Do You Have What it Takes to be a Project Manager?

We know that Project Managers are in demand by all industries, but have you ever wondered what a Project Manager actually does, and what skills they require?

Let’s start by defining the overall role of a Project Manager, which in general terms refers to a person who takes on the chief responsibility of successfully initiating, designing, planning, controlling, executing, monitoring, and closing a project.

As you can see, Project Managers wear a number of different hats and must skilfully accomplish tasks through managing a team of people.
In real terms, a Project Manager’s role can be grouped into the following six areas of responsibility.

Developing the Big Concept

After being tasked with a piece of work, the Project Manager’s first job is to ‘flesh out’ the idea and develop it into a project concept. This process forms an initial high level picture of the project and focusses on its overall feasibility.

Organising the Project Scope

Once the project concept has been defined, it’s time to develop a road map of how to get to the final destination. This usually involves the development of project objectives, timeframes, resources required (including people skills), budgets, major deliverables, milestones, timing, activities, stakeholder engagement, process, and any other resources needed to deliver the project.
The use of project scheduling software or workflow management software is vital in this planning phase. Workflow tools help to ensure that the project is delivered properly. They support Project Managers as they schedule tasks, collaborate with others, manage workloads, create and share documentation, and evaluate progress.

Assembling the Team

This is where your time spent on the project scope considering the people skills/expertise required for the project is invaluable. The team will be tasked with taking the project scope and turning it into a reality. Getting the right skillset from the start can make all the difference to the success of a project.

Engaging Stakeholders

Stakeholders are those individuals or groups who are going to have the most impact on a project, or will be the most impacted by a project.
Another one of the Project Manager’s roles is to ensure that these stakeholders are communicated with regularly, and given timely information throughout the project. The skill of negotiation is very useful when it comes to stakeholder engagement.

Managing the Money

Projects cost money, and one of a Project Manager’s most important skills is being able to develop a realistic budget, while also forecasting changes to that budget and keeping superiors well informed along the way.

Leading the Team

Teamwork is the fundamental way great projects succeed; the Project Manager is responsible for developing team culture and motivation. Keeping everyone informed and designing clear task responsibilities are critical tools for any Project Manager to develop.

Successfully leading a team means negotiating the challenges of disagreements, conflict, and being on top of communications at all times.

So, who makes a good Project Manager? Projects by nature are heavily reliant on people and teams, so good Project Managers generally have more extrovert than introvert personalities. People who love to plan and have attention to detail are also drawn to this profession; as are those with analytical tendencies who like to make decisions based on measurable facts or data that can be verified and tested. If you also like to lead and motivate others and have an upbeat optimistic outlook, then this profession is certainly worth your consideration.

If you are considering a career in the field of Project Management, eCampus NZ can help you achieve your goal. We provide Project Management Certificate and Diploma courses that are delivered by industry experts. Check out our website to find out how you can make this rewarding career your own.

The eCampus NZ learning platform is being closed on 29 February 2024, as part of the completion of the amalgamation into Open Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga. Therefore, access to courseware for ākonga (learners) will be available for three months post course completion or 29 February 2024, whichever happens first. If you have any questions, please contact eCampus NZ : [email protected] or call 0800 328 269.