February 7, 2023
Mock Interview
Interview Process
Interview Preparation Resources
HR & Behavioural Interviews

Working as a Project Manager: Top Responsibilities & Skills

Learn about a Project Manager's top responsibilities, skills & certifications from Akhil Singh Rajput, a Senior Engineering Manager & Preplaced Mentor.

So, you're thinking about becoming a project manager, eh? 

Well, buckle up because it's not just a walk in the park. But don't worry, I'm here to help you navigate the exciting world of project management.

Project managers are the true MVPs (to the non-GenZ folks, it means ‘Most Valuable Players’) of their game. 

They lead cross-functional teams to deliver projects, programs, and portfolios while making sure everything is done on time and within budget. 

Basically, they're the glue that holds multiple projects together.

But what does being a project manager really entail? And what skills do you need to be successful in this role? Well, let me break it down for you.

Roles & Responsibilities of a Project Manager

Plan Making 101:

Project managers are the masterminds behind project plans.

They make sure everything is outlined: Goals, objectives, and timelines.

And if things start to go off track, they adjust and readjust the plans accordingly. 

Easy peasy, right?

Well, not exactly. 

While creating a project plan may seem simple on the surface, there's a lot more that goes into it. 

A project plan is a roadmap that guides the project from start to finish, and it's critical to the success of the project.

As a project manager, you need to have a deep understanding of the project's scope, budget, and timeline. 

You need to identify all the tasks that need to be completed and allocate the right resources, whether it's personnel, equipment, or materials, to each task.

Moreover, you need to consider the dependencies between tasks and ensure that the project plan takes them into account. 

This means that you need to think about how each task impacts others and make sure that tasks are completed in the right order to avoid delays or additional costs.

The project plan is also a living document that needs to be updated regularly. 

You need to keep an eye on the project's progress and make changes as needed. This could involve adjusting the timeline, allocating additional resources, or even rethinking the project's scope and objectives.

Resource Management:

It's not just about having the right resources, it's also about using them the right way. 

And that's where project managers come in - they're in charge of making sure that all the pieces of the puzzle are in place, and they're being put together properly, in the right order.

Think of a project manager as the conductor of an orchestra. 

Just like how a conductor makes sure every musician is playing the right instrument at the right time, project managers make sure that personnel, equipment, and materials are being utilised effectively and efficiently to deliver the final product.

They need to be the jack-of-all-trades, not just in terms of technical knowledge but also in their ability to manage people, schedules and budgets.

 It's a big job, but someone's gotta do it, and these heroes are up to the task.

Talk to the People:

Project managers are the main communicators in a project, acting as the liaison between everyone involved. 

They make sure everyone is on the same page by updating the project team members, customers, and stakeholders regularly. 

These folks have to be crystal clear in their communication, making sure everyone knows what's going on and what's expected of them. 

And if any hiccups come up along the way, they make sure to address them promptly and keep everyone informed.

Risk Management:

Risks are an inevitable part of any project, but that doesn't mean they have to be feared. 

With the right approach to risk management, they can be identified and mitigated before they even become a problem. 

Project managers play a crucial role in this, by assessing potential risks and putting plans in place to manage them should they arise.

Budget Management:

Budgeting is a key aspect of project management and requires careful planning and management to make sure the project stays on track. 

Project managers take the lead on this, monitoring the project budget and making sure that it stays within the allocated amount. 

Whether it's making sure resources are used efficiently or finding ways to cut costs, the project manager is the budget boss that ensures the project stays on track financially.

Budget Management for project manager

Prerequisites to becoming Project Manager

So, what does it take to be a top-notch project manager? Let's find out!

🟢 Lead the Way:

Project managers have to have the ability to steer their cross-functional teams towards success. 

They must be able to make decisions that align with the project's goals and keep everyone on the same page. That’s why they have to be excellent, well-organised, cool-in-the-head leaders. 

🟢 Communication is Key:

Good communication is a must-have skill for project managers. 

They have to be able to communicate effectively with stakeholders at all levels of the organisation, whether it's delivering updates, sharing progress, or discussing any challenges that arise. This is where all the behavioural skills come into play. 

🟢 Organise and Conquer:

Staying organised is critical to project management success. 

Project managers need to be able to prioritise tasks, manage timelines, and ensure everything is moving forward in the right direction. So, in case you’re someone who tends to get stressed out thinking of tight deadlines, you might want to work on your stress management abilities. 

🟢 Trouble Shooter:

Projects often encounter challenges, and that's where a project manager's problem-solving skills come in handy. 

They need to be able to identify issues, come up with solutions, and keep the project on track. 

🟢 Project Management Pro:

Last but not the least, project managers need to have a solid understanding of project management principles. 

They need to be able to manage projects from start to finish, making sure they're delivered on time, within budget, and to the satisfaction of all stakeholders.

Project Manager

How to become a Successful Project Manager?

Dreaming of becoming a project manager? Here's what you need to do:

👉 Get Certified:

Acquire certification as a Project Management Professional (PMP)® or a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)® to showcase your expertise and competencies.

If you’re someone who’s just starting up, a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® would be a great pick for you. 

You might want to check out this free course by PMI.

👉 Gain Real-World Experience:

Gain hands-on experience by participating in projects in your current role or volunteering to lead projects within your organisation.

👉 Take Courses and Attend Workshops:

Expand your knowledge of project management methodologies, tools, and best practices by taking Udemy or YouTube courses, attending workshops and listening to some helpful podcasts.

👉 Read and Stay Informed:

Stay current with the latest trends and best practices in project management by reading books and articles. There is a sea of amazing resources on the internet. Make the most of it. 

👉 Join a Professional Association:

Join a professional association such as the Project Management Institute (PMI) or the Association for Talent Development to establish a network of like-minded professionals.

So, now you know exactly what you need to accomplish your goal of becoming a stellar project manager. 

In my 12 years of experience in managing various projects and portfolios, I’ve seen young professionals struggling to upskill themselves, trying too hard to get where they want to be, often without much guidance. 

Quality access to guidance is something we all need and deserve. 

I’m glad to be associated with Preplaced as a mentor to make sure that my expertise and experience become a success pathway for someone else. 

So, if you think you’re in dire need of a roadmap to prepare for your project manager interviews and are looking for someone who’ll show the real-life picture of working in this industry, this is where you can meet me. 

I know preparing for project management interviews can be super tricky. So ask for help when you need it. 

Let’s fight these battles together, shall we?

Achieve your 

dream job


Akhil Singh

Book Free Trial