Spontaneity for a project manager means you come to work with a to-do list and by 9:15 a.m. it’s thrown out the window. The best project managers bring the ability to adapt to a project’s spontaneously erupting challenges while handling them gracefully and with aplomb.
If this sounds fun to you, consider the world of project management.
What is Project Management?
The easiest way to define a project manager is to say they manage projects. While the job duties can vary by industry along with the type of project, generally, the projects are large and some of the duties include:
- Verifying the scope of work.
- Road mapping the steps necessary to complete the work.
- Building a budget, and then managing the project to be completed on time and under or within the budget.
- Building a team to complete the work.
- Managing the client relationship.
Project managers must coordinate teams that could cross departments while handling ultimate responsibility to get things done. In many companies, project managers handle more than one project at a time. As you might imagine, project managers are excellent organizers, good motivators of people and skilled at having difficult conversations with employees or clients.
Daily Tasks for a Project Manager
Project manager tasks can vary widely by scope and type of project. However, some of the general tasks that stay the same across industries include:
- Regularly meeting with project stakeholders to ensure they’re comfortable with the progress of the project.
- Regularly meeting with the employees doing the work, to ensure tasks are being completed in a timely fashion.
- Track expenses and time on the project against a budget.
- Track the progress of the project against client expectations, tweaking tasks as necessary to keep things on track.
- Create reports on the status of the work.
- Manage conflicts and crises; troubleshooting any unexpected problems to keep the project running smoothly.
The spontaneity in project management stems from external factors outside your control, such as a stakeholder changing their mind about what they want in the middle of a project. Or, unexpected technology issues that creep up. Or perhaps a change in the work environment, such as a labor shortage or any one of a number of things that could stymie your progress. Through it all, the project manager continues to lead, organize, cajole and push things forward to their logical conclusion.
What Does It Take to Become a Project Manager?
The best project managers are detail oriented. They know how to push people to do more without making people upset, while still achieving the overall project goals. Project managers know how to respond to constant crisis interruptions requiring them to drop their task list, fix the problem and keep moving forward. Project managers are usually extremely busy, rarely have uninterrupted time — and they love it.
To become a project manager, visit the Project Management Institute website to learn more about the role and the types of certifications to achieve. Feel free to reach out to the talent team at Blackstone Talent Group to talk about the types of PM roles in your market.