A project manager is a person responsible for planning, executing, and monitoring a project. He/she is the key person who leads a project team to meet the project objectives. They are the people responsible for overseeing and supervising projects from start to end. Project managers are versatile people who don many hats at the same time. They need to be highly organized and proactive for addressing project bottlenecks. The key roles and responsibilities of a project manager are detailed below:
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One of the most important roles and responsibilities of a project manager is planning. They have to make a project plan for meeting the project objectives in the stipulated time and budget. Project planning is a critical phase of the project cycle. It decides the entire resource allocation, activity planning, implementation, and monitoring in later stages. The best project managers spend time on project planning and defining the project scope. Going back to the project scope for modification can be costly in terms of resource reallocation and delays.
The next task of a project manager is to put together a project team and lead them for project execution. Leading requires a knack of identifying the right people for the right job, leadership, and man-management skills. once the team is created, the project manager assigns them tasks, deadlines, and deliverables. The resources are also allocated to project team members.
Once the project team is assembled, the project manager leads them into the execution phase. During this phase, plans are put into action with the help of allocated resources. The project manager should be proactive in this phase and regularly monitor and communicate with the team.
Time management is one of the very important roles and responsibilities of a project manager. It requires effective leadership, timely identification of bottlenecks, and immediate resolution. You should be proactive and track time delays during the execution phase. You need to step in immediately on identifying time delays and take corrective action. Delayed projects can have serious financial implications and undermine the project viability.
The project manager is responsible for making the project budget and strictly adhering to it. If there is any overspending in one account head, it should be compensated in other expenditure heads. The financial progress should be regularly monitored to stay informed about potential over expenditures.
Analyzing and Managing Project Risk
Every project has associated risks that can undermine it. The project manager is responsible for identifying and managing these risks. The risks are identified in the planning stage. There can be various ways of mitigating these risks. The project manager must analyze the best risk mitigation strategy among them.
Monitoring is an integral part of any project manager’s job. They should monitor the project progress regularly. This can be done by periodic review meetings, site visits, etc. Not monitoring the project progress regularly can cause small issues to snowball into large and complex problems. Regular monitoring ensures that the project is on track and there are no time delays and budget overspends. There are many project monitoring tools available that can help project managers in real-time monitoring.
Managing Project Documentation
Project documentation is important. Project managers should maintain all relevant project documentation. This will help in establishing the project progress, issues faced, resolutions, etc. in writing. All these project documents should be compiled and safely stored by the project manager. Maintaining project documentation helps to create a roadmap for future projects of the same type. The future project teams can refer to the documentation and build upon it for better project planning and execution.