Project managers are one of the central components in project management. They play a vital role in getting the project to reach its objectives successfully. In this article, you will learn about what a project manager does, some of the questions that project managers get asked in an interview and how Sinnaps, the project management software can benefit project managers’ work.
Project Manager Job Description
A project manager is the person that oversees the management of any project– this serves as a general project manager description. The job of a project manager is made up of different aspects. These aspects are made up of planning managing coordinating and controlling the project along its path way to completion. Project managers require specific training and skills that allow them to have the capabilities to manage project effectively.
Project managers are in charge of agreeing on project objectives. This happens usually with the import of team members and other key stakeholders or clients. It is important to have the objective solidified before beginning a project so that everyone is clear of what is expected.
Project managers also act as representatives of the client for whom they are working or for the organisation of which they form a part. Project managers listen to what the client or organisation wants, and it is their responsibility to make sure that the project is completed in alignment with client or organisational wishes.
Risks and risk management form a crucial part in project management. Project managers are tasked with carrying out risk assessments for every project on which they work. These risk assessments allow for the adequate preparation for potential problems or bottlenecks and diffused their negative impact on the project.
Project managers monitor and control the project team and team members. Their performance is what is controlled and kept track of throughout the project. This is done to ensure that the project deadline will be met and that everyone is doing what is expected of them. Project management software, such as Sinnaps, makes this job easier for project managers.
Reports and documents form a major part of project management. Project managers are tasked with drawing up these reports and documents and having them prepared for anyone that is involved with the project who would like to view them. It is the responsibility of the project manager to sign off on reports and documents associated with the project.
The project manager, upon completion of the project, evaluate the success of its results against its benchmarking. The lessons and mistakes are highlighted and shared so as to act as a learning tool for future projects. This will be beneficial for the project team and the organisation.
What does a Project Manager Do?
A perfect project manager resume sample would demonstrate a project manager’s ability to perform several specific activities while managing projects. Some of the more specific project manager tasks include:
- Holding a kick-off meeting
- Meeting with clients and stakeholders
- Preparing a budget
- Separating the roles and responsibilities of team members
- Allocating team members to specific tasks
- Allocating resources to tasks
- Preparing documents throughout the project and using them to communicate with the client or stakeholders
- Controlling and monitoring costs and resources
- Assessing the risks of a project
- Holding a closing meeting
Project Manager Requirements
In terms of educational requirements to become a project manager there exists a formal route of training as a PM. A Bachelors degree in project management is one way to prepare for a career as a project manager. Other disciplines such as engineering, marketing, finance, IT etc., are also good steppingstones to then applying this study to graduate project management programs.
Graduate programs are offered in physical establishments such as universities, but also online. In these graduate programs, future project managers learn about leadership, risk management, budgeting and scheduling.
Masters degree programs offer more advanced level study. Strategy, administration, cost planning and project control are some of the topics that are covered. An internship or placement may be a requirement during such a program so that future project managers can attain real life experience.
A project management certification can be obtained once you have sufficient project management experience. This certification is offered by PMI. Once you pass this exam there is a requirement to continue going to education classes every three years so that you can maintain your qualification.
In terms of personal requirements to become a project manager there also exist a few favourable personality traits. A project manager resume template would include the following traits:
Leadership qualities: A project manager essentially acts as a leader for the project team. And effective project team is dependent on an effective project leader. For this reason, it is important for a project manager to possess leadership qualities. This means an ability to lead by example, having patience, keeping everyone up-to-date and aware of what is happening, be a person that team members feel they can go to with doubts or uncertainties.
Communication skills: Open and honest communication is at the heart of project management.
Project managers act as the main source of communication, not only for team members, but also for other stakeholders and most importantly, the client. Project manager resume examples will show a big emphasis placed on communication skills along with evidence backing up this claim.
Organisational skills: A project manager is required to keep control over a project. This calls for strong organisational skills and capabilities. If a person is unorganised, it is on likely that they will become an effective project manager. Organisation and planning is a key skill that project managers simply must possess.
Ability to deal with uncertainties: Change is constant. A project is constantly faced with uncertainties and potential risks and danger. The way in which a project manager can deal with such uncertainty is reflects a lot on the outcome of a project. Project managers need to be able to face problems in a calm and collected manner. Panic will not serve the project in any way. Planning and assessing or risks beforehand benefits this type of situation in project management.
