Even a project that is perfectly organized and aligned with right strategy won’t be successful unless you have the right people on board. Project Managers are the backbone of any project. They are like an anchor around which entire project revolves. If they fail to delegate their duties then the project is bound to meet its fate. In this article, we are going to write about project manager roles and responsibilities which are utmost important for any successful project.
To accomplish any goal of the project, it is very important that the project manager is experienced enough and well-equipped with all the knowledge and tools to ensure that the project runs smoothly and meets its goals. These skills come with a good PMP Training and of course, hands-on experience gained doing jobs for PMP.
Hence, to deliver a project successfully, a project manager wears different hats. These roles require soft and hard skills. The project manager plays all of the roles mentioned below sometimes alone or simultaneously. There are various Project Manager roles and responsibilities in a project but here we are going to list the most important project manager qualities.
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Project Manager Roles and Responsibilities: The Roles of a Project Manager
Role #1 – Team Leader
For the role of team leader, one skill that is the most significant is leadership. The project manager can choose various types of leadership skills. In some situations, s/he makes use of authoritative style and in other occasions, democratic style is more effective. For instance, if you have hired many freshers in your team, leadership style would be different than the situation where you have a more experienced person in your team.
As a leader,
- A project manager must lead his team to success.
- S/He should provide the direction and make the team understand what is expected of them.
- Clearly explain the roles of each member of the team.
- S/He must build a team comprising of individuals with different skills so that each member contributes effectively to the best of their abilities.
Role #2 – Account Manager
The role account manager is considered a jack of all trades.
The project manager plays the role of account manager
- By handling client relationships.
- Charting out a strategy for generating revenue and managing projects.
- S/He acts as a primary liaison between a client and the organization.
- Besides, s/he will work closely with a client to understand their vision and needs.
- Then s/he will use his experience and knowledge to chart out a strategy that can deliver on the vision.
- Along with this, s/he will manage the day to day operations and will collate and communicate any issues to the client.
Role #3 – Procurement Manager
First of all, a Project Manager’s role in procurement is to handle the team responsible for procuring goods and services for use. Further, they look for the best available quality for the lowest price. Also, they evaluate suppliers, negotiate contracts and review product quality.
Besides, they study the market to identify price trends, the future availability of material and goods, locating vendors, negotiating price, preparing requisitions and procurement orders and maintaining procurement records. In a nutshell, this role requires the project manager to have good negotiation skills, communication skills, management skills, market research tactics, and marketing capabilities.
Role #4 – Coordinator
Here the Project Manager acts like a circus ringmaster. Actually, this role falls between strategy and execution. The Project Manager coordinates the efforts and tracks the resources with clockwise precision. Further, s/he helps to ensure that projects are completed within the specified time frame and budget.
In addition to that, Project Managers manage resources and information. They also assist with scheduling and planning meetings and project activities. On top of that, s/he will coordinate the schedule, budget, issues, and risks of the project. And s/he also communicates with various departments in the organization to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Consequently, this role requires to excel in a fast-paced and challenging work environment.
Role #5 – Liaison
Project Managers are a link between their clients, their team and their own supervisors. They must coordinate and transfer all the relevant information from the clients to their team and report to the upper management. Also, the Project Manager should work closely with analysts, software designers, and other staff members in order to communicate the goals of the project. Furthermore, they monitor the progress of the project, taking action accordingly.
Role #6 – Team Manager
In a large project, there is a separate role of Team Manager. However, in a small project, the Project Manager plays the role of team manager and leads a team. Therefore team management is crucial for success. First of all, the Project Manager needs to ensure that the team’s skills are enough to deliver. Likewise, it is essential for your team to look up to you. Another key role of the Project Manager in team management is to resolve the conflicts. Conflicts are inevitable to occur in any project so the Project Manager should use appropriate conflict resolution techniques such as Confrontation, Forcing, Withdrawal, and Compromise to resolve a conflict between team members based on the situation.
