The exact duties that a project manager carries out depends on the type of project being completed. Even though the duties will vary, a few of them are some that all project managers will likely find they have in common. The four most common responsibilities that all project manager carry out include planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
Planning is of course one of the most important duties for project managers to carry out. By planning, project managers are able to effectively identify how a project needs to be completed. From deciding who will be involved to what each person will be responsible for, planning keeps projects running in a smooth manner until they are finished. Below are some of the key areas that are focused upon when a project manager plans out his or her project:
– Defines the project scope
– Creates a project plan
– Creates a project schedule
– Creates policies and processes that can be followed to help achieve the goal of the project
During the organizing stage, a project manager sets up the structure of the project team. Many times, a project manager’s existing employer structure will largely influence his or her team’s structure. Since most companies have either a functional or matrix structure, this will greatly impact how a project manager can structure his or her team. While carrying out the organizing duty, project managers usually find themselves doing the following:
– Identify the structure of the project team
– Identify who will work in the team and what their duties will be
– Identify which parts of the project will be outsourced
The responsibility of leading a project includes the project manager actually carrying out the plans that were developed during the planning and organizing stages of a project. For many people, leading a project determines whether they truly have what it takes to be an effective project manager. Key duties that are carried out for project managers when leading a project include the following:
– Identifying what direction a team needs to work in
– Coordinating the different activities that will be carried out across all departments involved
– Motivating staff members
– Assign work
Effective project managers have to know how to control a project. By controlling it, they are able to ensure that a project is carried out in effective and smooth processes. For most projects, a manager can carry out the controlling duty by working through the following three-step process:
– Measuring the progress of the project
– Evaluating what changes need to be implemented so that the project will be effectively finished
– Implementing the changes that need to take place
Also involved within the responsibility of controlling includes reporting to supervisors, bosses, company presidents, etc. the status of the project.
There is no denying that no matter what type of project is being carried out, the duties of a project manager can at times become somewhat overwhelming. For some project managers, the stress related to carrying out a project becomes too much, thus causing them to turn the management of the project over to someone else; this is why it is so important for all project managers to thoroughly understand the four major duties mentioned above. In doing so, they can get a strong grasp on the scope of the duties that they will need to carry out in order for a project to run smoothly and successfully.