Project Managers (PMs) are like CEOs on a smaller scale, thinking strategically about the ongoing project and placing it in the perspective of the activities of the entire organization. Their tasks are interdisciplinary. Although they don’t have to be an expert in running the business or in the field that the project concerns, they should have a general knowledge of them. While it is about the specialist who is a member of the project team that will propose the best solution, the Project Manager must understand why that solution is the best one. So what are the main tasks and responsibilities of the Project Manager?

Tasks and responsibilities of the Project Manager – table of contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Planning and organization
  3. Budget preparation
  4. Project monitoring
  5. Supporting the team
  6. Communication with stakeholders
  7. Summary

Introduction

The Project Manager does not manage people but the project. Therefore, he or she should always keep in mind that the team consists of specialists doing their work to the best of their ability. The PM’s job is to facilitate the implementation of these activities and give them direction. The PM should, therefore:

  • Avoid micromanagement – instructing team members on how to perform their tasks,
  • Leave freedom to choose how to solve problems,
  • Manage responsibility – match the scope of tasks to the capabilities of individual team members.

However, what tasks are part of responsibilities of the Project Manager?

responsibilities of the project manager

Planning and organization

Time management in a project consists of tasks including planning and organizing the execution of tasks. Planning is one part of the project life cycle, which, although in different proportions, is an integral part of each stage of the project. But what does planning look like as a daily part of the Project Manager’s duties, that is, from the practical side?

The crucial aspect of planning is the efficient use of project management software. First, this includes compiling a list of tasks to perform and prioritizing them. Related to the latter task is the second key duty of the PM – organizing work.

It involves not only selecting the most urgent tasks to be done, but also ensuring that they are done on time and that all team members have as equal a workload as possible. This will avoid bottlenecks. This improper organization of the team’s work results in one person being responsible for an inordinate number of tasks. The piling up of responsibilities causes the work of other team members to hold, and the progress of the project slows down or even stops.

Make sure to adjust the complexity of the program you are using or to vary the applications of its functions according to the specifics of the project at hand. After all, the number of possibilities does not always mean better management. We recommend keeping to the principles of Lean and adopting only those functions that improve the capabilities of the team or provide the data necessary to assess the progress of the project. While beautifully presented data can seduce stakeholders, it is not worth spending too much time collecting it if it is only to serve that purpose.

Budget preparation

The Project Manager sets the budget during the planning phase of the project. It is referred to in the PMBOK as:

“The approved estimate for the project or any work breakdown structure component or any scheduled activity.” (The approved estimate for the project or any work breakdown structure (WBS) component or any scheduled activity.)

Preparing a budget and controlling expenses in a project is not an easy task. Despite meticulously planned expenses, changes will be necessary for almost every project implemented. Therefore, a well-planned project budget assumes a minimum of 10-15% for unforeseen expenses. 20% of all costs are considered a safe threshold, but there are projects where budget changes are even higher.

To prevent excessive deviations from planned expenditures, it is therefore necessary not only to plan skillfully taking into account the most likely expenses. The PM also has to devote considerable attention to monitoring expenditures in an ongoing project in order to react in time, for instance, to changing prices.

Project monitoring

Another important set of responsibilities of the Project Manager is project monitoring. It allows us to wisely address risks, anticipate and proactively respond to changes.

However, monitoring is not only about tracking emerging risks. The responsibilities of the Project Manager for monitoring the project also include:

  • Keeping statistics on the progress of tasks,
  • The rate of budget execution,
  • Workflow control and optimization.

The goal of all the monitoring responsibilities of the Project Manager is to optimize activities so that the project is executed as intended, as well as to learn how repetitive processes in many projects run and change.

Supporting the team

The responsibilities of the Project Managers include forming a team, organizing and coordinating its work, but also ending cooperation with those who do not perform their duties satisfactorily.

When forming a team, the PM must make sure that its members together have all the skills necessary to achieve the project goal. But also, make sure there is a clear division of responsibilities and transparency within the team.

Remember that Project Managers don’t have to, and even cannot, be an expert in the field represented by each project participant. They are responsible for supporting the experts in their work and making sure that the project’s method of implementation is understood and effective, and that the team’s workflow is optimized.

Communication with stakeholders

Another area of tasks performed by the Project Manager is communication with stakeholders. A key task is to select the information to pass on to the right people at the right time – that is, to optimize the channels of communication, as well as to ensure that all stakeholders understand the messages conveyed to them regarding the project. This can prove to be particularly important in the case of technically complex or highly specialized tasks relevant to the overall project.

It is the PM who holds periodic meetings with stakeholders and prepares reports. Sometimes these are in the form of short emails, and sometimes they are multipage documents containing detailed data and analysis.

Keep in mind that the representative role of the PM is not always pleasant. Especially at the moment when they have to communicate negative information about the project to the stakeholders. This is when well-developed soft skills will prove very handy.

Summary

The Project Manager is the person responsible for planning, coordinating and supervising the implementation of projects. His main tasks include:

  • Creating a project implementation plan and organizing the execution of tasks,
  • Determining the project budget,
  • Monitoring – of expenses, risks and potential problems,
  • Organization of the work of the project team
  • Stakeholder communication and reporting

The Project Manager must therefore have a wide range of competencies – both specialized and interpersonal. He or she should also get familiar with project management methodologies such as Waterfall, Agile and Scrum.

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Most important tasks and responsibilities of the project manager | #25 Getting started with project management caroline becker avatar 1background

Author: Caroline Becker

As a Project Manager, Caroline is an expert in finding new methods to design the best workflows and optimize processes. Her organizational skills and ability to work under time pressure make her the best person to turn complicated projects into reality.

Getting started with project management:

  1. What is a project?
  2. What is project management?
  3. How to manage projects?
  4. Project management methods
  5. Types of projects
  6. 4 examples of projects
  7. Prioritization of projects
  8. Areas of project activity
  9. Definition of success in project management
  10. Why use project management software?
  11. How to choose the best project management software?
  12. Overview of project management software
  13. Project life cycle
  14. What is the project vision for?
  15. Project goal. What is it and how to define it well?
  16. Project initiation phase - what to pay attention to?
  17. The domain of planning in project management
  18. What is a project schedule and what is it for?
  19. How to use milestones in a project?
  20. Project execution
  21. How to prepare a successful project contingency plan?
  22. Importance of project closure
  23. Project failure. 5 reasons why projects fail
  24. 4P of management: project, product, program and portfolio
  25. Most important tasks and responsibilities of the Project Manager
  26. Most useful project manager skills
  27. How to become a project manager?
  28. 5 books every project manager should read
  29. How to set up a project team?
  30. Work breakdown structure - how to delegate work in a project?