Project managers are often stigmatized as your ‘suit-and-tie in a dashing car’ comrade who often flashes a commanding smile in any office hallways. Sometimes, we see them as the authority of the floor accompanied by morning coffees as mandatory ritual while their hands are busy plucking over documents.
Probably yes, probably no. But this isn’t a telenovela after all.
The stereotypical image of a workplace manager has gone long declining since the inception of virtual technology. Although the sophistication of employees is an ingrained culture — proper grooming and demeanor — it is the power mindset and skills set that makes them the managers that they are. Nowadays, with the advent of digitalization, project managers project their critical image as a business foundation rather than a walking flowerpot for everyone’s sight.
Many find themselves confused about what a project manager does because the role itself sounds prominent and demanding. Albeit you’ve heard about how lucrative the job is, yet it also has its fair share of responsibilities that requires mental vigor, leadership and execution. In a nutshell, a project manager carries the torch of planning, managing, monitoring, designing, and overall project control.
A project manager wears a lot of hats while skillfully accomplishing tasks and managing a team of diverse people. Although project managers are typically employed in a wide range of industries — while working closely with fellow managers and superiors — some project managers work with remote clients virtually.
Project managers surely have their hectic days — we all have. But what makes their work complex is that they oversee critical projects and ensure it is achieved in accordance with the desired requirements.
The following duties below were the most fundamental among the dozens of responsibilities they perform daily.
1. Understanding the Bigger Idea
Shortsightedness in the project management field is near close to being illegal. The role, first and foremost, requires open-mindedness to fully develop the big idea. Commonly, to formulate a feasible project plan, project managers have to discern the full business case before executing the next level. Simply put, there must be an outline to every step to fully comprehend the project objectives. You’ll have to work closely together with the team and brainstorm for possible resources in order to flesh out the idea to make it a full-fledged project. Hence, to see the possible roadblocks or if the action plan is feasible in all forms.
2. Establishing the Project Brief
As an imperative part of the brainstorming stage, project managers have to organize the project and identify what needs to be done. In this process, the scope of work has to be clearly defined while setting realistic expectations and timeframe — detailing out the objectives and the resources needed along the way.
Categorizing all the business terms and goals allows you and the team to obtain clarity during the kickoff. Otherwise stated, project managers have to understand the nature of plan before totally embarking it. Think profoundly, but don’t overthink. Let the past experiences be a lesson learned and maintain an organizational knowledge to prevent mistakes in the future.
3. Delegation and Ideation
Once the bigger picture is essentially churned out and the process is outlined, then you have the green ticket to putting a team together who can materialize the project into reality. With this, you need a number of talents who can fulfill the impending project. These people are your support who masters commitment and consistency like no other.
Identifying the right assignments and matching it to the designated staff must be done in a handful manner. Everyone is the team won’t be functional all the time. Some deliverables need a prelude assessment by a prime member before another member can proceed to do it. Now that’s where the challenge begins — you have to strategically delegate to keep everyone productive. Some are busy grinding off their full plate, while others have to wait. Part of the core duties of project managers is to keep everyone fruitful and on the loop. Resource management is imperative to ensure that hard work is fair and square within the team.
4. Leading and Managing the Team
Leading a pack of diverse individuals is truly a challenge yet a norm to every project manager. If you got everything on board and everyone is on the grind, then you have to raise your torch and lead your pack. Of course, you don’t come to war unarmed — you have to buckle yourself ready for any inevitable problems along the project journey.
Motivating your team is as important as negotiating all the challenges and contentions within the team. Communication is the key! Keep the line open and celebrate their contribution to the project to keep the flame burning. Also, part of the job of project managers is to train their people and coach them whenever it is needed. It may take two to tango, but it takes a team to build a castle. Nothing is more powerful than a collaboration with solid camaraderie and propelled passion.
5. Delivering Objectives and Decision Making
A promise is meant to be broken but is a big no for project managers. As a responsible front man of your team, you have to effectively deliver on what you promised from the beginning of the project. Failure to submission is a huge negligence to your end and a setback to the involved parties.
Key among project managers duties is the recognition to possible risk that can impact the likelihood of success of the project. With this, you are the final voice in decision making, but doesn’t mean will discount the team’s opinions. And every decision made must be beneficial to the project whether big or small. Since you are immersed in the project, the team must fully understand the decision as it may impact their performance and the interest of the project.
Project management is an ultra-demanding occupation and keeping grace under pressure can be tough. When the pressure is on, it is difficult to hold grip and sipping on your morning coffee can be impossible at times. Ultimately, the project managers’ job is not solely about how they work, it’s about how their team accomplishes. If the project plan falls to the right places, and tasks are delivered on time, then you’re doing a good job!