Professional project management for your long-term growth and success

A successful project manager must have a certain skillset—strong leadership and communication, organization, time management and problem-solving skills, to name a few. But unrealistic expectations could end up causing confusion, frustration and disappointment for both project managers and employers. This may be because the employer does not fully understand the role of project management and the overall value that it brings. Here is a high-level list that can help provide some clarity.

You can expect a PM to:

  • Plan – Develop the schedule, identify issues and risks
  • Coordinate/Facilitate – Status meetings, project prioritization, task and action item follow-up
  • Communicate – Project reporting, problem or issue escalation, meeting minutes
  • Manage - Scope, budget, schedule, resource allocations and stakeholder expectations
  • Lead/Deliver – Help the team complete projects as successfully as possible

Don’t expect a PM to:

  • Fix department or operational issues
  • Resolve resource issues (attendance or performance issues, etc.)
  • Deliver ALL projects on time (projects can be delayed or even fail if critical success factors are not met – i.e. no project sponsor, not enough resources, and so on).

It is the responsibility of the project manager to escalate critical issues, risks or roadblocks to management, but not necessarily to resolve them. Project management offers many advantages to an organization, including better planning, improved communication, team productivity and overall customer satisfaction. But if expectations are unclear or unrealistic, they could be set up for failure.

Clearly understanding the role of project management and defining expectations up front not only helps the project manager be successful, your company will succeed as well.

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Getting Real: Understanding the Role of a Project Manager

by Veronica Thraen / May 2, 2016

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