Project Manager is a profession that we hear quite a lot about recently. However, hardly anyone knows what its representatives do. Meanwhile, it is worth taking an interest in this subject, as employers offer Project Managers attractive employment conditions. At the same time, they are looking for real specialists, conducting an extensive recruitment process – especially when it comes to high-budget projects. What else is worth knowing about this profession? Find the answers below.
Who is a Project Manager?
A project manager is a person responsible for managing projects in a company. In a nutshell, his/her main task is to plan and execute projects from start to finish. He/she prepares the project plan, implements it and then makes sure that each stage of the project is carried out as planned. He or she is also responsible for the final shape of the project. It is important to note that a Project Manager can work in virtually any industry. People in this position are often employed in IT, telecommunications and investment companies in particular. Efficient project management is nowadays one of the factors which influences the competitiveness of a given company. This is why more and more project managers are being hired. This profession emerged relatively recently, in the 1990s, mainly in companies specialising in information technology, architecture and engineering. Today, many bosses cannot imagine a company functioning without a Project Manager.
The main responsibilities of the Project Manager are:
-developing and implementing a strategy of activities,
-prepare the schedule taking into account the possible risks of failure,
-managing the resources needed to achieve a specific objective,
-building and leading a project team,
-monitoring and controlling the various stages of the project,
-checking that all processes are running according to the law,
-improving the efficiency of the team,
-exploiting opportunities and mitigating risks,
-allocating responsibilities among employees,
-coordinating the activities of employees,
-helping the team resolve conflicts,
-keeping and updating necessary documentation,
-prepare interim and final reports and reports,
-improving various processes (e.g. reporting, budgeting),
-representing the team at meetings with clients and managers.
When necessary, the Project Manager must also intervene at critical moments, find a solution to a problem as quickly as possible and rectify it skilfully.
What competencies should a Project Manager have?
A characteristic feature of this profession is that its representatives must combine soft and hard competences, related to in-depth knowledge of industry issues. A Project Manager should be assertive, have leadership skills and the competence to work with other people. This is due to the fact that he or she often has to conduct difficult conversations – both with the team, clients and management. Analytical and negotiating skills will also certainly come in handy. Organisational skills are also necessary – the Project Manager should manage time well and plan his/her own work professionally. It is also important for a Project Manager to be familiar with various project management methods and to be able to apply them to different tasks. As far as the methods themselves are concerned, we can distinguish among them: classic (Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM), Critical Path Method (CPM) or PRINCE2), agile (Scrum, Agile, Kanban) or cascade (Waterfall or hybrid (Waterfall and Agile). It is even better if the Project Manager is familiar with tools that support project work, such as, for example, Asana, Bascamp, Trello, Jira.
Project Manager – what studies do you need to complete to become one?
If you want to work in this profession, a Master’s degree in Project Management is a great choice. During your studies, you will learn the most important concepts and methods related to the effective management of projects, their financing and the management of people and organisations. These studies are often practice-oriented, so you will learn how to act in a position in any organisation, as well as in your own company as an independent project manager. It is also good if the Project Manager has a degree in the industry in which he or she works or – simply – has an excellent understanding of it.
How much does a Project Manager earn?
A Project Manager’s earnings largely depend on the company and the type of activities carried out. It turns out that in the British Isles, people in this profession earn annual salaries of £46 176 per year, or £3848 per month. In the USA, on the other hand, they enjoy a salary of USD 75 397 a year, or USD 6283