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Project Manager Job Description

Deepa Kartha
Project managers are required in every company or organization. The project manager is required to cater to numerous duties and responsibilities.
A project manager is a person responsible for planning a project and seeing that it is completed successfully, within the given deadline. He needs to have excellent management skills to coordinate with the entire team, the clients, and the stakeholders. Let us take a look at the qualifications, skills, and responsibilities required to become a project manager.
A person who wants to apply for the position of project manager should essentially have:

A degree in management
Training in project management
3 - 4 years of experience in project management
Having said this, it doesn't mean others who lack these qualifications cannot become project managers. There are many successful professionals who do not possess any specific degree, but are doing great as project managers.
It all depends if the higher level management feels you are capable of handling the responsibility of a project manager.

There are several certifications one can obtain to increase employability and one's skillset in this field. Some of them have been listed below.

Project Manager Certifications

Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
A certification aimed at polishing the skills of freshers to the highly competitive arena of project management, CAPM helps professionals establish themselves as eligible for project management profiles.
It requires a minimum qualification of a high school diploma, and at least 23 hours of education in project management, or 1500 hours of experience, before the date of the examination. It is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI).
Project Management Professional (PMP)
One of the most important industry certifications, the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is highly sought after by professionals looking to advance their careers. It requires a Bachelor's degree (4 years) and a minimum of 3 years of project management experience.
A high school diploma holder can also enroll for the certification, although he would require at least 5 years of experience, and a minimum of 7500 hours leading a project. It is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI).
Various universities and educational institutes also provide certifications in project management, a popular one being the Stanford Advanced Project Management certification.

Duties of a Project Manager


A project manager's job profile primarily entails handling a specific project/projects. He is expected to handle different functions right from strategic planning, and organizing, to looking into minute details of the project.
The project manager acts like the brain, and after a lot of planning, instructs the other parts of the body (team members) to perform certain functions, so as to attain a certain goal.


The planning process involves forming a team of experts required for effective completion of the project. The project manager has to state the purpose of the project, and assign specific roles to all the team members.
He will also have to ascertain the time for completion of the project, and likewise allot duties, such that the project is completed within the stipulated deadline.

Manage Resources

Besides recruiting and training new employees, the project manager is also expected to manage his team efficiently. He is supposed to supervise the team's daily work, and ensure everybody is working efficiently. It is also a part of the project manager's job profile to maintain a cordial relationship with clients.
Just planning and allotting tasks is not enough. A project manager is expected to communicate the task in the best possible manner.
He is also supposed to explain the job expectations and deadlines well so that there are no losses incurred due to miscommunication. A project manager's task is not only to communicate with his own team members, but also to work in coordination with other teams to achieve set goals.


Since the project manager is unlikely to handle only one project at a particular time, he should have the ability to multitask. He should see to it that all the projects under his/her supervision are simultaneously progressing smoothly towards completion.
Moreover, the project manager should ensure no project is being neglected because of another.
The job profile of a project manager also involves crisis management. In case of a hurdle or crisis, the project manager should be able to take the lead and help resolve the issue in the shortest time possible. 
If the problem is between the team members and the clients, he should be able to sort it amicably, such that the relationships are maintained and work is not affected.
Since the project manager is the captain of a ship, he is responsible for motivating the team members, right from the beginning to the end of a project. 
In case of a detour from the course of the planned project, the manager has to motivate the team so they can accomplish the necessary requirements, even with the sudden changes. The success of a project manager will largely depend on how well the team works together.

Monitoring and Controlling

Cost-management is also an integral part of a project manager's duties and he has to interact frequently with officials from the finance department, to see if the project is within budget limits. If it is not, he must take remedial action immediately and ensure the project remains within cost boundaries.

Regular Follow-up

It is part of the project manager's duty to conduct follow-up meetings on a regular basis and ensure everybody is on track. Any slackness should be dealt with there and then, such that there is no delay in completion of the project.
He is also expected to make project reports on a timely basis, thereby documenting the progress.

Foresee Project Developments

The project manager has to have the ability to foresee. He should be able to quickly gauge if the project is heading on track or not. If the progress is not as expected, there might have to be a strategy change. Moreover, certain improvements and adjustments may have to be made to the original plan.

Project Closure

After the project is completed, the project manager should conduct a meeting with the team to critically examine the project and discuss the results. Here, the project manager should find the key factors that led to the completion of the project, and those that were not beneficial for the project so that they can be avoided in the future.

Key Competencies and Skills

As the job of a project manager carries huge responsibilities, he needs to have certain important skills. Two of the most important skills required to become a project manager are planning and organization skills. Along with these, a project manager should also possess the skills mentioned below for project execution and management.
Financial management skills
Good communication (verbal and written) and interpersonal skills
Excellent business management and developmental skills
Leadership qualities
Efficient team management skills
Ability to resolve conflicting situations
Computer or technical knowledge
Effective problem-solving skills
When a fresher joins a firm, he will generally have to start at the position of a Project Assistant. With experience, he can then move up to the position of a Project Manager, and subsequently acquire the designation of a Senior Project Manager.
Project managers are valuable assets of an organization. This job is highly satisfying, if one has the capability to efficiently prioritize and execute tasks in a high-pressure environment, to meet project guidelines.