Business Project Manager Responsibilities: A Brief Overview
Find out the key business project manager responsibilities that an experienced pro must fulfill to ensure a successful project execution and delivery.
“As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own.” — Amy Poehler
For any project (irrespective of its size) to be delivered successfully, it’s important that a Business project Manager carries out all his responsibilities without any disruptions and delays. Since they are responsible to optimally utilize the available resources (men, money, and materials) to ensure all assigned tasks are completed on time, and any challenges arising during the project execution are met efficiently, they have to always remain on their toes.
After all, projects don’t get completed by themselves; we need the right people to carry them out. This is where the project manager and their team makes their presence felt strongly.
A project without an experienced, skilled project manager can be compared to a wayward ship that doesn’t have a clear sense of direction; it’s likely to lose track of its progress sooner or later.
Who is a Project Manager?
The term “project manager” is so extensive that it encompasses a huge range of tasks, and means different things to different people. You can scour the internet for countless definitions, but I’d like to define this position in generic words, without making it sound complex.
Simply put, a project manager is a person who is responsible for presiding over a project at every stage with authority and responsibility; from its initiation, planning, implementation, monitoring, controlling to its completion, and closure.
Modern day project managers may use the best project management software to keep workflows and tasks organized, bring logic to expenses, and urgency to timelines. They guide and direct teams to the finish line and are held solely accountable for the project’s success or failure.
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Why Projects Need A Skilled Business Project Manager
Many organizations overlook the need to hire business project managers because it’s going to cost them some money. However, little do they realize that the cost of hiring one may very well be less than the cost of not hiring one in the long term.
Here, at ProofHub, we do not indulge in multitasking. We assign a project manager for every project so they can monitor the project progress at every stage, and other teams can concentrate on their work.
Given below are some strong reasons as why projects need professional and experienced project managers.
- Provide vision and direction to the project team
- Manage costs and time
- Scheduling and delegation of work
- Deal with potential risks
- Administer procurement of resources
- Act as the quality control to keep everything in line with clients’ expectations
- Bring organization to projects to achieve project goals
- Establish a single point of communication and accountability
- Assures you that your project is in competent hands
- Ensure successful completion and closure of projects
As is evident from the aforementioned benefits of hiring an efficient project manager, it can be said that having one in your ranks will increase the likelihood a project will be successful and profitable, enabling your business to grow.
Key Business Project Manager Responsibilities
As mentioned earlier in the blog, the responsibilities of a business project manager are enormous, depending on their industry, organization, and the nature of projects they are tasked with monitoring.
However, all business project managers share some “core” responsibilities across the project life cycle. Below, we take a closer look at each of those.
1. Activity and Resource Planning
‘Plan your work and work your plan’ — Napoleon Hill
A clear plan is inevitable for the project’s successful completion. Many projects fail simply due to poor planning, but competent project managers create a roadmap or formulate an integrated project plan to attain outlined goals.
Planning addresses each of the following questions:
- What tasks need to be done?
- Who is supposed to do these tasks?
- What is the ‘due’ date to finish those tasks?
Defining the project’s scope, determining available resources, and taking into account the time available to complete the project is one of the major responsibilities associated with the job of a business project manager.
Projects are unpredictable, but a skilled project manager knows how to make adjustments along the way.
2. Organizing The Project
Once the project manager has a blueprint about how to execute the project, they develop clear, straightforward plans that motivate their teams to reach their full potential. A clear and concise plan is created to execute and monitor the project at every stage. But before implementing the plans, it’s important to organize tasks, events, milestones all in one place.
Organizing is about creating tasks and dividing them further into subtasks, assigning them to team members, providing necessary resources, and setting deadlines to achieve targets. Team members are briefed about their job responsibilities, so there’s no confusion regarding who’s supposed to do what.
A project manager leads from the front and frequently communicates with all stakeholders and keeps everyone informed on the project’s progress.
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When all team members are on the same page regarding the division of tasks, timeline, and budget of the project, project managers can ask team members to begin working on the tasks (and subtasks) assigned to them and oversee project progress right from the start to finish.
