Many people have heard the term project management, but very few know exactly what it entails. Being a project manager might sound relatively straightforward, but the reality is that people in these roles are often highly skilled. As you might have guessed, being a successful project manager means that you are extremely organized and an excellent communicator, but it also requires technical know-how, an entrepreneurial mindset, and first-hand knowledge of the tasks in any given project. To learn more about what project management really is, we’ve enlisted the help of Wayne Sturman, a software engineer based out of New York, New York.
The first thing that a project manager does is create plans. That is why project managers are always expert planners, shares Wayne Sturman. Although it might not seem like a necessity, planning is vital if a team is to meet their deadlines and achieve success. In fact, Sturman has witnessed a number of projects fail due to nothing more than poor planning. When it comes to creating an airtight plan, the first step for the project manager is to define the scope of the project and figure out which resources within the company will be available during the timeline of the project. A successful project manager will be able to reasonably estimate not only how long a project or task will take, but also which team members are best for the job. From there, it is the role of the project manager to develop a clear plan of action, detailing how the project will progress from start to finish.
Secondly, Wayne Sturman claims that project managers must have impeccable time management skills. That is because maintaining project timelines is central to the job. Most people judge a project’s success by whether it has been delivered on time. Thus, the project manager is under a lot of pressure to ensure that all deadlines are met, which is why it’s so important to set realistic, achievable deadlines from the beginning. Maintaining a schedule might sound relatively simple, but in reality, it involves being on top of what every single person on the team is doing at all times and ensuring all of their work is completed when it is supposed to be.
According to Wayne Sturman, another important aspect of project management is budgeting. Every project must have a budget and it is the project manager’s job to set a budget and then make sure that the project doesn’t go over budget as it progresses. Thus, project management is not just about ensuring quality work and on-time delivery, it’s also about developing and sticking to a strict budget. A good project manager must regularly review the budget to ensure there is no risk of them going over.
Evaluate Potential Risks
Software engineer Wayne Sturman claims that project management also involves an element of risk management. Analyzing potential risks within the project is necessary to ensure that the team encounters the least number of obstacles possible. Every project manager knows that the bigger the project, the more likely there is to be hurdles. That is why, before the project begins as well as while it’s going on, a project manager must be able to predict and identify possible risks. From there, it is their role to come up with a plan to eliminate the risk entirely, or at the very least minimize its impact.
Wayne Sturman concludes that project management is a complex job that needs to be handled correctly to ensure that a company is successful and achieves their goals.