Questions to Ask a Project Manager in an Interview
The job of a project manager varies across fields. They can work in several industries, from and IT project manager to a human resources project manager. Project managers can also work by themselves or be in charge of a team depending on the specific job position. Either way, all project managers must go through an interview process. Here are some project manager interview questions to ask if you are interviewing a potential candidate:
Could you discuss some of the key challenges for our industry today and how they could be tackled effectively? This question is asked to make sure that the candidate is aware of the current trends of the industry in which they are working. It is important that they are up-to-date with industry specific aspects so that they can effectively manage projects in that industry.
Could you describe some of the communication challenges you faced on one of your previous projects? Challenges are a common occurrence in project management, especially on the side of communication. Having the knowledge of how to deal with such challenges will show that the candidate will act appropriately in such a situation and not allow it to grow into a major problem.
What is your communication style? Different communication styles exist, and different styles work best with different teams. Understanding the communication style of the candidate will allow you to see if they will fit in with the project team and be able to work effectively.
Some communication and negotiation skills in this lesson…
How have you, in the past, handled team member disputes? Disputes and conflict between team members is very common in project management. A clear method with how these disputes will be handled must be in place so that they do not cause detriment to the project’s outcome. A potential project manager must have the knowledge and experience in how to deal with such an occurrence.
How can you make sure that your project team delivers or exceeds client expectations? A project manager cover letter often will include a great emphasis placed on how the candidate is dedicated to delivering and even exceeding client expectations. This question will also determine whether the candidate is motivated by success or not.
What, in your opinion is the best way to help your team develop? Team development and continuous improvement is crucial to the organisation. A project manager oversees helping team members to develop in terms of experience and skills, creating added value for everyone involved.
How do you monitor and review team member performance? The organisation will be giving the potential project manager the responsibility of overseeing and reviewing team member performance. The candidate must demonstrate that they have the experience in such a situation and that they would implement an appropriate method in this task.
How do you set goals? Technical project manager interview questions often refer to goals and even specific IT capabilities. Goals are a central part to project management. A candidate must portray their ability to effectively set goals in a way that they can be effectively attained.
How do you deal with uncertainties? Project manager behavioural interview questions are used to determine the candidate’s potential future behaviour in a certain situation. They can be more specific and set a scene and ask what the candidate would do. These questions allow interviewers to determine whether that behavioural choice would suit the organisation or not.
What project management software are you familiar with? Software project manager interview questions are used to determine whether the candidate has the required IT skills and experience with software that is becoming increasingly used in organisations.
How Sinnaps can Help Project Managers
Sinnaps is a project management application available online that has benefitted thousands of users. There is no doubt that this cloud-based option will benefit project managers and their projects, while also giving candidates a head-start on agile project management interview questions.
Test Mode is a feature available on Sinnaps that allows project managers to test a potential change and to see how the project would be affected overall before implementing it fully. This is beneficial for uncertainties the project is facing or for potential changes that need to be introduced. This feature dramatically reduces the scope for failure due to error in a project.
Templates such as project plans, reports and documents are widely available from the Sinnaps community. They are shared and available for you to use at your leisure. These templates save you time and effort and can be exported to excel and modified to the specific requirement of your project. You can also create your own templates for future use.
The Critical Path of the project is automatically calculated and the tasks most important to the project’s successful completion are clearly highlighted at the top of the Sinnaps Gantt-flow. This automatic calculation is done using PERT and CPM technologies.
The Key Performance Indicators available on the Sinnaps application help project managers to keep track of costs and resources effectively. If they run out, the project faces a major problem and these indicators serve as an effective visualisation of how much is being used.
Teams are becoming more and more decentralised, but still require strong and effective communication. Sinnaps is a communicative tool in itself. It can be accessed by anyone involved with the project, at any time no matter where they are allowing them to always be kept up-to-date, while also sending out e-mail alerts.
As is the case for every job position, there is an interview process through which project managers must go. The questions are specific to the role and the requirements of a job as a project manager. A one page project manager resume might not be enough to show all relevant experience, however don’t write a resume that is 5 pages long- no one has time to read that!
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