In a world marked by rapid technological changes and ever growing competition, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that do not want to lose their market share need to continuously innovate to increase their value and improve their competitiveness.
Undertaking new projects is one possible strategy to create more value, develop new commercial alternatives, or even digitize the company. However, for SMEs to succeed and stand out among the rest of the competition, having a Project Manager is essential.
What is a Project Manager?
The role of the Project Manager arises from the need to have an internal figure in charge of coordinating actions and resources to achieve the company’s numerous objectives. In this way, the Project Manager has a series of fixed tasks, including but not limited to, planning and designating project resources, preparing budgets and monitoring the company’s overall progress. This figure must not only know the necessary tools, but also have the ability to use them effectively to achieve the objectives.
A successful Project Manager must have the capacity to lead the rest of the employees and coordinate between multiple stakeholders, as they are often in charge of forming teams, delegating tasks, and reporting back to the stakeholders. As project management involves many challenges, a good Project Manager is one that is resilient and adaptable to different environments and constant change.
The Role of the Project Manager
Defining and presenting the project
The Project Manager is in charge of outlining the business project in detail, including defining the scope, objectives, and budget. Furthermore, they need to present this information to the stakeholders for approval. The Project Manager plays an intermediate role between decision makers and the working team in charge of carrying out the project.
The Project Manager also determines the human, technical and financial resources that will be allocated for the project. They are in charge of developing a project timeline with fixed deadlines, breaking down the operational objectives that must be met, and delegating those that are responsible for each task.
Monitoring progress and costs
Another area the Project Manager covers is monitoring the overall progress of the different teams in the company, and ensuring that the costs stay within the assigned budget. A Project Manager must be able to make adjustments if tasks are not completed in a timely manner and ensure that all stakeholders are informed with any updates and changes to the project.
The Project Manager has to be attentive to the numerous changes in the environment of the SME and/or in the market to intervene quickly and minimize any possible risks. They are in charge of finding and applying solutions when delays or setbacks occur, and of making strategic decisions that guarantee the durability and completion of the project.
The Main Qualities of a Project Manager
A Project Manager must have excellent communication skills since they have to communicate constantly, both with the management of the company and with their team. They must be able to convey their ideas clearly and directly to avoid any miscommunication that could threaten the completion of the project.
Project managers must be able to effectively manage the employees under their charge, while motivating them to commit to the project. A good leader, like the Project Manager, must also practice active listening, be open to new ideas, and create a healthy work environment that encourages productivity and avoids toxicity.
Along with being a good leader, a Project Manager must also be able to delegate duties and responsibilities, taking into account the capabilities and potential of each member of his team, and ensure that these tasks get completed.
A good Project Manager needs to have the necessary technical skills to understand and carry out the project plan. Knowledge and experience in the sector will allow a Project Manager to foresee possible problems, make strategic decisions, and rely on the best practices to complete the project.
Capacity to work under pressure
Throughout a project, many challenges can unexpectedly appear that may slow down its development. In order to adequately deal with these difficulties, the Project Manager has to be able to remain calm under pressure and make decisions without being overwhelmed by the challenging circumstances.
Project Manager Responsibilities
The responsibilities of a Project Manager are grouped into three broad categories:
1. Regarding the Project
- Manage the project effectively, being inclusive of the different objectives proposed by all parties.
- Coordinate the development of plans, estimates, and budgets to achieve set goals such as the cost, time, scope, functionality, and quality.
2. Regarding the Parent Organization
- Ensure that the project objectives remain aligned with the strategic goals of the business.
- Guide the decision-making process so that the result of the decisions is in the interest of the parent company.
- Obtain formal approvals of the project parameters.
- Keep the senior management team informed about the performance and status of the project, formulating forecasts and projections.
- Ensure that the project provides a tangible benefit to the company.
- Respect and enforce the assets of the organizational processes of the parent company.
- Act within the limits of authority that has been delegated to the position.
- Balancing the need for technological advancement with the need to achieve business results.
3. Regarding the Work Team
- Guarantee and ensure that the team remains informed by facilitating constructive feedback, as well as giving positive, fair, and adequate performance appraisal.
- Ensure that all technical disciplines required by project work are adequately represented.
- Consider the techniques, values, and interests when assigning or delegating tasks.
- Provide development, education, and training opportunities for team members.
- Encourage the development of a common vision and mission.
Project managers play an essential role in the development of businesses. Therefore, it is natural that the process of selecting a Project Manager profile is done systematically and efficiently–a swift process that will ensure your company finds the right person.
Embracing Shortlyst in the process for picking the best candidate for a Project Manager is surely a step in the right direction.
Shortlyst’s automation software contains numerous features that can support HRD in deciding who the right person will be for your company’s Project Manager position.
With 600 million professional profiles in its database and Shortlyst’s leading technology, companies can easily compile a list of the best candidates that will be a good fit for your company.
With the help of Shortlyst’s technology, your company may just be the next best thing in this rapidly changing world. Try now for free.