What do project managers do day-to-day?

day in the life of a project manager

I’ve already checked in with my team to look at the details of their tasks. Join our mailing list to receive updates on job opportunities, career tips and tailored advice. As I didn’t have much time today to answer all the communication that happened, I caught up during the last hour of the day. As usual, after the meeting, I sent the Meeting Notes and switched to my evening routine. They told us that there will be a long strategy planning meeting for the next release, so we need to make some preparations before it.

Build Critical Manager Capabilities

This doesn’t mean the project manager ought to micromanage the process. The best project managers provide effective leadership during easy and trying times. These project management responsibilities reflect the nature of the job and require specific qualities in order to ensure success in this career. Strong organizational skills can mean the ability to organize all of the responsibilities you have as the project manager. But it’s also the ability to structure the project, its deliverables, and its milestones in a well-organized, efficient way.

day in the life of a project manager

Tools and Techniques Used by Project Managers for Daily Tasks

As the roles and responsibilities of a project manager vary from organization to organization, the day-to-day activities differ significantly from project manager to project manager. However, there are specific instances where you could substitute the benefits of a manager with a comprehensive project management software solution. This project manager task goes hand-in-hand with encouraging and inspiring the team. The best teams get to know one another and build bonds that’ll help improve communication and collaboration. This is a huge responsibility of any project manager because it’s not enough to just sit at the top and control a team like pawns on a chessboard. Great work requires great inspiration, and your job as a project manager is to provide that encouragement and inspiration.

Team meetings

You, as a project manager, do not have full control over your workday. After that, I started to prepare for my daily meeting with clients. In such situations, time flies, and I had to leave the development team and run for the meeting with the designers. This comes with some experience, but actually, I don’t react to any of these things. I decided that to take a piece of the project work 🙁 (not project management). Usually, I dedicate this period to some vital project management work that I need to do.

It sounds straightforward, but as we’ve seen above, delivering a successful project is dependent on lots of other moving parts working together — beautifully. But a great project manager isn’t just organized and adaptable — they’re also emotionally intelligent. Eat the frog is a productivity technique where you identify one important or difficult task that needs to be done that day and you complete it first. Spencer Hobbs, an ambassador for the Association of Project Management, says that he usually tackles email during his commute so that he can hit the ground running when he gets to the office. Mapping out the project is a vital aspect of their work, beginning with identifying goals and objectives and defining a suitable scope.

So, keep reading if you’re curious to learn more about what project managers do, a typical day in their lives, and the challenges they face on a day-to-day basis. Every project needs a schedule and a project manager to keep everyone on that schedule. Project managers that get involved in the execution process and monitor the progress of deliverables will always have an edge when it comes to time management. By involving themselves in the execution, they will gain a much better understanding of the project management process, what it requires, and how long it takes to produce results.

If you’re new to this field, we have plenty of guides here on The Ascent that cover project management basics as well as specific methods like kanban project management. Monitoring project progress gives the manager the information they need to produce reports for their higher-ups and project stakeholders. Successful communication means being there for everyone when needed, keeping in touch with any challenges in the way of success, and understanding the desires of the project stakeholders. Project managers have to anticipate potential project risks ahead of time, then identify and mitigate them.

Their next course of action is reviewing the task tracker that comprises the burndown chart, as well as the tasks that are still a work in progress. This helps them to prioritize what should be addressed on that day itself. The final step of the morning routine is reviewing any defects and any new tasks that might require to be completed.

  1. With this methodology, you’ll rarely feel behind or work in panic mode unless a new constraint arises because you’ll be on top of each project daily.
  2. Managing every aspect of a project, such as planning, organization, budgeting, and scope, requires meticulous attention to detail.
  3. Software like LiquidPlanner can help give project managers and leadership a bird’s eye view of all the projects across the portfolio without a single status meeting.
  4. Unforeseen circumstances such as an employee’s sudden resignation, illness, or a delay in the supply of essential resources can create a resource crunch.

That’s why I’ve put together a list of ten core project manager duties and expectations. If your agency struggles to complete deliverables on time or remain flexible when project requirements change, Agile project management may be just the solution you need. Agile methodologies, such as Scrum, Kanban, and Lean, are often helpful frameworks for structuring projects.

After you have landed your first interview, check out this list of project manager interview questions and answers. Our team outlines some of the most common questions you are likely to encounter during your interview. You can even review examples of high-quality responses so that you can nail your first interview and obtain that dream job.

When leadership has poorly defined goals, project managers are forced to make decisions on the fly. As a result, they may have to adjust course in the midst of a major project. If they fail to rise to the occasion, vital client relationships can be damaged, which can lead to significant financial losses. Let’s face it, stakeholders and investors don’t always know what they want or what a final product should look like. This can make successful project completion challenging for a project manager. I then may attend a series of meetings with senior management and key internal stakeholders, such as the project sponsor, to update them on the status of the project and escalate issues I cannot resolve.

It’s not a tank or a drone or a weapon of any sort — it’s a radio. That’s because effective communication can make or break the success of any operation, no matter what kind of resources and firepower you bring to the table. When issues inevitably arise, project teams need strong leaders who can find solutions and organize everyone toward fixing the problem. And since happier employees are 13% more productive, it’s one of the most important aspects of the project management job description. Once the project manager has the plan in place, they need to make provisions for getting it done. In addition to meetings, you may need to visit the project site to check on its progress and to ensure that quality work is being done with all safety checks in place.

They must ensure that each team has the necessary resources to perform their work effectively. Regular budget reviews are also a part of their daily activities, allowing them to monitor expenses and manage costs effectively. The project manager plays a crucial role in any project, from its initial planning stages to the final implementation. Managing every aspect of a project, such as planning, organization, budgeting, and scope, requires meticulous attention to detail. What other activities do you regularly perform in your PM roles?

The first step of streamlining the work of a project manager is defining the project scope which is the set of project deliverables and what you are expected to achieve. Make sure that you highlight the project’s objectives, including those that are not part of the scope. In the words of Greg Cimmarrusti, the answer to “what does a project lead do” is paralleled with the job of an artist. They have numerously colored process streams that amalgamate into works of art.

A project manager’s work life may appear overwhelming at times, with packed schedules and hectic days. However, the rewards come from successfully executing projects and receiving recognition from stakeholders for a job well done. If you believe you have the necessary skills and qualities to thrive in a project manager’s daily work life, pursuing a career in this field can be fulfilling. Additionally, there are numerous online courses available to help you prepare for the role of a project manager and enhance your skills.

Our innovative program is offered in partnership with top universities and is backed by Asana. The program can be completed in just six months and will pave the way for you to launch your new career. Each sprint is followed by a brief lull, during which the deliverables are reviewed, monitored, and refined. The success of any project hinges on the methodology the project manager uses. Below, we take a closer look at a day in the life of a project manager. On a quarterly basis, project managers often do work that’s geared toward optimization.

Aside from ensuring quality delivery, they also help budget resources, routinely handle expectations, as well as manage the development, execution, test and deployment plans. The looming question of what a project manager does on a daily basis in a software company will be met with the following answers by most PMOs. When it comes day in the life of a project manager to “what role do project managers play?” Project Managers act as the vertebrae of all projects. They are responsible for every operational project-related process from the planning stage to the completion stage. They are additionally responsible for maintaining decorum and peace during the project amongst their team members.