Project managers: What do they really do?

Are you a postgraduate interested in becoming a project manager? But first, you want to learn more about what project managers do and which skills they need to succeed?

This article will detail the role of a project manager, their primary responsibilities, and which skills they need to possess to thrive in the ever-evolving project management industry.

What is a project manager?

A project manager is someone in charge of planning, organising, and executing business projects. These professionals must manage entire teams, communicate with stakeholders, define project goals, and ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget.

They can be in charge of a wide range of projects, including marketing projects, construction projects, building development, product launches, etc.

There is a need for project managers in almost any industry.

Role of a project manager

Project managers are responsible for a wide variety of tasks. Here are some of their primary responsibilities.

1. Plan and develop project ideas

Every project starts with a bright idea. The project manager’s job is to work with the company’s internal stakeholders and clients to plan these ideas and bring them to fruition. Whether this is constructing a building, developing an app, or creating a new product.

They do this by:

  • Defining project scopes
  • Determining available resources
  • Breaking down tasks and subtasks
  • Defining milestones
  • Setting appropriate schedules
  • Assigning team members

They need to find the quickest and easiest way towards whatever needs to be done.

2. Create and lead teams

A project manager is responsible for all aspects of the project, including leading a team of people who can accomplish the goal. They must assemble and manage these individuals by guiding them, training them, and ultimately setting them up for success.

Project managers need to maintain the team dynamic through communication, motivation, and relationship building to create a well-oiled team that can get the job done.

3. Manage resources

They need to consider which resources are required in order to complete the project. This includes tools, people, hardware, equipment, time, and more.

Thus, these professionals must negotiate appropriate deadlines and discuss the same with teams. They also need to ensure that the tools they need fit within the project budget.

4. Monitor progress and track roadblocks

Most of the project manager’s time revolves around tracking progress and ensuring that the project stays on track. They need to look at how much is being done and whether it’s being done according to the proper standards.

Progress monitoring often involves status reports, meetings, and informal updates. This process will become much easier if the project manager has the correct systems in place so team members know precisely what is expected of them.

5. Conduct meetings

Regarding meetings, project managers also need to regularly meet with their team to ensure that everyone is up to date. It is ideal for these meetings to be held virtually. 80% of workers say that communicating virtually makes them more strategic with their daily work.

However, these meetings must be brief and follow a strategic agenda to ensure that time is well-spent. Thus, the project manager will need to prepare for the meeting beforehand and steer the meeting in the right direction when it goes off track.

6. Manage documentation and reports

After completing the project, the project manager must provide the company and client with appropriate documentation to present final reports. This will help them: 

  • Maintain a record of what has been done in the project. 
  • Ensure that the results meet all expectations. 
  • Identify areas for future development.

7. Coordinate with clients

Project managers also need to coordinate with clients. This includes negotiating with clients regarding terms, deadlines, tasks, and requirements.

It’s the project manager’s duty to clarify to the client how they should approach the project and what their expectations should be.

Top project management skills

Every manager needs several critical managerial skills. Here are some essential skills project managers need to manage projects effectively.


Project managers constantly need to communicate with stakeholders. Whether this is with clients, team members, or suppliers, they need to communicate clearly so that everyone is on board. If not, they risk failing to deliver a project on time and according to high standards.


Leading a project means constantly being involved in negotiations. From engaging with suppliers, dealing with team conflict, and having discussions with clients, project managers always need to negotiate terms and conditions. Therefore, they need to be able to negotiate budgets, prices, resources, timelines, and much more.

Time management

Scheduling is a core facet of project management. This is because specific projects involve multiple schedules and need to leave room for possible roadblocks. Thus, project managers need to be able to manage their and their team’s time effectively to ensure that all deadlines and milestones are met within a specific time frame.

Risk management

Risk management involves preparing for potential risks that may occur during the project. Project managers need to be able to look at the bigger picture, including their strengths, weaknesses, and industry circumstances, to plan for the worst. This way, they and their team will be prepared to act and keep the project running smoothly, even if obstacles occur.

Technical expertise

Effective project managers should not only possess soft skills, but they should also have the technical skills to see a project through. For example, they need to know how to use project management systems to manage their teams effectively. Some standard tools that project managers should know how to use include Microsoft Teams, Google Docs, ClickUp, etc.

Study a PGD in Project Management with REGENT

Are you convinced that you are cut out for the project management field? Now that you know what the role of a project manager is, is this the ideal position for you and your career goals? 

REGENT offers a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Project Management that will help you build the skills and expertise necessary to flourish as a project manager in any business industry.


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