Do you as a project manager know exactly what your role is on a project? Is it currently the role of a project administrator?

The role of a project manager is to deliver a project on time, within budget and to the agreed specifications.

This implies that as a project manager you need to upfront specify exactly what will be delivered and then document this along with a work schedule and budget.

But this is not all that a project manager needs to take care of. There are a few other very important skills a project manager requires to ensure he or she succeeds as a highly qualified project manager.

These different roles are; finding the right resources, leading and motivating them throughout the project, managing the budget, managing scope changes on the project and maybe most important is continuously communicate the state of the project to all stakeholders.

Finding the best resources to work on your projects is very important. Successful projects are delivered by highly skilled teams and as such it is the role of the project manager to put together the best team of skilled people that complement each other perfectly. The best way to achieve this is to document a detailed Job Description for each role player on the team. This will not only ensure you engage the most appropriate team members, but will also give everyone in the team a clear understanding of what is expected of them right though the whole project.

Once a team has been created, another role the project manager has to play is to lead and motivate the team continuously. You are the one responsible for ensuring that every task is completed successfully and on time, and as such needs to be the one that is going to have to be strict in ensuring that every task is completed one time, with the highest quality and within budget.

Apart from being strict, you will also have to be able to lead the team and give proper direction where necessary. Motivating the team during tough times is also very important. To lead the team and ensure that they work hard, the project manager must lead by example and as such work even harder than the rest of the team.

Every project must have a clearly defined budget. It is the project manager’s responsibility to ensure that spending on the project stays within the budget. This could be achieved by creating a proper project budget listing every expense in detail and make sure that each of these items are budgeted for. If any unbudgeted items do come along, ensure that these are communicated well in advance and are then included in the budget. Remember to never be afraid to ask for more budget, if that is what the project requires, but be able to clearly justify such a request.

Another issue that can sink a project very quickly is when scope changes or scope creep, as it is referred to more often, is not managed correctly. The scope of the project must be defined upfront, agreed to by all stakeholders and formally signed off. Any new changes or requirements that are asked for must then be documented via the proper change process and discussed and prioritized at the appropriate meetings.

Remember than more often than not, such scope changes will lead to further financial requirements and must be included in the budget.

Finally, another role the project manager must be able to execute perfectly is that of communication of the project during the whole life cycle of the project to all stakeholders. Ensure that a communication plan is documented and signed off up front and stick to this communication plan. If all stakeholders at all levels know that the project is on track or that appropriate measures are put in place to bring the project back in line, it will motivate everyone on the project.

Project status must be communicated to all stakeholders, the team, the project owner and project sponsor and customer minimum every week. Ensure that this is communicated in a formalized, documented way every week at the same time and never, never, never miss a week. Ensure that you communicate the right messages to the right people at the right time.

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