Role #7 – Mentor
Every project benefits from a mentor as it steers towards successful completion if provided with the right guidance at the right time. Most important is that Project Manager must be there to guide his team at every step and ensure that the team has cohesion. Then, s/he should provide advice to the team wherever they need it and points them in the right direction. Mentor represents
The Project Manager needs to demonstrate the right way to talk to people, build the confidence of an individual by highlighting the positive sides of their work and provides honest feedback on the mistakes. Therefore, s/he should not be judgmental. As a result, Project Manager when playing this role should push people to try to do new things and adopt new ways of behaving and individual needs to look up to them and aspire to be like them.
Role #8 – Stakeholder Manager
A project cannot be successful unless stakeholders are happy. Once the Project Manager identifies stakeholders and manages the expectation then the project can be delivered successfully. Hence, the Project Manager needs to constantly manage their expectations. Key things when assessing stakeholders are:
- What motivates the stakeholders?
- How to keep stakeholders satisfied?
- How you will monitor the stakeholders?
- Do you need to manage then closely?
- How will you keep them informed?
Now we have described various roles of a Project Manager. Now we are going to talk about responsibilities.
Project Manager Roles and Responsibilities: The Responsibilities of a Project Manager
Let us first understand what a project is.
Project is a temporary endeavor needs to be executed within a certain time frame and cost to produce a unique product, service or an outcome. If you go through a plan and expect that every step to go as planned then you are mistaken. Also, it is a known fact that projects are volatile in nature and subject to changes every now and then.
We know that there is always a limitation of the fund, time and resources. Hence the Project Manager who is involved in the project needs to balance these limitations i.e. triple constraints to ensure that objectives are achieved within the deadlines. For the reason that these constraints are focal points within a project and therefore managing them is key to manage the project. As a result, the Project Manager should make sure that the focus is on the strategy deployed and the objective to be achieved therefore make informed decisions.
The Project Manager is responsible for delivering the project and has all the authority to plan and run the project on a daily basis. Further, s/he has the responsibility of exhibiting strong leadership skills along with managerial skills. Here we are listing various responsibilities that a beginner or experienced Project Manager has to deploy to get success in a project:
Responsibility #1 – Initiating the Project
It is the Project Manager’s responsibility to make an initial assessment of the project that is proposed. This is based on formal business requirements, engagement with stakeholders, management, and clients.
Steps involved are:
- Evaluating the business requirements
- Identifying the required assets and resources
- Determining the dependencies
- Calculating the costs
- Estimating the timelines
- Assessing the risks that could impact the project
Responsibility #2 – Managing Budget
Project budget is often the most critical factor of the project. The job of the project manager is to determine how much money is required to achieve the project objectives. Likewise, the Project Manager must assign budgets to the various activities and make any cost considerations that there might be. One of the key responsibilities of the Project Manager is to create and manage a workable project budget. These are the steps required to track the budget:
- Reviewing the pricing of the project and the initial high level of project schedule
- Revising the schedule with actual resources and understanding the resource effort
- Converting the resource plan into project dollars
- Maintain the budget and forecast on an ongoing basis
- Make sure that team is charging accurately to the project
Responsibility #3 – Managing Schedule
The key responsibility in managing the project schedule is to determine the delivery dates and milestones taking all constraints into account.
It is one of the core disciplines of project management. And it is required through all phases of the project life cycle. Steps required to manage schedule are:
- Break the high-level requirements into high-level tasks or deliverables and decompose it further into activities and present in the form of work breakdown structure.
- Activities identified are sequenced based on the order in which they need to be done depending on interdependencies
- Estimates are made of resources required considering resource availability and capability
- A Project Manager requires data from activity sequence, duration of each activity and resource requirements to create an accurate schedule.
- Make use of Software Tools such as Microsoft Project, Primavera to develop a project schedule including diagrams to present the relevant information
- Control the Schedule throughout the project.
- All of the processes of Schedule management require meetings between the Project Manager, team and other stakeholders to make the project run smoothly.
Responsibility #4 – Meeting Quality Objectives
Another aspect to make a Project Manager successful is quality. It is the responsibility of the Project Manager to ensure quality not only in the final product delivered to the customer but also maintain this quality in every task and activity undertaken for the project.