The project manager will also strive to:
- Protect teams from distractions
- Resolve issues
- Keep project within budget
- Keep the project moving as per set schedules
- Allocate resources while staying cost-efficient
- Maintain quality standards
- Keep team focused and motivated
- Manage sudden changes to the project
4. Time Management
Excellent time management is another one of the vital business project manager responsibilities and holds the key to whether the project will be delivered on time or not. Most of the time, your clients will judge your performance on this ground.
It is worth mentioning here that a smart project manager might use a time tracking software to set time estimates and track time manually or using timers to check if there’s the proper utilization of time by team members on tasks assigned to them.
Good project managers set “realistic” deadlines to avoid putting an unnecessary burden on their team members. They eliminate time wastage from the process by identifying tasks that are taking more time than expected and make sure every member stays on schedule.
The importance of easy, quick communication in the success of a project cannot be emphasized enough. Many surveys have outlined that business project managers while carrying out their responsibilities, need to spend the major part of their time communicating effectively to ensure the project is progressing in the right direction, at the right speed.
A successful project manager smartly uses different communication tools to communicate not only with team members but with various people, like project sponsors, vendors, clients, and stakeholders.
A project involves taking a lot of crucial decisions, which necessitates timely communication by a project manager with people in higher positions. He also gives and takes regular updates from team members while eliminating any communication gaps to avoid misunderstandings and confusion.
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The success of a project is measured by whether it was delivered on time and within the allocated budget. Even if the project meets the client’s expectations, it will still be a failure if it crosses the set budget. A project manager is responsible for devising a budget for the project and then reviewing it regularly to prevent massive overruns.
In cases where certain tasks of a project are likely to exceed more than their expected cost, then the business project manager responsibilities include taking the responsibility of moderating the spend and re-designating funds when required.
7. Analyzing and Managing Project Risk
Projects are not known to run smoothly; there are bound to be unprecedented hiccups along the way. The bigger the project is, the more likely it is to face pitfalls that were not part of the original plan. A smart project manager understands this fact and always has a contingency plan in case of the sudden turn of events.
Using his vast experience and knowledge, the project manager can identify and evaluate potential risks even before the execution of the project begins. They can avoid risks or at least mitigate their impact.
8. Monitoring Progress
Despite being listed eighth in this blog, monitoring actually starts on the very first day the project execution takes place and continues daily, right till the closure. Project managers need to be on their toes during all this time to ensure that the project does not lose its track.
Their task is to mitigate risks, optimally utilize resources, and keep the team focused on its responsibilities and respective goals. In the monitoring phase, many project managers use the following three-step controlling process:
- Measure: Keep track of the project progress through strict monitoring
- Evaluate: Identify the main causes of project deviating from the track
- Correct: Address the issues through appropriate solutions
When things don’t go exactly as planned, the project manager needs to adopt a flexible approach and work accordingly.
9. Managing Reports and Documentation
An experienced project manager knows the importance of collecting data and verbal and written status reports to measure and analyze the progress of the project. It’s his responsibility to make sure that all relevant actions are officially approved, and using these documents for future reference.
Good project managers prepare detailed reports documenting the project’s progress throughout its life cycle, and evaluating its strengths and weaknesses to improve in the future.
10. Closing The Project
Completing the project on time and within allocated budget is like a dream come true for any project manager. During this stage, they work with clients to get formal sign-off to close the project. They double-check all quality parameters to ensure the work has been done as per clients’ expectations.
Resources that are no longer required are released. The work of third-party vendors is reviewed before closing their contracts and paying their invoices. Project files are archived for future reference.
By and Large
No matter how small or large the project is, you need a competent professional who can maintain efficiency and consistency of the team while optimally utilizing available resources. Project managers are an integral part of project management and any organization.
Project managers keep the team motivated and united to accomplish project goals. A highly skilled project manager is a valuable resource that can help your business grow leaps and bounds with timely delivery of projects, without crossing the budget.
So, are you ready to hire one for your business?
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Business Project Manager Responsibilities: You Need To Know About was originally published in ProofHub Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.