A Day in the Life of a Project Manager
A project manager is the person who handles every aspect of a business project, and sometimes multiple projects at once. As a project manager, you can expect to have your hands in several different areas of business at once, and you must get used to wearing many different hats.
Project management is a constant cycle. At the end of each day, your project is still going to be in motion and you want to make sure you are prepared to begin the next day on the right foot. Your job as a project manager is to stay on top of everything, and you will be most effective if you break your daily schedule into manageable tasks, just like you do with your projects.
8 A.M. – Check emails and your project management calendar. While project deadlines will constantly be under scrutiny, time management in general is top priority. Most project managers use a calendar and task management system to manage daily tasks along with the full project timeline. You will also need to write reports for your superiors stating your progress, and light a fire under team members if a deadline is approaching.
10 A.M. – Conference calls and meetings. Your team members are essentially an orchestra you are conducting, and they are looking at you to provide guidance and keep every aspect of the project running smoothly and on track. During the many meetings and calls that you will often be hosting, you will answer questions, give guidance to employees, manage expectations, and make sure that all team members are moving in the right direction.
12 P.M. – Lunch. Congratulations! You get a break from your busy day!
1:30 P.M – Update the project budget. Controlling the finances of any size project is vitally important, and as the project manager you will spend a good part of the day reconciling your budget to make sure that you are not going to run out of money. More often than not, your job is going to depend on your project staying at or under budget.
3 P.M. – Reply to emails and track notes in your task management system. As the project manager, all questions and communications regarding the project will likely be at least funneled through you, if not directed at you. Keeping everyone up-to-date on schedules and changes will ensure a well-oiled machine.
4 P.M. – Create reports. As a project manager, reports will be either your best friend or your biggest headache, depending on how effective your management efforts have been. Employers and team members will require regular updates to show where each task currently falls in the project timeline, where finances have come in under or over budget, and what changes might need to be made to increase efficiency or complete the project on time.
5:30 P.M. – Go over the day’s completed tasks and review/update tasks for the next day. While each project is different, and some will naturally go more smoothly than others, constant supervision and review of to-do lists helps keep everything else under budget and on schedule.
As the project manager, it is up to you to keep constant watch over every detail of the project, both daily and throughout the life of the project.
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