21 Jul 2020
In theory, it’s obvious: a project manager manages projects. But what does that mean in practice? What does a project manager do on a day-to-day basis to achieve their objectives?
In this career guide, we look at what project manager jobs typically entail to help you decide if this is the career path for you.
We also explore the skills you’ll need to be successful in this field along with some project manager courses you might benefit from completing.
The essence of a project manager’s role is planning, organising, and supervising projects from conception to completion. A project manager isn’t just successful if their projects get completed though – they’re also responsible for ensuring each project:
Gets completed by its deadline
Stays within budget
During the planning phase, a project manager will typically set up a project management plan and schedule, identify the overall objectives and prioritise tasks, forecast the required resources, and form an adequate team for completing the project.
Once the project is underway, the manager needs to:
Liaise with all relevant stakeholders
Supervise and guide team members
Track the project and ensure its progress aligns with the set schedule
Identify obstacles as they arise and determine how to overcome them
Continuously evaluate how the team is performing
Act as the key contact point for the project team.
As you can see from the long list of responsibilities above, strong multi-tasking and organisational skills are essential for a project manager. You also need to be a strong communicator and leader in order to manage the expectations of stakeholders while clearly explaining your vision and instructions to the team.
Time management is crucial – not just for completing your own duties on time but also for delegating tasks appropriately to others and ensuring all stages of the project are completed on schedule.
Other attributes that will help you succeed in project manager jobs include:
Business acumen and problem-solving skills
An analytical yet creative mindset
Strong decision-making and critical-thinking skills
Budget management skills
Experience with project management tools.
If your skills and interests line up with everything discussed above, it’s time to consider what kind of formal education could help you pursue a career as a project manager.
Our BSB50820 Diploma of Project Management is a great place to start. This course will help you develop all the essential knowledge and skills to excel as a project manager in any industry, with units that focus on managing:
Information and communication
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