What is a project manager?

What is a project manager

What is a project manager

project manager, or project manager, is a person who has overall responsibility for the successful initiation, planning, design, execution, monitoring, control, and closure of a project. Construction, petrochemical, architecture, technology, and many different industries that produce products and services use this job title.

If you are considering a career in project management , you are likely curious about the different roles and responsibilities that you will have after completing your Master in Project Management .

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at what a project manager does , including the roles and responsibilities of a project manager, and the necessary skills.


In the broadest sense, project managers (PMs) have the responsibility of planning, organizing, and directing the completion of specific projects for an organization. They have to make sure these projects are done on time, on budget, and within scope.

By overseeing complex projects from inception to completion, project managers can change the trajectory of an organization, helping to reduce costs, increase company efficiency and increase revenue.

The exact duties of a project manager depend on the industry, organization, and types of projects that a PM has to oversee. But in general, they all share similar responsibilities. It consists of five phases of the “project life cycle”:

  • Starting
  • Planning
  • Running
  • Monitoring and control
  • Closure

Next, we will see what each phase consists of:

1: Starting: PMs start each new project by defining the main objectives, their purpose and their scope. They also identify key internal and external stakeholders, discuss shared expectations, and obtain the necessary authorization to move a project forward.

2: Planning: Once the project is approved, project managers work with the teams involved to create an integrated project plan focused on achieving the goals. The plan established during this process helps monitor scope, cost, timelines, risks, quality issues, and communications.

3: Executing: During this phase, team members complete the work that has been identified in the project plan to achieve the goals. The role of the project manager is to assign this work and make sure tasks are completed as scheduled.

4: Monitoring and Control: Actually, this phase begins at the beginning of a project and continues through planning, execution and closure. In the monitoring and control phase, the project manager has to monitor the progress of a project, manage the budget, ensure that key milestones are reached, compare actual performance with planned performance.

5: Closure: During this phase, PMs strive to ensure that all activities necessary to achieve the end result are completed.


A project manager is, by definition, a leader, so some basic leadership skills can be beneficial, not just for getting a job, but for completing a project successfully.

Here we explain some of the most necessary skills, something that you can develop with the Master in Online Project Management.

  • Leadership skills: You will be in charge of numerous people who fulfill various roles in your project team. Leading a team successfully means negotiating when there are disagreements and conflicts, and being on top of communications at all times.
  • Ability to think ahead: a project is a living being that is constantly evolving towards its completion. It is important to plan what could happen later how to manage what is happening now.
  • Money Management Skills – Knowing how to finance a large project, from salaries to supplies to unexpected cash emergencies, is critical.
  • Writing Skills: A project should be documented from start to finish, in clear and concise language.


In addition to the master’s degrees in project management already mentioned in this post, at the European University we offer the maximum possible flexibility to be able to combine your studies with your professional and personal life. For this reason, we also offer other possibilities such as the Course in Project Management.

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