Project management is all about making sure the project is completed on time and within the estimated budget.
It’s a job position for those who are looking to:
- Manage team members
- Conquer new challenges
- Take calculated risks
It can be very stressful, but the reward is definitely worth it! After all, you’re the one responsible for the project’s success.
In this post, you’ll discover everything about project management and how to get into it.
A Quick Primer on Project Managers
A project manager is a professional that organizes, plans, and executes projects while making sure everything is on time and within budget. These professionals lead teams, evaluate projects, and make decisions on the go.
After all, they’re the ones who are responsible for the project’s success or failure.
The Roles & Responsibilities of a Project Manager
Let’s take a look at some of the roles and responsibilities of project managers, so you know precisely what makes a great project manager – and what skills and training you should be looking for.
You are probably already familiar with using a project management software solution, such as Asana, Trello, or Atarim.
And while you may get along with these tools just fine (since you probably use them daily), you’ll most likely need to get at least some sort of understanding of the more advanced/admin features.
This is because your job will usually involve assessing the project and dividing it into smaller milestones.
You will then have to dig a bit deeper and divide each milestone into tasks for the team.
This requires careful planning, proper resource management, and the ability to choose the right team members and manage them – so that everything is on track.
You’ll often find that the initial plan will vary from how the project actually progresses.
If that happens, it’s your responsibility to step in, make the necessary adjustments, and take a leadership role in the team. You have to be able to understand what’s happening – and find a way to fix it.
Team leadership also involves giving clear direction and guidance to the project team and motivating your team members. After all, the friendlier and better working environment you can create, the better the results of the projects.
Atarim lets you manage your team better with internal tasks.
Internal tasks act as clear directions and guidance to your team members – your clients won’t be able to see them.
This enables you to provide team members with all the information they need without overwhelming the external stakeholders. This is also useful if you don’t want to share all tasks with the stakeholders.
Because these internal tasks can be left as visual notes directly on the web page, your team members will know exactly what to do, and be able to dive straight in and carry out the necessary work. This makes communication and the delegation of tasks so much easier for you, as project manager.
Risk management is all about identifying risks and dealing with them.
For instance, in a graphic design project, you might identify that the client’s requested revisions could heavily affect the project timeline.
After identifying the potential risks, you’ll need to assess their impact and likelihood. The next step is to find a way to mitigate these risks or overcome them.
For instance, in the design example above, you could schedule regular check-ins and communicate clearly with the stakeholders. This would let your team make the changes as you work on the project – instead of when it’s done.
This could help eliminate any delays and speed up the workflow. Of course, this requires careful planning, and high adaptability.
You’ll also have to be able to effectively communicate with the stakeholders.
This requires active listening, clear communication, and also both interpreting what the stakeholders said to your team, and making the necessary adjustments. You’re also the one providing reports and expectations of the project to them.
If you can properly communicate with your stakeholders, you’ll be able to encourage them to leave feedback in a timely manner, so you can adjust the project accordingly.
👉We understood the issue with feedback and communication on visual projects – and that’s why we created Atarim!
Atarim enables either the client or anyone on your team to leave visual feedback or suggestions on the live website you’re working on – instead of sending confusing emails back and forth, and relying on guesswork.
This streamlines the communication and avoids confusion.
Budget and Resource Management
Budget and resource management is one of the key roles of project managers. This requires careful estimation and planning, adjustments, and plenty of experience.
Although it’s one of the hardest skills to master, it’s also one of the most important. If you can show others that your projects are on time and to budget, they’ll most likely choose you over most project managers.
Developing the Skills for Success
You’ve learned the roles and responsibilities of project managers and the way they work.
But how do you actually develop the skills you need – or improve them for that matter? That’s what you’ll learn in this section.
Communication & Leadership Skills
Communication and leadership skills are some of the most important skills for successful project management.
In fact, businesses that communicate effectively are able to achieve:
These skills are something you have to develop over years.
But there are useful tips or areas of communication and leadership to look into, such as:
- Active listening. Focus on fully understanding what others are saying before formulating a response.
- Clear and concise communication. Practice articulating ideas clearly and directly.
