What does a project manager do?
The project manager is responsible for day-to-day management of the project and must be competent in managing the six aspects of a project, i.e. scope, schedule, finance, risk, quality and resources. Project managers work on specific projects that have definite outcomes, have time limits and have to stay within a budget.
These tasks typically include:
- planning what work needs to be done, when and who’s going to do it;
- looking at the risks involved in a particular project and managing these risks;
- making sure the work is done to the right standard;
- motivating the team of people involved in the project;
- co-ordinating work done by different people;
- making sure the project is running on time and to budget;
- dealing with changes to the project as and when necessary;
- making sure the project delivers the expected outcomes and benefits;
What skills do I need?
There are a whole range of skills you need to be a successful project manager, and they’re not necessarily all technical. They may be skills you already use in your day to day life as well as being job-specific abilities developed through education and training.
We call these soft skills and hard skills, which can range from leadership, being able to motivate and encourage others, have good communication and decision making abilities, to managing risk, budgeting and project planning.
Project management skills are transferable from one industry to another. The tools and techniques of project management are universal and a good project manager should be able to add value in any environment.
It is important to have the right balance and combination of the various skills needed to be a successful project manager, as explored within this blog.
What is project management?
What can projects deliver?
Why choose project management?
A career as a project manager can be exciting, varied, fulfilling, and productive. There are great career prospects for project managers.
How to become a project manager
There are many routes to becoming a project manager, from gaining a qualification, to working your way up on the job.
Stay in touch
Whether you have a question around qualifications or courses, some advice based on your personal insights, or wish to tell us your project success story, we'd love to hear from you.
A day in the life of a project manager
Spencer is a project manager in the engineering/construction sector.
"I’ve been a project manager for nearly 10 years, and started the role a little further into my working life than others (I was previously a people manager).
I remember when I first had the idea of a career change. I got together with some old friends to organise and reform my old rugby team. Turns out I needed a lot of planning and organisation skills to make this happen. It made me think: I’m good at this, and I enjoy it; could it become my career?"