sharing across the team
- You may also need to create plans, timelines, schedules, and other forms of documentation to track project completion, and you’ll usually need to maintain those documents throughout the entirety of the project.
- As a project manager, you will use timelines and schedules to ensure your team completes the project on time.
- Budgeting and controlling costs, and other factors.
- As the project is underway, changes to the plan and budget are bound to come up.
- This will require you to monitor and manage the budget, track issues and risks as they arise, and manage quality by mitigating those issues and risks.
- One way to do this is by removing unforeseen barriers that come up. Now, by barriers, we mean things that can get in the way of project progress.
- Managing tasks
- Keeping track of tasks is a great way to help manage the team’s workload and ensure that things are getting done.
- Keeping track of tasks is also a great tool for demonstrating progress to people outside the immediate team, like your stakeholders.
A project task is an activity that needs to be accomplished within a set period of time by you, your team, or your stakeholders.
Core job responsibilities of project managers
Basically, as the project manager, you will be responsible for tracking the day-to-day details of the project, but you will also have an opportunity to step back and see the bigger picture of the overall project. Depending on the project and organization, you may also have responsibilities that utilize your interpersonal skills.
- Teaching and mentoring:
- As a project manager, you can serve as a mentor to your team. When you take the time to fully explain the expectations, you eliminate rework, confusion, and frustration. Mentoring and teaching others the lessons that you, as a project manager, have learned allows your team to make better choices and build on your experience. Mentoring also involves supporting each individual on your team in meeting expectations and helping them to exceed their own sense of personal potential.
- Building relationships
- Relationships are everything! Getting to know your team members lets them know that you care about them as people, not just employees. Taking the time to build relationships with your customers, clients, vendors, and other stakeholders is equally important. Dedicate time to checking in with people. Pay attention to the insights they offer you about their work style since their actions can inform how to most effectively interact with them. Ask about their lives beyond the project, and then follow up on those discussions later on to show your interest. When you foster these relationships, you are all more invested in the success of your project.
- Controlling change
- “The only thing that never changes is that everything changes.” This applies to projects as well. Projects change as you continue to understand the expectations and the needs of our stakeholders. As a project manager, you need to remain flexible and adjust to the stakeholders’ needs. However, it is also important to protect your team from constant change and rework. A good way to do this is by documenting the initial expectations of the project and clearly identifying the changes being requested. It is also helpful to understand the budget and schedule impact of the changes and make sure that the stakeholders understand those impacts. As the project manager, you are responsible for protecting your team.
- Empowering your team
- We all enjoy being heard and appreciated in our careers. Giving your team the ability to work directly with the stakeholders and their teams lets them know that you trust and believe in their skills! One of the best things about empowering your team is getting fresh ideas and passionate employees willing to help find solutions to problems. Another way you can empower your team is by delegating responsibilities to them, allowing them to make some decisions for the project, and using their input in the planning and execution of the project. Effective mentoring often leads to more empowered teams.
- Communicating status and concerns
- As a project manager, communication is everything. With effective communication, you can work together with your team to find solutions to challenges. The project manager sets the tone for the project. Maintaining an open door policy and building trust within your team and among stakeholders—all while staying positive—will help the success of the project.
A project manager is not often the direct manager of the people working on a project team. we’re discussing the project manager as someone who manages the tasks of a project.
- With the help of your team, you can get a lot more done together. Everyone on your team will have their own set of roles and responsibilities. And you’ll come together to ensure that everyone is able to do their part to advance the project.
- Each person will be an expert on their portion of the project, but no one will be an expert on every aspect of the project, and honestly, neither will you.
- Project managers are responsible for guiding the team. To do that well, they need to ensure that the team has the support they need to complete the project.
- Your job isn’t to be the expert on everything. Instead you’re responsible for guiding your team and making sure that they have the support that they need in order to complete the project.
Interpersonal skills are the behaviours you use to interact with others, such as communication, active listening, and leadership.
Required responsibilities you might find in a job listing.
- Hold all team members accountable for their assigned tasks.
- Managing tasks will help you hold your team members accountable by giving them ownership over specific pieces of the project.
- Ensure that issues and risks are tracked and visible, and be able to establish escalation paths.
