The Role of a Project Manager

The role of a Project Manager is to “Deliver the project on time, within budget and to specification”. So in other words, you need to specify clearly upfront what must be delivered by the project, and then you need to produce it within the schedule and budget assigned.
But it’s not that simple. You might meet this objective but totally fail as a “top notch Project Manager”. We believe your role is much more than that. It is also…
1: To recruit the best
Great projects are delivered by a great team. Your role is to recruit the best people you can find and make sure that their skill sets are perfectly complimentary so that you have all of the experience you need to deliver the project successfully.
You need to document a detailed Job Description for every person in your team so that they all know what is expected of them, at every step in the journey. Only with a great team and everyone knowing what is expected of them, will you deliver a great result.
2: To motivate and lead
You need to be the one “cracking the whip” so that everyone knows what is to be done and by when. You need to be strict and make sure that every task is done on time and doesn’t slip. If it does slip, then you need to identify the slippage immediately and have contingency plans so you can get back on track.
As well as cracking the whip, you need to be positive and supportive towards your team so they know you also care. You need to lead by example and motivate others to do the same. If you want others to work hard, then you need to work harder than they do.
Lead by giving them direction, motivating them to work hard and showing you care along the way.
3: To manage the finances
Every project has a budget, whether it’s clearly defined or not. You need to ensure that you don’t spend more than you’re entitled to, or your sponsor / client will be dissatisfied with the end result. Manage finances carefully by listing every expense and ensuring that they are budgeted upfront. If unbudgeted expenditure takes place, tell your client as soon as possible to avoid complications down the track. If you need more budget, then don’t be afraid to ask for it!
4: To control change
You need to be the one who controls all change to the project scope, tightly. “Scope creep” kills projects. Define the scope of the project upfront and then review it each week to make sure that you’re not doing un-authorized work at any time. Your customer will ask for change throughout the project. Don’t always give in. Stay your ground and when this happens, ask for more time or budget to cater for it. Remember—no matter how many changes they ask you for, they will still beat you up if you’re late or over budget. So control change when you see it.
5: Communicate
It’s your job as a Project Manager to communicate the status of the project regularly. If people know it’s on track it will motivate them. If they know it’s late it will motivate them even more. But they will only know if it’s on time or late if you communicate this to them.
You need to communicate the project status to your team, project sponsor and client every week of the project life cycle. Never miss a week. Always document the status accurately. Never exaggerate. Communicate the right messages t the right people at the right time.

Project manager at site

Project manager at site

There you have it! If you want a Job Description template to learn more about the role of a Project Manager then go to
Or get the Project Management Kit of templates. It includes all of the templates you need to perform your role as a Project Manager, and more…


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