“Management is, above all, a practice where art, science and craft meet.” – Henry Mintzberg.
Let’s say there is a manager who has been charged to lead a team to develop some software products for a client. He/she will first identify the goals and objectives of the project, followed by a review of the available resources. Then the work will be allocated to the team of developers, engineers and quality assurance specialists with a set timeline for every stage. This entire process is what we refer to as project management in simple terms and the person in charge is called a project manager.
When we hear project management, the first thing that comes to mind is planning, scheduling, implementation and conclusion. It can involve an ongoing or one-time project, a small or large-scale project. Beyond these stages, several intricate steps from technical and non-technical aspects are combined to manage a project. They also define project goals and objectives, manage available resources and ensure the quality of the end product.
This field is often associated with the IT sector, healthcare, engineering and construction, which have a complex system that requires a professional. But, irrespective of the industry, Project Managers broadly have the same role. As a Project Manager is wholly responsible for companies’ products and services. It is the most valuable skill in the current marketplace.
If you can multitask, are good at analysing situations, communicate and possess people skills, then choosing project management as your career path is ideal. As highlighted by Project Management Institute’s 2021 report, employers must hire over 2.3 million Project Managers globally to meet growing needs by 2030.
For those looking forward to choosing project management as their career path, in this blog, we have elucidated in detail the role, skills and qualifications required to become a Project Manager.
What is Project Management?
Whether designing a new architecture building, developing a fully functional website, or entering the data on your system, you will have to travel from the planning to the execution stage. So, basically, project management is the initiation, planning, monitoring, execution and closing of a project. As projects involve an altogether different objective, project management is separate from usual business management. Unlike general ‘management’, it has a final deliverable and finite timespan. Owing to this, a Project Manager needs a wide range of skills concerning the related industry.
The core components of project management are:
- Defining the project objective
- Identifying requirements and available resources and specifying quality standards
- Taking note of the investment
- Developing a management plan
- Leading the team
- Analysing the risks, issues, and changes that may occur
- Monitoring project progress and ensuring quality
- Executing the project as desired
Depending upon the nature and need of the industry, there are different project management methodologies. As per Investopedia, there are three types of project management practices.
Types of Project Management
Who is a Project Manager?
A Project Manager is a qualified person who is responsible for organising, planning, and executing a different range of projects while keeping in mind the budget and timeframe. They are known to have diverse skill sets and a unique tactical management approach which is very different from a general Business Manager.
To be precise, they supervise the allocated tasks, connect with stakeholders and ensure a smooth project flow. The variety of projects and even the distinctive functions of a single project convey that no two days look similar for a Project Manager.
Some common approaches that he/she should be proficient in are:
- XP (Extreme Programming)
- Six Sigma
Project Manager: Role & Responsibilities
To be able to lead, motivate, and coordinate with your team are the qualities of a proficient Project Manager. Generally, most of their time is consumed coordinating tasks and liaising with stakeholders. A 2022 survey report by Project Management Institute highlighted that companies with efficient project management professionals have performed better than competitors in terms of revenue and customer satisfaction, among other metrics.
Having elaborated on what is project management, what are its different types and what is a Project Manager, let’s move ahead to learn what are its roles and responsibilities in detail. Depending on the industry, the project manager’s role may vary.
Here is an overview of the roles and responsibilities you will have to take up as a Project Manager:
- Team and timeline management
- Defining the focus of the project and planning resources
- Leading a diverse team with different proficiency levels
- Performance tracking and measurement
- Estimating the cost and developing the budget
- Maintaining project reports and carrying out all the documentation work
- Analysing and managing project risks and developing contingency plans when required
- Implementing change control and configuration management processes
- Identifying and applying appropriate technical strategies
- Doing timely quality control checks
How to Become a Project Manager?
To begin any career, the first and foremost thing to do is to identify one’s skills and abilities. As project management is required in almost every sector, you can pursue this career irrespective of your stream. Here is a simple and straight route to becoming a Project Manager.
1. Complete Your Foundational Education
You do not need a specific undergraduate course to become a Project Manager. After completing a bachelor’s degree, you can easily earn a project management certification or pursue a master’s in project management. If you intend to work in a particular field like IT, you should complete your bachelor’s in that sector. Although some Project Managers are involved in general business-related areas, some specialise in a specific industry like construction or IT. So, you can either opt for a bachelor’s degree in that field or select a particular specialisation in master’s with project management.
2. Pursue Certification
As an entry-level Project Manager, you can pursue a credible project management certification even during your bachelor’s or master’s in a different field. Certification can be earned even while working as a Project Manager to enhance your skills, but that is not a compulsion. Areas like agile methodologies, lean Six Sigma, etc., are the specialised skills that will benefit you in a project management career.
3. Explore Training or Internship Opportunities
Project Management is a leadership position which demands a blend of technical and soft skills. Therefore, it is essential to hone one’s skills. And the best way to develop the necessary skills while understanding the role to the fullest is to seize an internship or industrial training. This also adds value to your professional profile and appeals to recruiters.
4. Develop Relevant Skills
As per various job portals like Indeed and LinkedIn, and Forbes Advisor, following are the skills hiring managers look for in a project management candidate.
- Strong communication skills
- Active listening skills
- Risk Management
- Negotiation, budgeting and resourcing
- Excellent problem-solving ability
- Time management
- Conflict management and risk analysis
- Understanding of different project management methodologies and framework
- Software knowledge
Salary in India & Future Scope
An article in the Times of India news portal said that, on average, 67% of the projects fail in organisations that do not emphasise project management. With the increasing popularity of agile project management techniques and India’s growing infrastructure demands, there is a growing need for Project Managers in the country. According to an analysis report prepared by the Project Management Institute (PMI), India will have the second-largest number of project management-related jobs in India after China by 2027, especially in the IT, construction and manufacturing sectors. As a Project Manager, you can work across diverse industries in companies like TCS, Infosys, Reliance Industries, Tech Mahindra, Amazon, Larsen & Toubro, Ikea, H&M, Bosch, and many others.
- The average salary as a Project Manager is INR 13,00,000 PA
- The highest salary of a Project Manager is INR 27,70,000 PA
Source: Ambition Box
No matter which industry you are working in or the type of project you are working on, it is crucial to follow different management stages, including plan, schedule, allocate, evaluate and execute. It is the interdisciplinary nature of project management which makes it an essential part of a company’s growth. Moreover, with rapid technological advancements, this field has also experienced a rise in demand for capable professionals to take charge.
Q1. What exactly does a Project Manager do?
Project Managers monitor various projects from start to finish, irrespective of their wavelength. They plan and ensure that all the tasks related to the project are done without delay and fall under the given budget.
Q2. What is Six Sigma project management?
Six Sigma is a methodology used for improving the output quality of a project. This method is more comprehensive than Total Quality Management (TQM) and others, as per the Project Management Institute.
Q3. What is Six Sigma vs Agile?
Six Sigma emphasises process control and standardisation by reducing defects and variations whereas Agile focuses on flexibility for change and incremental delivery.
Q4. How much do Project Managers make?
On average, a Project Manager earns INR 13 LPA as per Ambition Box.
Kamaldeep Singh is an accomplished digital marketing specialist, and has been associated with the education industry since 2022. With a flair for knowledge, he finds joy in learning and sharing insights on education, technology, digital marketing, and self-care through his writing. He is passionate about cars, tech-gadgets, and loves long drives.