Project Manager Skills and Duties (With Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 10 September 2022 | Published 12 June 2021

Updated 10 September 2022

Published 12 June 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Project managers are essential in every industry, as they ensure the efficient use of resources to deliver results and minimise wastage and delays. As a project manager, you need a range of skills and expertise to handle the duties of the job. Understanding project management can help you decide whether this profession is ideal for your experience and career aspirations. In this article, we discuss what a project manager is, how to become one, as well as the duties and salary expectations.

Related: 20 Project Manager Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

What is a project manager?

A project manager defines the tasks that are necessary to execute a project and distributes the activities across relevant departments. Project managers are also responsible for motivating their coworkers to ensure that they complete their assigned tasks within the project's stipulated time and budget. With the guidance of a project manager and the cooperation of other employees, companies can achieve their projected goals quickly.

Project manager duties and responsibilities

The project manager's duties and responsibilities can be divided into the following phases:

1. Initiation phase

The duties in this phase include:

Project charter

In the initiation phase, the project manager creates a project charter. A project charter is a document that explains what the project is all about. It includes the problem the project addresses and the solution the project will provide. A well-drafted project charter clearly expresses the project's purpose, scope, and vision to anyone who reads it.

Identifying stakeholders

The project manager must also identify stakeholders in the project at the initiation phase. Project stakeholders may range from team members to the company's target market. Identifying your project stakeholders early will help you define the essential tasks, customer needs, and government laws that may affect the project.

2. Planning phase

Activities in the planning phase include:

Project management plan

A project manager drafts a project management plan in the planning phase. Avoid confusing the project charter with a project management plan. While a project management plan states how to carry out the project, a project charter focuses on the project itself. A project management plan often contains the proposed budget, time, and resources needed to achieve success in the project.

Scope management

After developing the project management plan, the project manager must determine how to distribute the tasks and resources among team members. They should ensure that they only allocate these resources and responsibilities to suitable employees to finish the project on time. If the organisation is a small business with inexperienced employees, the project manager must provide guidance during the project.

Time management

It's the responsibility of the project manager to develop project schedules, organise constituent tasks, and specify the duration for each activity.

Quality management

In a bid to complete tasks within a particular time, employees may deliver substandard results. Project managers dictate the expected quality of each product to guide the performance of their team members.

Budget management

Project managers determine the cost of project resources and estimate the total budget. They also manage expenses to ensure completion of the project within the budget.

Communication management

A project manager ensures that all team members understand what the project entails. They remind their teams of the project objectives, implement communication channels for team discussions, and encourage employees to use them whenever they encounter obstacles.

Procurement management

A project manager collects the resources needed to execute the project. Some project managers may delegate their team members to get project materials on their behalf. This also involves working and building relationships with suppliers and vendors to manage cost and prevent delays.

Risk management

A project manager understands that risks are inevitable in the course of a project and outlines precautionary actions to curb these risks.

Human resource management

Project managers recruit members for their teams and distribute project tasks among them. Alternatively, they can form their teams with existing company employees.

Related: What Are Technical Skills?

3. Execution phase

The execution phase refers to the stage where project managers implement the actions and methods in the project management plan.

4. Monitoring phase

Project managers guide and supervise their teams to complete the project in the monitoring phase.

5. Closing phase

In the closing phase, the project manager concludes the project, analyses the results, and submits the final product to their employer.

Project management skills

Certain skills are essential to become a successful project manager. These skills include:

Adaptability

Sometimes, clients may request changes in an ongoing project. A project manager should know how to adjust the team's plans to suit the employer's requests. Companies may expect their in-house project managers to take on multiple projects. Project managers should be able to learn new skills if they are crucial to attaining project goals.

Organisation

Efficient project managers are skilled at prioritising tasks in a manner that increases their productivity. They can determine the importance of each function by analysing their goals and decide where to place each activity on their to-do list.

Leadership

Project managers must be willing and able to provide direction to their employees on a project. They should know how to set goals, analyse team performance, and determine effective ways to improve the competencies of their team members.

Related: Types of Leadership Styles

Problem-solving

It's vital for project managers to define the problem that their project is trying to solve clearly to avoid confusion and misunderstandings. Skilled project managers can also proffer lasting solutions to the stated problem and create strategies to help them achieve those solutions.

Communication

A project manager should be able to convey the expectations of clients to their team members. Project managers who have effective communication skills can criticise the work of their employees without discouraging them. Because they encourage employees to be open with them, effective communicators often have a good awareness of the current status of their project.

Related: How to Improve Communication Skills (With Definition and Examples)

Motivation

Project managers should know how to encourage their team members to work harder on their assigned tasks. Motivation involves rewarding your team members when they deliver excellent results. You may also expose them to opportunities for professional development and give them tasks that challenge their abilities.

Risk management

Competent project managers are skilled at taking calculated risks and developing precautions to avert unforeseen disasters. Before you take a risk, you must evaluate the impact of your decision on your project and your team members.

Project manager jobs

The following jobs are available to certified project managers:

Mechanical project manager

A mechanical project manager is responsible for organising and monitoring the tasks in a construction project. Mechanical project managers ensure that all construction workers comply with national safety and labour regulations while working on a project. To become a mechanical project manager, you may need a minimum of an associate degree in engineering and five years of experience in construction project management.

IT project manager

The duty of an IT project manager is to supervise the delivery of technological products, like mobile phones, to ensure that they meet government standards and customers' shipping deadlines. An IT project manager may also coordinate communication between teams and departments of technical companies. Aspiring IT project managers may need a bachelor's degree in software engineering, five years of project management experience, and certification in technical frameworks like Agile.

Financial project manager

Financial project managers supervise projects that are related to revenue, cash flow, and expenses. They may also be in charge of developing budgets for projects in other departments within a company. If you want to become a financial project manager, you should get a bachelor's degree in business management or other finance-related courses. Competence in financial cloud-based software may increase your chances of getting employed.

E-commerce project manager

E-commerce project managers coordinate the development of e-commerce systems. In addition, they suggest improvements to current e-commerce programs and supervise the implementation of new programs. You may need a bachelor's degree in mathematics, physics or project management to get a job as an e-commerce project manager. Some companies also require their e-commerce project management candidates to possess a two-year experience in project management.

Related: How to Overcome 4 Common Job Search Barriers

Assistant project manager

Assistant project managers provide support to project managers in scheduling team meetings, monitoring the status of projects, and contacting stakeholders. To get a job as an assistant project manager, you may require an associate or bachelor's degree in project management.

Lead project manager

A lead project manager oversees multi-departmental projects. Lead project managers also offer guidance to individual project managers when they face obstacles in their jobs. A minimum of 10 years' experience in overseeing diverse projects is desirable for applicants for lead project management roles.

Interactive project manager

Interactive project managers supervise all activities involved in creating a website or mobile application. A bachelor's degree in software science may be helpful for aspiring interactive project managers.

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