- Feedback and constructive criticism. Provide and receive feedback in a constructive manner.
- Lead by Example. Demonstrate the behaviors and attitudes you expect from the team members. This sets a standard for communication and leadership.
Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is finding and understanding facts to make a decision.
It’s about getting the emotions out of the way and focusing on what’s really happening – seeing the situations objectively.
Problem-solving is vital too.
It’s the ability to solve problems that occur within your projects – and trust us, there will be plenty of problems to solve!
To help you be better at both of these skills, we recommend that you practice:
- Scenario-based exercises. Engage in problem-solving exercises that mimic real-world situations. This sharpens your ability to think critically under pressure.
- Root Cause Analysis. Practice identifying the causes of problems rather than just addressing surface-level symptoms.
- Brainstorming. Foster a creative environment where team members can freely share ideas to solve challenges.
Adaptability and Flexibility
Most projects don’t go as planned – in fact only 64% of all projects meet their objectives.
That’s why you’ll need to constantly shift priorities, make the necessary adjustments, and be extremely flexible and adaptable to the situations that occur. The best way to learn this is with experience.
However, careful planning and risk management, which includes assessing every scenario that may occur and preparing for it, can be a massive help.
Here are a few tips you can follow to be more flexible as a project manager.
- Embrace change. Approach changes with a positive attitude and a willingness to adapt. See them as opportunities for growth and improvement.
- Scenario planning. Develop contingency plans for potential changes or unforeseen events. This prepares you to respond effectively in dynamic situations.
- Time management and prioritization. Build the ability to quickly adjust priorities and allocate resources based on changing circumstances.
Quick Tip: Don’t forget to take a closer look at past projects, learn from them, and apply what you learned into the new ones.
58% of job success is attributed to emotional intelligence – across all jobs!
Emotional intelligence is what will help you understand how your team members feel and what motivates them. This empowers you to keep everyone happy and feeling good.
(This massively promotes job satisfaction and productivity.)
You can take an emotional intelligence test to see how you stack up against others.
If you’re looking to sharpen your emotional intelligence, be emphatic, and maximize the success rate of projects, we recommend looking into:
- Self-awareness. Practice understanding your emotions, triggers, and tendencies.
- Empathy. Learn to understand and relate to the emotions of others. This helps build strong relationships and fosters a positive team dynamic.
- Regulation of emotions. Learn to manage and express emotions in a healthy and constructive manner.
- Recognizing emotions in others: Sharpen your ability to perceive the emotions of others, even when they have a difficult time showing them.
How Much Do Project Managers Make?
The average salary of a project manager in the US was $95,370 annually in 2022.
Of course, this is only the average – you can make well over $150,000 or more, especially if you’re qualified and experienced.
To maximize your chances of getting higher pay, we recommend:
- Choosing the right niche. Some niches are more profitable than others. The most profitable niches are design, IT, construction, and healthcare.
- Getting educated. Online courses or professional training can often help you sharpen your skills and lead to higher pay.
- Getting certified. Certifications act as a proof of your skills and can validate your abilities to the employer.
Conclusion – Ready to Start Your Project Management Journey?
Project management is high in demand since it plays a pivotal role in ensuring projects are successful and delivered on time.
If this sounds like a job position for you, you might find these resources useful:
- Managing Stress As a Business & Agency Owner
- Asynchronous Communication: What Is It? How Does It Help?
- The 6 Stages of Project Management: How to Manage Projects Like a PRO
Looking for an effective way to manage projects?
With Atarim, you can leverage point-and-click collaboration to enable clients and stakeholders to point at what they’re referring to on any live web page, and immediately leave feedback, say what needs to be changed, and so much more.
Plus, you can also create milestones, divide them into tasks, and monitor performance.
If you want to receive feedback that makes sense, make it easier to collaborate with clients, and finish projects in days instead of weeks, sign up to Atarim today – with paid plans from just $20 per month.
- Integrated into the leading visual collaboration platform trusted by 13,000+ agencies (web dev, design, and beyond) worldwide.
- Supporting project delivery for 1,200,000+ of their clients and stakeholders.
- Deliver projects in days instead of weeks.