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Intelligent Project manager: The Mini CEO

The project manager is like a mini-CEO of a project. He (she) determines the way the project will be planned and carried out, the amount of funds that will be allocated for each phase of the project, the manpower and resources that may be required and the time needed for the project to reach completion. Apart from recognizable features of a project manager’s duties, there are some criteria that define his responsibilities.

This guide gives a general picture of what the responsibilities of a project manager are. Some encompass the character which he is to possess, while some take into account skills developed along the course of his profession. Ideally, a project manager’s responsibilities falls under four categories as mentioned below.

Personal Characteristics

There are some key personality traits that a project manager has to exhibit, which defines part of his responsibilities.

  • Adaptable and flexible
  • Leads and initiates
  • Confident and persuasive
  • Fluency and clarity with communication between the team and with stakeholders(effective communicator)
  • Integrator
  • Disciplined and well organized
  • Possesses skills in planning and control
  • Identifies problems with ease / skill
  • Problem solver
  • Effective in time management

Behavioral skills

A project manager is responsible for his team and team performance. Hence he has a behavioral commitment in light of his responsibilities. This can be summed up by the acronym LEAR.

  • Listen: He has to give ample amount of attention to his team, by being an attentive listener.
  • Explore: Information that is gathered from the team should be further researched and assessed. This is where his responsibility towards the team and project come into plat; when he acts on information obtained.
  • Acknowledge: Give credit to whom credit is due. This can be done only by the project manager towards his team.
  • Respond: When there are issues raised within the team, the project manager should initiate a response or action, in view of his position as head of the team and the leadership qualities he possesses. He should also be able to prepare and conduct meetings with ease.

Business Management skills

A project manager is part of an organization, and in essence a manager too. Therefore he has a certain obligation to the organization in view of his position.

  • Possess a strong understanding of the business and business operations
  • Possess adequate knowledge of project management
  • Ability to translate business requirements into projects
  • Ability to convert projects into business products or services
  • Have the ability to teach, train and develop project team during the course of a project in the interest of the organization.

Technical skills

Apart from having a strong personality, being a good team builder and a manager, it is necessary that a project manager has strong technical skills that wrap up his responsibilities.

  • He should be qualified to make technical judgment and decisions
  • He should have a clear understanding of the scope of the project and what it involves
  • He should be able to distinguish the needs of the different parameters one from another (cost, time, resources, manpower) and be able to prioritize tasks based on these.
  • He should be able to conduct effective risk management, change control, project execution and close-out
  • He should have a proper knowledge about project management tools and their functionality

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