What Project Managers do, how to become one and how much they earn

Introduction

Nowadays companies, whether large or medium-small, or even startups, are increasingly resorting to project management tools and techniques, allowing effective and efficient organization and collaboration between various parties involved that have the same goal.

Project management helps the team to organize and carry out the work within the project perimeter, with a special focus on timing and cost monitoring.

Therefore, it is key for every team and company to define a project management plan that can support a proper work performance, by meeting the project requirements, on time and costs.

Trying to manage a project without project management is like trying to play a football game without having a game plan.

Karen Tate

Historically, the figure of the project manager was associated with an employee specialized in project management and that required the possession of PMP certification from competent and specific institutes. Often the PM had to possess specific skills for a successful project. Nowadays, the role of the Project Manager has evolved, as well as the context in which this figure operates. Digital has further accelerated experimentation and corporate marketing processes, providing agile methods that have made project management more effective, contributing to the flexibility to change and to improve continuously.

As we saw in the previous article, Project Managers are those people who have the authority and responsibility to plan, manage the project, as well as the team and ensure that all best practices are always implemented. They also represent the point of contact both internally and for external stakeholders.

The attributes that distinguish the PM are many and different from each other.

They can be summarized as:

  • organizational skills, ability to track the activities performed, to prioritize and re-prioritize the planned activities and take charge of them in order of importance for the project;
  • knowledge of the expected areas of the project to allow Project Managers themselves to easily carry out the management of the internal team and external stakeholders;
  • communication, negotiation, team management skills and the sense of leadership required in project management.

What is the role of the Project Manager

Project Managers are seen as a figure in the company which espouses the project goals and uses their skills and competences to instill a shared scope within the project team.

Project Managers, as already mentioned in the previous paragraph, are leaders: not only they ensure that projects are delivered in the desired timing and in compliance with the budget, but they must also involve and stimulate their teams to work synergistically for the delivery success and create a relational and empathic bond with their customers and with the stakeholders involved.

PMs must have strong problem-solving skills, in order to encourage the project team to search for solutions to any potential issues as they arise. Furthermore, they should have communication skills to ensure alignment and information between all people involved, be it internal or external, and motivation and interest in project success.

It is not surprising that Project Managers are seen as critical to the success of any business.

What are the main responsibilities of the Project Manager

Specifically, Project Managers are responsible for the planning, organization and guidance for the finalization of the managed projects, making sure that they meet PM triple constraints, that is time, cost and scope.

The supervision of complex projects, from the start-up to the closing phase, allows Project Managers to govern the entire life cycle of the project and direct any corrective and improvement actions for cost reduction, maximization of budget efficiency, as well as fulfillment of all those activities within the project perimeter.

The specific tasks of Project Managers depend on the industry, organization and types of projects that they have to oversee.

Among the main responsibilities of a Project Manager we can find:

  • Definition and setting of the project scope
  • Planning and scheduling
  • Cost estimation and efficient use of budget
  • Resource allocation and management
  • Coordination of suppliers
  • Status updates and problem escalation
  • Risk analysis

What are the most important KPIs and skills for the Project Manager

The success of a project is commensurate with the ability of the Project Manager to deliver the goals envisaged in the plan, providing the related deliverables within the agreed timing, and maintaining project efficiency between the time worked by the project team and the allocated budget.

There are some KPIs useful to evaluate the figure of the Project Manager:

  • Timely delivery, the frequency with which projects are delivered within their deadline, so as to testing their reliability.
  • Careful planning, repeated alterations that indicate a lack of attention to detail during the early stages of a deliverable.
  • Use of resources, the correct employment of people within the project. Having inactive figures on a team is equivalent to wasting a budget.
  • Project efficiency, balance between the project planned cost and the final result. Correctly assess the expected and planned effort.
  • Customer feedback, error counting or customer complaints measure the quality of the work delivered.
  • Understanding and accuracy of requirements, or rather whether what has been done matches the original plan.
  • Success of milestones, fulfillment of project milestones and customer satisfaction in relation to what is actually delivered.

So that these KPIs are met, the Project Manager must:

  • apply a specific project requirement control approach
  • be direct, manage and motivate the project team
  • develop and maintain an agreed project plan
  • know how to manage risk and find possible solutions
  • adapt specialist knowledge to meet specific circumstances
  • plan and manage the use of physical and financial resources to achieve project milestones
  • build and support effective communications with the stakeholders involved in the project

How much Project Managers earn

If you have reached the end of this article, it is because you will also be interested in learning more about the economic aspect of the figure of the Project Manager.

This is based on various factors, ranging from the level of seniority, to the specific sector and field.

According to a study conducted by the website jobbydoo, the average salary of a project manager is € 51,500 gross per year (about € 2,500 net per month) and includes base salary and any bonuses.

Today, the role of the project manager is held 64% by men and 36% by women.

In lower salary ranges we find entry-level roles, with a minimum professional experience and who take the title of Junior Project Manager, while more experienced profiles such as the Senior Project Manager can reach wage levels much higher than the average for the sector.

Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash

Dario Borzì

Digital Consultant & PM Lead @ 3rdPlace (Datrix Group)

In 2014 start his adventure in a digital advertising agency. After his master’s degree and a master’s degree focused on Global Marketing, he completes a second master’s degree in Digital Marketing & Social Media. He is Digital Consultant & PM Lead in 3rdPlace (Datrix group) role that allows him to consolidate his experience in the management of digital projects both of national and international companies.

12 May 2022

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