The Project Manager, the Great Doer

The role of a Project Manager within a company is often underestimated and many times unknown. I will try in this blog to dimension the importance of this role within an organization. 

To the question, “Dad, what do you do for a living?” the answer “I am a Project Manager” made no sense to my son. So I had to go deeply into explaining what my work consists of. 

While I was doing that, I realized how key this function in any organization is. 

So… what does a Project Manager actually do?

The Project Manager builds teams, negotiates, sets budgets, and meets deadlines. All at the same time. 

While mobilizing resources, managing and forming work teams, negotiating with different actors, preparing budgets, and, mainly, meeting deadlines to deliver a project are complex tasks by themselves, they become more difficult when they must be carried out simultaneously. And this is precisely the role of the project manager in an organization: leading complex and varied initiatives and conducting them to a happy ending with both, the customer and the own organization, satisfied with the delivery.   

We can say that, primarily, the Project Managers are great doers. They must have a great capacity for planning and for negotiating with providers, internal and external ones since they lead and coordinate a true orchestra of companies and professionals. 

Learn all you need to know about the five phases of the project management lifecycle in this blog post.

What skills does a Project Manager need? 

The interpersonal skills must be accompanied by a solid knowledge of management control, the investment that is destined for the project and the calculation of costs since some projects are working as a true autonomous business unit and may require several years of work.

The most required skills are the so-called soft skills that have to do with conflict resolution, interpersonal management, construction, and development of work teams, but the more traditional skills are still very useful and they relate to planning, execution, control, and project closure capabilities. We can also add knowledge that can be grouped in the areas of management, such as time management, costs, quality, human resources, risks, and communication.

The domain of other languages is also many times required since on the global world today the resources are spread in many countries and they must hold conversations and provide information in other languages. It is also obvious that these professionals must have a complete domain of computer tools.

A classic in project manager training are the courses taught in numerous institutes and universities and whose international certification is granted by the Project Management Institute (PMI) that provides the PMP (Project Manager Professional) certification. The PMI released the PMBOK  (Project Management Body of Knowledge), which is a set of terminology and guidelines used by the Project Managers as a standard. 

Companies from all sectors demand this type of professional. They usually come from engineering careers in all their specialties. But they are also educated in the disciplines related to Economics, such as business administration and accounting, which provide a strong base in mathematics and finance.

In summary, it is not a routine job at all, whereby these managers must be very flexible and adaptable, able to constantly deal with the various situations that arise throughout a project. And that’s where the fun is.

Learn all you need to know about the five phases of the project management lifecycle in this blog post.

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