Project Management

A project manager is a specialist who manages the project as a whole: communicates with customers, sets priorities, plans and tracks tasks, and organizes problem solving. If a product is being developed, a project manager is responsible for each individual project as part of the overall strategy. The strategy is the responsibility of another specialist, the product manager.

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The main goal of the project manager is to ensure that the customer's idea is fulfilled within the promised time frame and within the budget.


Job responsibilities

  • Negotiate with clients, collect requirements 
  • Participate in the selection and approval of the project team
  • Analyze risks 
  • Create a roadmap of a project
  • Prioritize and assign tasks, track the status of issues
  • Approve deadlines and monitor their compliance 
  • Maintain project documentation (contracts, technical specifications , reports, etc.) 
  • Coordinate team members, distribute the workload 
  • Motivate the team, manage conflicts if necessary
  • Present results to the customer at all stages of the project, discuss and approve prototypes, demos, etc.


Skills

  • Effective management skills, knowledge of management theory
  • Knowledge of development management methods: Scrum, Kanban, Waterfall, and others 
  • Risk management
  • Budget management
  • Knowledge of project management software (GanttPRO, Asana, Active Collab, Trello, Hygger, Monday, sometimes Jira) 
  • Understanding of the software development lifecycle of web and mobile applications 


For a PM, soft skills are very important:

  • Communication
  • Multitasking
  • Time management
  • Leadership skills
  • Ability to listen to the team
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Stress resistance 


These qualities are not easy to test in an interview – that's why employers usually prefer project managers with demonstrated experience in the position . For a project manager in IT, it's important to have at least a basic understanding of IT infrastructure and architecture, and knowledge of terminology.



FAQ

INDIGO Tech Recruiters collected the most common questions about project management specialists and prepared answers to them. Need more information? We will be happy to provide it to you.

1. Should I hire a project manager without technical skills?

In most cases, PMs without technical skills can cope with their tasks. However, it's important that they can, in the course of time, understand the technical terminology, IT infrastructure, and architecture. A person who is far from the digital world can fail to effectively interact with technical specialists, no matter how communicative they are . A project manager without technical skills may have difficulties creating technical specifications and planning projects (planning depends on the application architecture). But, in some teams, developers can help with these tasks.
You can. In small product companies, project management tasks often fall on the shoulders of the product manager , whose responsibilities are broader and cover the management of the entire product lifecycle rather than an individual project. In startups and small companies, the founders often operate as project managers, but it takes a lot of time and energy. In addition, in the case of lack of experience and necessary knowledge, PM functions are performed inefficiently, which negatively affects the project as a whole.
A project manager works on a specific project with a specific deadline and budget. A product manager is responsible for developing a product or service throughout its lifecycle. Work on a product consists of many projects. The responsibilities of product and project managers are different, although at some points they overlap (for example, the distribution of tasks, communication within the team and with customers) , but, even then, they relate to issues of different scope. The key KPIs also differ. For a project manager , success is determined by meeting deadlines and complying with budgets, while, for a product manager , it is determined by user-related metrics (engagement, retention, revenue).
Theoretically, in Scrum, everyone in the team is equal and you don't need a PM. The author of the development framework, Ken Schwaber, intentionally excluded this position from the team. But, in practice, the Agile and Waterfall methods are usually combined. Therefore, in real life, it's reasonable to hire a project manager . They take on such tasks as risk management, documentation, and communication with the client.