Why Project Manager is a Hero?

They are summoned to smother a fire and to stop the river from flooding

Superman or Avengers have their brush with fame – they are perpetuated in comic books. Unlike them, project managers are not yet anthemed. But sure enough, they do deserve to be glorified! Want to know why? Keep reading on, and I’ll prove that the true heroes of today are the brave members of the office emergency response group, aka project managers.

What does a project manager do?

A project manager is a specialist responsible for the successful implementation of a project. Their main task is to make sure that the customer is happy with the result. They take care of the project as a whole, including planning, prioritization, task execution, communication, and prompt problem-solving. The project has to be finished in the terms specified by the customer within a fixed budget with limited human resources, correspond to the customer’s requirements and the discussed quality. Not bad, right? Keeping the focus of your attention on all of these things requires patience, persistence, a cool head, and determination. 

To cut a long story short, the main responsibility of project managers is managing a project (a bit of a much of a muchness here, I know). All tasks a project manager is in charge of can be classified into two categories – tactical and strategic. Tactical tasks imply the solution of everyday problems related to the project, whereas strategic ones involve coordinating the overall goals of the project and moving towards them. If you’re working for a smaller company, the job of a project manager sometimes includes more duties and is the combination of the work of an analyst, hiring and recruiting, or dealing with other office needs.

What are the typical duties of a PM?

A project manager has responsibilities that can be split into three areas – customer, team, and product. Let’s see what they are in charge of in each of these fields.

Customer:

- building rapport; 

- demonstrating product prototypes and their functionality; 

- communication and feedback; 

- control over the deadlines.

Team:

- recruitment and training; 

- development, testing, working with the requirements; 

- arranging effective interaction; 

- conflict resolution.

Product:

- product development; 

- appointing employees responsible for the development; 

- control and risk analysis; 

- paperwork.

We might also single out the duties a PM has to the company, such as drawing up a plan, taking care of the workflow and profitability, accounting, though it combines some of the already mentioned planes of work.

How to know that a PM is doing their job just right?

Things are going right if the project goals and the goals set by the client are achieved. They are going right if both the management of the company and the team members are pleased with the result. So basically, everyone just should be happy with the outcome – this means that a PM did their best. 

Still, having doubts that PMs are superheroes? But who else would be capable of simultaneously taking care of effective task execution, high level of client delight, financial performance, achieving the goals of different team members, including keeping their motivation at a high level and avoiding conflict? It’s exhausting just to write it in a list, to say nothing of implementing all of these things. 

Who else would be able to do the same? Captain America? Yeah, right. Even he would throw up his hand and leave (though maybe not). The only remaining question after you read this article is probably: “Why is there still no comic book about the courageous persevering never giving up project managers?” It’s high time to create one.