Companies get things done by setting up projects designed to meet customer needs, streamline operations, accommodate stakeholders’ requests, increase cost-effectiveness, or improve the organization and help it grow.
That’s great, but it takes more than creating a project, setting timelines and goals, and posting a deadline. Organizations need someone to oversee the project from start to finish, riding herd and ensuring that the endeavor remains on schedule and focuses on the required goal or outcome.
Enter project management and the project management professional. This article explores the project management profession and related topics. We will provide you with a solid project manager job description, project manager responsibilities, skills required for project management, project manager salaries, and much more.
When you finish reading this article, you’ll have a solid understanding of project manager duties and the definitive project manager job description. So, what does a project manager do?
What Does a Project Manager Do?
We can best sum up the project manager job description as a professional who oversees various projects and initiatives, monitors their progress and successful completion, and ensures that the projects meet the client’s expectations. In addition, project managers shepherd the project from its initiation to its finish, ensuring the work is done efficiently and satisfactorily.
Let’s get into more specifics of the project manager’s roles and responsibilities.
Project Manager Duties and Responsibilities
Here’s a detailed breakdown of project manager duties.
1) Assemble a team best suited for completing the project
2) Coordinate the organization’s internal resources, third parties, and vendors to execute the projects flawlessly
3) Ensure that the projects and jobs are delivered on time and within budget and scope
4) Develop project scopes and objectives, including any relevant stakeholders, and ensure technical feasibility
5) Ensure that needed are resources available and allocate them as required
6) Managing relationships between the client and all stakeholders
7) Develop a detailed plan to track the project’s progress
8) Employ the proper verification techniques to manage project cost, scope, and schedule changes
9) Continuously measure the project’s performance using suitable systems, tools, and techniques
10) Report incidents to management and escalate as needed
11) Perform risk management measures to minimize the project’s risks
12) Establish and maintain relationships with relevant third parties and vendors
13) Create, maintain, and update comprehensive project documentation
Project Manager Requirements
No project manager job description is complete without talking about the requirements a good project manager should meet. Here is a handy list of project manager job requirements that the aspiring project manager must meet.
1) A bachelor’s or master’s degree in a related field, preferably in computer science or engineering, for technical project managers
2) Project Management Professional (PMP) or PRINCE II certification is a valuable bonus
3) Verifiable experience in project management, specifically in the Information Technology sector
4) The ability to lead project teams of any size and manage them through all phases until completion
5) Budget management experience
6) Possess a solid understanding of formal project management methodologies
7) Experience as an IT project manager, construction project manager, or ERP project manager
8) The ability to complete projects promptly
9) Understand Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation
10) Have a solid technical background, including a working understanding or hands-on experience in web technologies and software development
11) Additionally, a good project manager should have a relevant skill set (see below)
Project Manager Job Description: Skills Required for a Project Manager
Project managers should have a healthy sampling of the following skills. Realistically, no project manager will have a superb command of all the skills in this list, but the more relevant skills you have, the greater your chances of getting hired and the higher a salary you can ask for:
3) Analytical skills
4) Budget Management and cost control
6) Critical thinking
10) Developing and tracking budgets
11) Excellent client-facing and internal communication skills
12) Excellent written and verbal communication skills
14) Inventory control
16) Negotiation and diplomacy
18) Performance Management
20) Process improvement
21) Risk Management
22) Solid organizational skills, attention to detail, and multi-tasking skills
23) Strategic thinking
24) Stress management
25) Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office
26) Team coaching
You have probably noticed that many of these skills overlap. That’s because several of these skills describe variations of a central theme, which we can boil down to “being a smart, accountable overseer of current and future projects.”
How Much do Project Managers Make?
As you can see from the above lengthy collection of project manager roles and responsibilities, the position asks a lot of its managers. Fortunately, project managers are well compensated for their efforts. Indeed.com shows that project managers in the United States earn an average of $83,470. The low range comes at $53,506, while the maximum is $130,213.
Naturally, these figures are subject to the applicant’s experience, the region of the country the position is in, and the company itself. In some cases, companies pay far more than even the typical maximum. For example, Indeed reports these project manager salaries for the following companies:
1) ExxonMobil: $252,974
2) Apple: $140,908
3) General Dynamics Information Technology: $125,459
4) CISCO Systems: $122,111
5) Morgan Stanley: $121,736
6) Citi: $121.439
As you can see, some companies pay great salaries to their project managers. Successful projects are the key to a company’s success, so many companies are willing to pay top dollar for project management professionals.
But no one can walk off the street and just get hired per the requirements of a project manager job description. There’s too much at stake. So let’s look at the process for becoming a project manager.
How to Become a Project Manager
So, now that you know more about a project manager job description and you’ve become inspired by the challenges and rewards of project management and are now wondering how you can become one. Here’s a good project manager career path for you to follow.
First, you need to square away your academic requirements. Most places want a candidate with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a relevant field. You might possibly be able to squeak by with an associate’s degree, but it had better be bolstered by supplemental classes or a formidable amount of work-related experience.
Once you have taken care of the academic side, start doing research. Use online resources to find and read first-hand accounts of project managers’ work experiences. Additionally, reach out to practicing project managers in your organization and see if you can arrange for them you.
Many project manager tools are learned through hands-on experience, so it’s vital to find a mentor or training program that provides you with the necessary skills to succeed.
It’s strongly recommended that you get at least one relevant certification. For example, having a Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification can improve your chances for career opportunities and growth. Employers worldwide consider PMP® certification as an industry standard. In addition, it allows you to train alongside qualified professionals, which also helps you can help you in the “reach out to the project managers and learn from them” step.
While doing the above steps, continue refining your work experience. Consider an appropriate entry-level position or internship. However, if you already have a job and want to make the jump to project management, consider volunteering as an assistant to a project manager or offer to take on some project management duties. You will inevitably be given more responsibility if you perform well in this capacity.
The Project Management Institute predicts employers will need 87.7 professionals to work in project management roles by 2027. In fact, there is currently a project management talent gap, as the skyrocketing demand is outpacing the current project manager supply. The increase in demand for project management professionals is fueled by attrition rates, a profound rise in the number of positions requiring project management skills, and developing economies worldwide actively recruiting more project managers.
So How Does a Project Manager Position Sound to You?
If this project manager job description has inspired you to become one, we have a resource that will make the road easier. We mentioned earlier that organizations hiring project managers like to see candidates with certifications.
This project management certification course is the kind of resource companies want to see in their applicants.
UMass Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management hosts this six-month certification course powered by Simplilearn. The project management course is aligned with PMI-PMP and IASSC-Lean Six Sigma. In addition, you will attend live online interactive classes from UMass Amherst, taught by seasoned industry practitioners active in the field.
Through this course, students earn 146 PDUs to maintain their CCR for PMI-related certifications. In addition, when you complete the course, you earn your certification and an alum membership to the prestigious UMass Amherst Alumni Association.
Don’t delay. The IT-related business world needs project managers to steer them to success, which could be you! So sign up for this essential project management certification course today and get your new career off the ground.