What Does a Project Manager Do?

what does a project manager doProject managers are employed to ensure the efficient completion of projects within an organization. The projects they are employed to run are as diverse as industry itself and projects range from building large city infrastructures to the development and design of tiny apps for a company. What makes project management different from normal operations management is that a project is defined as a temporary task to achieve a specific goal. Once the project is successfully implemented, a project manager will generally move on to the next project either within the same organization or within a new organization.

Essentially, no matter what project or industry you are involved in, the project manager is responsible for planning, organizing, controlling and motivating staff to ensure the project is completed. For a basic introduction to what a project manager does and what project management is all about, register for this Introduction to Project Management course now.

Skills and traits of a successful project manager

Because of the diverse nature of projects and organizations, the specific skills of a project manager may vary but there are a few skills and traits that every project manager should have.

  • A project manager must be a great communicator.

To define the scope of the project, to ensure that all the stakeholders have been taken into account and to ensure the smooth running of the project, a project manager must be able to communicate the project goals and scope of the project effectively.

  • A project manager must be able to work well with people.

No matter what project you are working on, a project manager must be able to work well with people and must be able to lead people to the successful conclusion of the project.

  • A project manager must be able to see the big picture but focus on the details.

As the project manager you must possess the skills to be able to see the overall scope of the project but at the same time, you need to be able to keep track of the details of the project to ensure that the project remains on track, on time and on budget.

  • A project manager must be highly organized.

The documentation process is an integral part of any project and a project manager must be highly organized to be able to document the project from inception to completion.

If you feel you possess these traits, then why not boost your career as a project manager and sign up for the Project Management Professional PMP® Certification Training course and get on track to obtain your certification as a Project Management Professional.

The Different Approaches to Project Management

What a project manager does and how project managers approach a project is determined by the approach and certifications obtained by the project manager. There are a number of different project management certifications and approaches but the most popular approaches include:

  • The traditional approach

  • The SDLC approach

  • The Prince2 certification and approach

  • The PMI certification and approach

Let’s take a look at each of these in detail:

  • The traditional approach to project management

The traditional approach to project management has developed over time along with the role of the project manager. The traditional approach is most often used as a teaching guideline for project managers rather than a concrete approach to project management today.

According to the traditional approach to project management, project management phases include:

  1. Initiation

  2. Project planning and design

  3. Execution and construction

  4. Monitoring and controlling

  5. Completion

Using the traditional approach, project managers would be responsible for each phase of the project mentioned above. The project manager would initialize the project to determine the scope of the project, they would be involved in the planning and design of the project. The project manager would ensure smooth execution of the project and then monitor the project to completion.

  • The SDLC Approach

The Systems or Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) project approach was developed for and is best suited for software development projects. The duties of the project manager are defined by the various processes within the SDLC approach and a project manager would be in charge of managing these processes. The SDLC is described as a waterfall model because each phase trickles down into the next phase of the project.

What a project manager would do on a SDLC project would be defined by the phases as follows:

  1. Requirements – The project manager would define the requirements including what the user wants to do

  2. Design – The project manager would break down those requirements to see how to implement the project

  3. Implementation – The project manager would then create documentation and plans to ensure the construction or coding of the project can begin

  4. Verification – The project manager would set up the scope for testing the project to ensure it meets the project requirements and scope

  5. Maintenance – The project manager would set up systems to ensure efficient maintenance of the project going forward

  • The Prince2 Certification and approach

Unlike the SDLC which is limited to well-defined projects, the Prince2 approach can be used for a wide variety of projects. The Prince2 project management approach was developed by the UK government and the PRINCE2 approach is an accredited certification. The Prince2 is a process driven approach to project management and what a project manager does, is determined by the processes, principles and themes taught in the Prince2 certification.  The Prince2 approach is based on 7 processes, 7 principles and 7 themes.

If you are interested in pursuing a Prince2 certification to take your project management career to the next level , then sign up for the PRINCE2® Foundation Course which will prepare you for the Prince2 Foundation certification exams.

  • The PMP certification and the PMI approach

The PMI (Project Management Institute) offers the Project Management Professional certification which is one of the most popular approaches and certifications within the Project Management field. The PMI is one of the largest project management associations in the world and the certification is a widely recognized by industry as the leading project management certification.

What a project manager does in terms of the PMI is defined by the processes recognized by the PMI. A project manager is in control of the following project phases:

  1. Initiating the project

  2. Planning the project

  3. Executing the project

  4. Monitoring and controlling the project

  5. Closing the project

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a project manager, then sign up for the Project Management – PMP Online Training course and start your journey to obtaining a prestigious PMP qualification today.