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A Day in a Life of a Project Manager
Being a project manager comes with a truckload of responsibilities that can be exciting and stressful at the same time. Project managers are the pillars of every project that an organization takes on. It is a job that requires a huge amount of focus and creativity, along with managerial and organizational skills. While managing a project is not easy, it is of utmost satisfaction to lead initiatives and take control of a team despite the stress. The day-to-day routines of project managers are almost identical; however, depending on the projects, some challenges and achievements can also be counted. In this article, we shall look at what a day in the life of a project manager looks like.
Who is a Project Manager?
A project manager is the heart and soul of every organizational project. They form the foundation that takes complete control of a project from its inception. Project managers are individuals who plan and set project objectives, set procedures to achieve the desired goals, assign tasks and sub-tasks to their team according to their strengths, allocate resources, and set timelines for the smooth completion of the project. They are responsible for tracking the day-to-day progress of the projects and implementing control in the areas where the team is lagging. They are in charge of managing all resources and manpower to ensure optimal utilization.
Everyday Practices of a Project Manager
Analyzing the Routine for the Day
The first task that project managers perform is a total analysis of what their day holds for them. A project manager has multiple projects running simultaneously. It is important to analyze and segregate the tasks as per their priority levels. It also provides information on the various roadblocks encountered in each project. Project managers can list down the steps to unblock the hiccups and keep the project running. The morning routine also helps the project managers understand tasks that can be delegated to the team while the manager attends to the areas that need his immediate attention. Getting a routine for the day helps the project managers stay on track and not miss out on their tasks.
Keeping Tabs on All Open Projects
Once project managers set their routines for the day, it is easier for them to stay on top of each project. The high-priority tasks can then be closed and removed from the project manager's list throughout the day. It also helps them to work at ease instead of panicking at the amount of pending action. Project managers must keep tabs on all their open projects every day. It prepares them for any constraints that may delay the project's proceedings. Reviewing all project progress also saves time for the project management team, as any change required in the procedure can be incorporated on a real-time basis.
Preparing for Meetings
Meetings are a crucial part of a project manager’s day. There are multiple meetings that a project manager has to lead, including interactions with his team, external stakeholders, and the higher management of the organization. Project managers must prepare well for such meetings beforehand. The preparation of meetings includes gathering up-to-date project reports to share the progress with external stakeholders. It helps the clients get an idea of their project's progress and share any iterations needed in the procedure. Project managers must also present the bottlenecks in the project during such meetings to find easy resolutions with the decision-makers. It reduces the amount of time and follow-up required to close deliverables and keeps the project timeline on track. Meetings that are well-prepared keep the project management team on their toes because they are aware of the project's expectations from them.
Tracking Project Updates on a Timely Basis
Throughout the day, project managers review the progress of their projects. This process helps them stay updated on every task and resolve the speedbumps at their earliest convenience. Project managers can use project management software to get an overview of project updates. The software can assist them in gathering data and efficiently reviewing analytics. Tracking the project updates is essential for the project managers to have the latest updates at their fingertips and make quick decisions. Alongside the daily tracking routine, project managers can also set up a weekly and monthly check-in system with their team and clients to review the project details in a detailed manner.
Wrapping Up for the Day
After a long day of planning, strategizing, and controlling the execution of projects, the final task of the day for a project manager is to look back at his day and analyze his performance. The wrap-up routine for a project manager involves going back to his tasks and analyzing whether the set objectives for the day were achieved. It helps the project manager understand if any loose ends need to be fixed the following day. Project managers make notes of such areas and strategize control measures that can be implemented the next day when they restart their routine.
Challenges of a Project Manager in a Day
While the everyday practices remain the same for most project managers, there can be certain constraints that can tweak their daily routines. There can be several challenges that project managers face throughout their day that can change the course of their timeline. Such challenges can make the project manager’s day chaotic and exciting at the same time. Here are some constraints that a project manager can face during his day
Poor communication within the project management team impacts the flow of the project and disrupts the timeline.
Having multiple high-priority tasks collide results in chaos.
Changes in the requirements of the external stakeholders that require the entire project procedure to be revamped.
Change in market trends impacts the priority level of the projects drastically.
The project management team's morale is low, which can affect their productivity.
Unforeseen delays in clearing pending deliverables and decisions that can hamper the project schedules.
Unavailability of project updates, which results in a loss of time for project management meetings.
A project manager’s day is filled with challenges and adventures that can create an adrenaline rush. The multiple ongoing activities can be stressful and result in low morale at times. However, seeing a project come to fruition always pushes back the enthusiasm of the project managers to lead initiatives again. Being a project manager is a work of art; every day is a new canvas for these managers to paint with their colors.
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