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What Makes a Project Manager?

Project management can be a difficult field to master, and with growing expectations from clients and team members it is important to stay on top of what exactly being a project manager calls for.

The general expectations of a project manager center around three major areas: commitment, planning, and tracking.

First, a project manager must be committed to the success of the project. He must possess the leadership skills to keep his team members focused, as well as have a clear idea of what the client desires. He is responsible for defining the scope of the work, assigning roles to the team members, selecting who is in charge of what, and identifying what resources are necessary to complete the project.

The planning stage is vital for a project manager’s success. In addition to establishing client requirements, a timeline and pace of project deadlines must be decided upon and made clear to all team members. The project manager must coordinate project resources, stakeholder communications, project risks and issues, and ensure project quality during this phase. He must ensure that team members have all the necessary resources to meet requirements and stay on pace.

If a project will take longer or cost more than originally planned, it ‘s the project manager’s responsibility to keep track of and report these changes to the client. By giving weekly or monthly (depending on size of project) status reports, the client is kept in the loop with project process. Status reports should also notify the client of any scope changes or new issues with the project, as well as giving the client a chance to voice their concerns.

Communication is the number one factor that determines a project’s success. Project managers should have excellent communication skills with both their clients and team members in order to deliver a high quality final product to their customers.