A project manager manages a team responsible for delivering a project by creating project documents, assembling a team, monitoring, strategising, budgeting and allocating finances, conducting meetings, and setting milestones.
To explain this in comprehensive terms, project managers plan, control, and execute the work of a team towards the achievement of a specific goal (or set of goals) from conception through to completion. In addition, they coordinate all the many moving parts and processes that make a project successful.
In doing this, project managers employ various management tools such as task management software, statistical methodologies, and soft skill sets to meet project requirements.
Project managers span across virtually all industries from building to engineering to telecommunications and financial services. Every organisation wants to minimise costs without lowering standards, and project managers help make this possible.
The Uniqueness of Project Management
Project management is different to the usual running of a business. Projects are temporary, with a defined scope and execution period. The main goal of a project manager is to ensure that a project’s objectives are achieved within specified constraints.
Another interesting aspect of project management is that it is not repetitive. A project manager is only saddled with one project at a time, though there could be multiple objectives and many moving parts. Therefore, project management is also considered separate from the usual, repetitive operations of a business.
Duties and Responsibilities of a Project Manager
Project managers have a wide range of responsibilities with each of them being crucial to the success of every project they’re executing at any given time. Here’s a quick highlight of the popular ones:
1. Ideation and planning
Every project begins as an idea. Once a project manager comes on board, they identify internal and external stakeholders, define concepts, and create processes to execute the project. This includes setting and managing client expectations, creating an elaborate project plan, assembling a competent team with specific tasks, and defining the project.
2. Hiring and managing the project team
Although in-house project managers will work with permanent staff or preferred contractors, sometimes project managers are also responsible for convening a team to actualise preset goals and objectives. Successful project managers assemble and manage individual talents and harness their skills without breaking the bank. In addition, they motivate the team, guide, train, and make sure of seamless teamwork towards the successful attainment of project goals.
To build and maintain a good team mentality, a project manager must be open, honest, and entrench a one-for-all, all-for-one spirit within the team. That’s why successful project managers have strong management and leadership skills as well as organisational skills.
3. Managing project progress and delegating tasks
Proper administration and diligence are a big part of a project manager’s job. From developing an accurate project completion timeline to ensuring timely resolution of tasks and assignments, the project manager must always be on top of the situation and monitor how the project is advancing.
A good project manager also anticipates delays and unforeseen circumstances. They plan for such accordingly and apprise the team of any alterations in the plan.
4. Cost estimation and budgeting
A core responsibility of project managers is knowing how to deliver on a lean budget. Even if project goals and objectives are met, a high financial cost will still be considered a failure.
Good project managers are cost-efficient. They adequately estimate realistic financial implications for projects and plan for unexpected expenses along the line, thereby preventing scope creep.
5. Documentation, performance, and managing reports
Effective project management requires proper documentation. A project manager’s role includes reporting procedures, criticalities, bottlenecks, and project progress throughout every department.
And upon project completion, the project manager evaluates the data collected, analyses it, and identifies shortfalls and areas for improvement.
This way, the client gets a holistic view of the entire project. The Project Manager also gets to appraise themself and their team and spotlight areas of improvement in the future.
Project Manager Skills
As with all managerial positions, requisite project management skills can be extensive. A few of them include:
- Critical thinking
- Ability to work under pressure.
What Can You Earn as a Project Manager in Australia?
According to talent.com, the average annual salary of a Project Manager in Australia is $124,113. This is based on statistics of over 12,000 workers. Entry-level positions start at approximately $105,700 and experienced workers can expect to earn up to about $159,000.
Considering a career in project management? Why not! You may start by enrolling in one of our diploma courses in project management at Pacific Training Group. In one year and six months, you will have developed skills in project leadership and management to achieve organisational objectives.
Not sure how to start? Contact us today.