If you’re organised, proactive, and enjoy a challenge, you may have considered project management as an option. It can offer an exciting, rewarding career, but the title itself doesn’t offer much of an explanation of what’s actually involved. So, what does a project manager do?
What does a project manager do?
Essentially, project managers oversee all kinds of projects, ensuring that everything is in place to make the outcome a success. They are responsible for tasks being completed in the right way, at the right times, and by the right people.
This sounds as though it might be simple; decide what needs to be done, delegate, and sit back, right? Wrong. Project managers have a wealth of responsibilities before, during and even after a project. Here is a look at just some of the tasks project managers are involved in:
- Ascertaining what needs to be done to meet project goals
- Anticipating risks and coming up with solutions to them
- Assigning all tasks to the appropriate people
- Motivating these people to get the job done
- Monitoring work to ensure it meets a high standard
- Keeping an eye on the clock, and ensuring tasks are completed on time
- Making sure everything stays within budget
- Coordinating people and their responsibilities
- Overcoming challenges and accommodating changes as they arise
- Measuring whether a project has met the goals set
You’re right if you’re thinking that this all sounds like a lot of responsibility. But responsibility can be extremely rewarding. Many people find that the satisfaction of achieving ambitious goals far outweighs any initial anxiety, and can’t wait to get their teeth into the next project.
One of the exciting things about project management is that you could work in almost any industry, and each role will be different from another. The versatility of project management means that you can usually find a role within an industry you are personally interested in.
What skills does a project manager need?
Now you’re a bit clearer on the question, what does a project manager do?, let’s take a look at what you need for the role. Project managers need all kinds of skills and knowledge in order to perform at their best. Not only do you need to be organised, responsible, resourceful, proactive, creative, calm, ambitious, and plenty more, but you will also require technical expertise.
This is why it’s a good idea to gain a relevant project management qualification. There is a range of courses that will develop your knowledge of, and ability to implement, things you may not have encountered before, like business cases, risk management, critical path analysis, and project closure. They will also equip you with the resources and tools you will need to succeed.
You can usually start studying with no previous qualifications, and many courses have foundation levels that give you a thorough introduction to project management. To find out more about the qualifications you could gain, take a look at our project management courses.