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Our expectations from Project Manager candidates

January 31, 2022
7 min to read
Our expectations from Project Manager candidates

Even with a perfectly assembled development team, you need someone to lead the process as a manager. To do this, you will need a Project Manager (PM) who will coordinate processes and establish communication. Hurry up to learn the expected set of features and skills from this specialist and check your suitability!

Who is Project Manager?

The project manager is the person who is responsible for all processes of management and the successful completion of the project. In fact, it's the project manager who not only coordinates all actions within the team but is also responsible for achieving the goals.

PMs are relevant to all areas, but especially in IT, where there are regular business processes. Another important reminder: project and product managers are in different positions, with different areas of responsibility. There's also a gradation by levels of skills: Junior, Middle, Senior, depending on the tasks that are performed by a specialist.

Project manager tasks

The PM must understand what's happening on a daily basis when dealing with workloads and schedules, finances, risks, quality of work, and resources (financial and human).

Among the main tasks of the project manager, we're expecting to feel your experience in:

  • distribution of tasks among employees;
  • risk identification and its management;
  • checking the status of the project at each stage of work;
  • motivating and supporting the team on the way to the goal;
  • verification of compliance with project budgets;
  • observance of deadlines;
  • communication with the client and the team to insert changes, if necessary;
  • checking accordance with quality and objectives.

The PM must be constantly in touch and monitor the situation on the project.

Project manager responsibilities

PM responsibilities, regardless of the field of work, can be categorized and summarized in one list:

  • Planning and developing ideas. This requires working with both parties as well as setting and managing customer expectations.
  • Forming a team. The PM shouldn't only lead the team, but also assist with training and instruction as needed.
  • Setting deadlines. At the heart of the work of the PM — is the organization and control of what's happening on the project. Deadlines should be set both for the project and at the level of individual tasks. You also need to consider possible problems and set aside time for them.
  • Solve all problems. PM is the person to whom clients and the team go in case of any difficulties. In addition to high skills in communication, it's important to know whom to redirect the issue to if necessary.
  • Budget management. The project must be implemented without unnecessary costs and meet the agreed budget.
  • Evaluation of project effectiveness. This requires constant monitoring of performance data and statuses.
  • Establishing and maintaining communication. The team and the customer should consider you their friend, with whom they can discuss any details about the project and what may affect its effectiveness.
The function of the project manager

Modern project management functions include knowledge of various project management techniques (Scrum, Nexus, Waterfall). The ability to use all the tools and a basic understanding of each team member's to-do list is a guarantee of mutual understanding and a clear definition of project timelines and budgets.

Project manager benefits

So far, you've checked your understanding of the PM's image. Now let's consider what the project manager should know. Now consider the possible advantages and disadvantages of this position.

Advantages of the profession:
  • Interaction with different people, building a strong network.
  • Obtaining expertise in various aspects of project implementation.
  • Ability to see the result of working together under your guidance.
  • Acquisition of project development skills from scratch to full release.
  • Ability to strengthen the team with additional resources.
  • Ensuring value for business through their work by creating corporate bridges between project participants.
  • Acquisition of skills of delegation of tasks.
Disadvantages of the profession:
  • Irregular working hours and constant contact.
  • Ongoing reporting, sometimes without proper authority in a hierarchical environment, to reward or evaluate team members.
  • Managing the resources and interests of parties whose views and opinions may differ.
  • A lot of uncertainty in the work, in particular, with the definition of dates and budgets.

Thus, the work of a project manager gives room for self-realization and a lot of skills. At the same time, the PM has to be constantly in touch and regularly exposed to the human factor.

Project manager skills

We've already covered what the project manager should know, now have a look at the necessary qualities and skills.

Skills of a project manager:

  • good organizational talent;
  • ability to plan resources;
  • interpersonal skills;
  • sociability and ability to persuade;
  • initiative and increased stress resistance;
  • basic technical background.

Speaking about the areas of knowledge of project management, everything depends on the project. After all, the client can offer the format of cooperation that he has encountered before, and you’ll need to adapt.

Does an IT project manager need any technical experience?

Project management in IT must be responsible for many processes, and the question often arises about the need for technical expertise for the project manager. The answer is simple — it all depends on the size and complexity of the project.

Since the work of the PM involves planning and evaluating results, a basic understanding of the technical framework is definitely needed. For example, if you have limited developer resources, the PM will need to be more immersed in the allocation of tasks. If the project is large and complex, the manager would only deal with management without going into detail.

Sometimes you can meet project managers with technical education who have decided to abandon development and focus on process management. This is typically facilitated by the ability to look from different points of view. There's always a demand for specialists of both types, but the choice in favor of the first or the second is based on the project objectives.

The career of a project manager

Project manager degrees can vary, and this stirs up the PM’s career development. The list of positions that project managers can hold includes even COOs and various management positions. In addition, this position can develop harmoniously into the MBA.

This position is also related to business process setup and risk management, no longer within the project, but within the company. As for the levels of Junior, Middle, Senior, belonging is determined by the ability to make decisions and take on additional responsibilities in working on the project.

The success of a project often depends on the manager's skills. If their work is done well, the team will perform their tasks without being distracted by organizational issues.