Project managers have always been the key link among team members, keeping them focused and accountable for their work.
Whether it’s having a particular way of organizing their tasks, offering career advice or managing teams, each project manager has one trick that makes work, if not easier, at least more enjoyable.
Aside from a team of professionals to help them finish a project, there’s project management software.
For most project manager responsibilities, software will help you finish them in time and with fewer mistakes than if you had done everything manually. Bear in mind though, there will always be certain activities that require human action and interaction.
If you have no knowledge of project management or are just getting to know this field and its requirements, check out our guide to becoming a project manager.
Let’s get straight to seeing which are the most common project manager responsibilities:
Common project manager responsibilities
While you’ll find company-specific project manager responsibilities and roles in any job description, there are common duties all project managers should be prepared to deal with.
Overall, a project manager is accountable for an entire project so don’t be surprised to if you’ll manage other post-project duties. For now, just keep in mind these can vary from case to case.
We previously ran a study on over 200 LinkedIn job ads and put together a list of the project manager responsibilities most employers were looking for to help you quickly find out what you’re getting yourself into. Here are the most important duties any project manager will face throughout the different phases of a project:
*the project manager responsibilities marked with a star are the ones you can handle with the help of project management software
- Coordinate and monitor different projects throughout their different phases*
- Establish and direct project expectations with external and internal stakeholders
- Hold and participate in client meetings
- Collaborate with sponsors and the project management office (PMO)
- Set the scope of a project
- Design and regularly update project documentation
- Create a detailed project management plan*
- Motivate, mentor, and monitor team members
- Promote a culture based on responsibility*
- Create and expand business relationships
- Assign, prioritize, and manage a project’s tasks*
- Establish task duration and dependencies*
- Create valid estimates for revenue and resource requirements*
- Get together with all departments to ensure work is done in accordance with project and client requirements and quality standards*
- Establish an efficient team and client communication policy*
- Make sure the team has all the needed information*
- Track project work times and keep accurate timesheets*
- Ensure project tasks are completed and reviewed within a predefined scope*
- Identify, report, and escalate issues to management if necessary *
- Run project status meetings, daily stand-ups, and other team and client meetings *
- Identify, prevent, and manage risks*
- Follow up on project progress, risks, and opportunities
- Track and measure the project’s performance with appropriate methods, tools, and techniques*
- Ensure customer satisfaction
- Manage projects through KPIs*
- Manage budgets and invoicing*
- Take the role of the main customer contact for any project activities
- Make suggestions for improving the project
- Hold training and workshops
- Get the client’s feedback*
How to use software to tackle your key project manager responsibilities
Of course, software can’t possibly help you with all your duties. Particularly, people-oriented responsibilities such as managing relationships with sponsors and clients or mentoring your team members can only be handled personally through direct human interaction.
However, it will help you direct your projects throughout their entire life cycle. You’ll be developing a project management plan in a virtual workspace, from planning out your activities to gaining project approval.
Then there are those specific responsibilities where software can help you do your job better and save you time.
Here are the main project management software features you can use to save time on administrative tasks and redirect your attention towards the activities that can’t be automatized:
Tasks are the foundation of any project. Inevitably, good software should have task management as its core capability.
It’s hard for us to imagine task management before the computer era, but let’s just say everything was done by hand. We’re talking about storing files in endless folders, drawing complex charts, and using physical Kanban boards or sticky notes that cover an entire wall.
Well, we don’t have to do that anymore. Lucky us!
You’re still responsible for writing the project management plan though. Only this time, you put all your tasks and their details into one software that can help you organize everything.
Have a look at this complete guide for using project planning software if you’re not yet familiar with such tools.
In Paymo, one nifty feature is that once you’ve put together your work-breakdown structure (WBS) into a final form, you can switch to another view at any time and have all tasks in the same order just for a slightly different purpose.
For instance, you can use a to-do list to get a quick look at the tasks that don’t require too many details:
Detailed task lists if you’ve got multiple projects, employees, resources, or projects to plan and work on simultaneously:
Kanban boards to get a visual overview of all tasks and workflows and easily move activities from one workflow stage to another:
Another one of the project manager responsibilities that software can help you with is fostering a culture based on accountability.
With clear task descriptions, deadlines, and schedules in place, everyone will know exactly what they’re in charge of, who’s responsible for a task, when their due dates are, and even how much time they spent on an activity. Simply, all team members are accountable for their own workload.
Most tools send notifications whenever a change occurs within a workspace. This covers new comments, status changes, added files, and more. You can also set deadline alerts to make sure your team is notified and can finish their duties on time — even if you created the task 6 months ago.
Plus, there will always be a paper trail left with the proof of the team’s efforts. Nobody can use the “I wasn’t told about that” excuse anymore.