Quality of the product is measurable in terms of durability, reliability, and performance. It is true that quality management is essential to create a high-quality product which not only meets but exceeds customer satisfaction. Hence, the Project Manager should define the quality targets at the start of the project. These 5 steps mentioned below will help you plan and manage the quality measures on the project:
- Define the quality targets including the ones required by client and external vendors early in the project
- Set targets and make use of milestones in your planning software so that you can add them in the overall plan
- Communicate the targets to them so that they will meet them
- Measure quality targets and assess the effectiveness
- Take action for aspects of the project which are not in compliance with quality target and involve key stakeholders to discuss action to take.
Responsibility #5 – Managing Communication
Communication is a key skill for a Project Manager. However, the more important thing is the level of effectiveness in communication. It is the responsibility of the Project Manager to make creative use of e-mails and providing status reports to stakeholders in a timely manner. While, a Project Manager is dealing with schedules, s/he needs to make decisions and resolve problems effectively. Then timely communication is utmost important and plays a key role. Therefore, the Project Manager who has effective communication skills can ensure that s/he communicates about the work progress to relevant stakeholders.
Responsibility #6 – Managing Project Risk
It is quite likely that when a project is big you cannot plan everything upfront. Hence there is more possibility of hurdles and pitfalls in a project. One aspect which is inevitable in any project is obstacles. Moreover, it is the responsibility of the Project Manager to know how efficiently he can identify and evaluate potential risks before the project begins. Further, he should be able to choose appropriate risk response to minimize its impact or reduce its probability so that risk does not realize. And if it gets realized, then it is manageable.
Responsibility #7 – Building the team
People are the core of any project. Without people, a project cannot be done. It is the responsibility of the Project Manager to treat the people in a proper way and your project is halfway done.
Steps involved to build the team are as follows:
- Clarify the task and roles
- Establish the communication channels and protocols
- Promote relationship building in the team
- Collaborate the team
Responsibility #8 – Execute the plan
First of all, you should complete the planning and make sure that all project parameters are clear. Further, it is the Project Manager’s responsibility to execute the plan from start to finish as follows:
- Track the project within budget
- Keep the project moving on time
- Allocate the resources at optimum cost efficiency
- Maintain quality standards
- Keep team highly motivated
- Manage the changes in a systematic manner
Responsibility #9 – Ensuring Customer Satisfaction
A project is successful if you keep your customer happy and satisfied. One of the key responsibility of the Project Manager is to minimize uncertainty, avoid any surprises and involve stakeholders, especially the client in the best possible manner. The Project Manager can engage the customer properly by maintaining effective communication and providing relevant details in a timely manner.
Responsibility #10 – Tracking Progress
At the inception stage, the Project Manager has a clear vision and due to that, s/he is hopeful to produce the desired results. But generally, the road to the finish line is not that smooth, it might have some obstacles on the way. Hence, when things do not go according to the plan, the project manager needs to monitor and analyze both expenditure and performance and should take corrective measures accordingly. Consequently, it is the responsibility of the Project Manager to execute the plan of action and ensure to monitor along the way. Besides, s/he must set out the project boundaries and scope for the project which them formulates itself into a plan of action and assists in the successful completion of the project.
Responsibility #11 – Closing the Project
Project manager initiates the project formally. Likewise, s/he should close the project formally. The key point here is that the Project Manager has to close out a project no matter the circumstances under which it stops, terminates or completes.
It is the responsibility of the Project Manager to
- Look at plan vs actual project results, identify variances to the plan, along with impacts and identify lessons that project manager can share or use in the organization.
Steps involved are:
- Confirm whether work is in compliance with requirements.
- Obtain formal confirmation that contracts are completed.
- Gain final acceptance of the product.
- Complete financial closure.
- Hand-off the completed product.
- Solicit customer feedback about the project.
- Complete final performance reporting.
- Congratulate the team for the job completed.
- Conduct an honest post mortem analysis.
- Provide actionable insight and proactive recommendation for future projects.
The Project Manager must get formal acceptance of the project and deliverables, issue a final report that shows that the project has been successful, issue the final lesson learned, and index and archive all the project records.
Project Manager Roles and Responsibilities: Conclusion
For a project to be successful, you should understand and follow diligently the project manager roles and responsibilities. Hence, project manager roles and responsibilities will help to lead your project in the right direction. In order to have more in-depth knowledge of the above roles and responsibilities of a Project Manager, please refer the PMP training where they are described in more detail.