- Escalation paths means you should know how you will communicate risks to the right people at the right time.
- Understand and help teammates adopt the right workflows and project management styles.
- As the project manager, you’ll likely have the best idea of which style is best for the work. It’s your job to ensure that the team adheres to that style and the other systems in place.
- Collaborate with other teams at the organization to meet the requirements based on project, scope, schedule, and budget.
- In other words, a project may affect not only your team, but other teams at an organization, as well as, say, the marketing or the finance team. So you’ll need to work with those teams to ensure that everyone is happy with the project outcomes.
A project manager isn’t always the direct manager of each member of the project team. Rather, they’re responsible for guiding those people and ensuring they have the support they need to complete the project.
A cross-functional team includes team members who have different backgrounds, types of expertise, and job functions. Even though these team members have different skill sets, occupy different roles, and may even work in different departments, they are all working towards a common goal: the successful completion of your project.
- Sometimes the members of a cross-functional team are referred to as “T-shaped professionals.” They are skilled in how to collaborate and innovate with those in different job functions and across different departments, but they also contribute their own specific areas of expertise. Each member of a cross-functional team has their own unique perspective and experience, bringing different ideas and strategies to the project.
Working with cross-functional teams
It requires the project manager to:
- Clarify goals
- When working with cross-functional teams, it is important to ensure that each member of the team understands their role, how they support each other, and the common goals of the project. It is vital to set clear goals for the team and make sure that the team understands those goals.
- Be direct and concise, avoiding extraneous details and explanations. When communicating task or project goals, make sure you define key items, such as budget, deadlines, quality requirements, or important resources. Ensure your team members understand task and project goals by encouraging them to ask questions and clarify information. It will be up to you to continuously check in with your team to make sure they’re all moving towards their goals, staying on track, and completing quality work.
- Cross-functional teams may work in different departments, be in different physical locations, and have different leadership, but all team members work together with the project manager to support the current project. Your project may be competing against other priorities, so communicating clearly and often with your team—and vice versa—helps you identify any potential issues or concerns before they arise.
- Get team members with the right skills
- As the project manager, you must help ensure that your team has the right people with the right skill sets needed for the project to succeed.
- Measure progress
- Showing your team how much they have accomplished helps keep them motivated. Take the time to measure and communicate the project’s progress across the cross-functional team. This helps everyone see the full picture and recognize their impact on the project. You can measure progress in many ways, including meeting key milestones, completing project tasks, and meeting project goals on time and within budget.
- Regularly communicate with your team members to check on their progress. Ask them if they anticipate being finished on time. If not, ask how you can help them succeed. Keep track of the team’s progress throughout the project by documenting when tasks and goals are completed, and let your team members know if the project is on track or not. Make sure you communicate successes, delays, or issues, to the team so they know how the project is progressing.
- Recognize efforts
- Sometimes, when you work with cross-functional teams, there are certain skills that get recognized more than others.
- As a project manager, it is your job to make sure that each member of your cross-functional team recognizes the value of their efforts each step of the way. You have learned the importance of building relationships with stakeholders, and building relationships with your cross-functional team members is just as important. Learning what makes your team members feel supported, giving and taking feedback, and being mindful of each individual’s background, personal identifiers, and work style can help mediate some of the differences among team members.
Being able to communicate clearly with team members, clarify the goals of the project, get team members with the right skills, measure team progress, and recognize team members’ efforts is an important part of your role as the project manager, and is key to your project’s success.
A cross-functional project team is a team that has diverse skill sets and works toward a common goal. It’s helpful if your team has members with different skills and experiences. This diversity will make your team more likely to overcome multiple challenges.
Budgeting and controlling costs are how a project manager oversees the financial components of a project and mitigates project issues and risks as they come up. Project managers are in charge of overseeing the resources a team needs to complete a project and how much it will cost.
Managing tasks is how a project manager has their team complete activities within a set period of time. By managing tasks, project managers will ensure the activities to complete the project are getting done by team members.
Planning and organizing are how a project manager makes use of productivity tools and creates processes. They also create and maintain plans, schedules, and other forms of documentation to track project completion. As a project manager, you will be in charge of how your team shares information and communicates progress.