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Project Manager

Project Managers understand what needs to happen and when. They are the lifeline between getting work done and delivering it to the client. They are responsible for client communications, making sure that projects remain on-time and within the established budget, and help the team meet — and exceed — client expectations.

What is a Project Manager?

In most companies, the Project Managers are the grease that keeps the cogs of business turning. They are responsible for client communications, making sure that projects remain on-time and within the established budget, and help the team meet and exceed client expectations.

Skills That Set Them Apart

Project Managers are the lifeline between getting the work done, and delivering it to the client. They wear multiple hats, often multitasking with a dozen windows open in their browser and making it look easy. Here’s a very basic breakdown of what they do every day:

  • At the very heart of their responsibilities is presentation. They have to know how to present insights and goals, communicate triumphs along with turbulence, and are able to read the room at a glance. 
  • They take communication to the next level. The difference between a good project manager and a great one is how well they communicate their strategies. 
  • They’re leaders. They’re at the helm of every successful project’s completion, and they understand what needs to happen and when. 
  • They’re masters of scheduling their resources and using them together appropriately. A solid project manager knows how the blend of time, materials and people should work. 
  • They’re delegators extraordinaire. They make it their business to know who can do what, how well and when. They use those strengths to help facilitate and complete projects successfully. 
  • They’re natural negotiators, able to make the trade and necessary compromises that never compromise the integrity of the project or those working on it.

The Educational Foundation That Sets the Stage

Project Managers are college graduates, usually getting their degrees in:

  • Business Management
  • Marketing
  • Engineering 
  • Computer Science

What they major in can depend on their skill sets or interests. Some universities now offer Project Management certifications, and so they can work on their degrees and help bolster their skillset simultaneously.

Specialized Training

Project Managers can pursue additional training, such as a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification or the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

  • Both PMP and CAPM certification require a high school diploma, associate’s degree or the global equivalent.  
  • CAPM also requires 1,500 hours of project experience or 23 hours of project management education completed by the time of the exam. 
  • PMP certification is more involved, requiring 7,500 hours of leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education.
  • Both programs can be completed online, allowing students to attend classes according to their schedule.

Software Smarts

Project managers have a variety of tasks to complete. Some of the best software available can help them stay on-track.

Teamwork

As a cloud-based software, Teamwork can be accessed from anywhere. Often used by service providers such as Wyzoo, Teamwork allows for ease of collaboration among internal and external teams. The project management tool tracks billed time through an on-screen timer, and even updates automatically. Because work can occur away from a desk, the mobile app integrates seamlessly. The Dashboard feature shows the active productivity stream in one spot, with users being able to prioritize need-to-know data first. 

Microsoft Project

Often considered to be the leader in project management tools, Microsoft Project is designed for businesses of all sizes. It defines responsibilities, offers team scheduling that assigns members their tasks and tracks their progress for ongoing assignments. The Dashboard, an all-encompassing at-a-glance status, helps Project Managers and team members determine where they are in any given project. Microsoft Project perfected cloud accessibility, helping to facilitate web access via permissions, giving team members more flexibility to work wherever they are. 

Atlassian Jira

Although Microsoft Project used to be king, Jira is gathering momentum as a superior project management tool. Part of its appeal is all of the features packed into a fairly intuitive interface. The other part of it is that it integrates easily with several platforms, making it a versatile choice. Time entry allows users to enter their time, with real-time updates and based on their input, allows Project managers to generate invoices. Data backups to the cloud are a single click away, and when you need multiple options for your reports, there are up to 20 to choose from. Mobile apps are a gimme, and task creation and management are easy to set-up, view and customize.

NetSuite OpenAir

Recent reviews indicate that NetSuite OpenAir is a great resource for Project Managers to learn. According to one review, “the platform includes applications to manage projects, resources, expenses, and timesheets. There are additional applications for billing and invoicing and project accounting, as well as analytics; the system is also optimized for mobile usage. NetSuite OpenAir Connect allows users to sync the web-based platform with a company's existing front- and back-office systems.” It’s used by bigger companies, ranging from 500 employees on up.

Workzone

Smaller companies may use Workzone. The cloud-based solution offers document management, project collaboration, customizable reporting, resource and task management and time tracking. The real advantage in using this software is that it provides various levels of detail that allows different users to see cross-project summaries, allocated resources and defined user roles and organized to-do lists that show viewers what’s next in the upcoming project.

Trello

Project Managers need a tool that will allow them to create a visual collaboration tool that involves boards and cards to help organize workflows and assign tasks. According to one review, “Trello tells you what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process. All your projects, all your tasks, all of your team--organized, accounted for, and easily visible at a glance. New users instantly understand the list and card metaphor and can be working on Trello within minutes.”

Typical Project Managers Compensation

What’s a typical Project Manager salary? Take a look at what the experts have to say:

What to Expect from a Wyzoo Project Manager

Wyzoo Project Managers are tech-savvy. They use the latest technology to help the team interpret your big data, make more accurate predictions, and help you make more reliable business decisions, faster and more dependably than ever before.

They’re your team of experts who: 

  • Create a blueprint of the project. Project Managers log your requirements by cataloguing the Statement of Work (SOW) information and meeting notes, detailing the must-haves and important facts that will help every team member understand the project’s parameters. 
  • Keep the project organized by creating a standardized folder structure to hold any supporting documents provided by the clients as well as new documents that are created along the way.
  • Create and manage the timeline. Project Managers will keep tasks on-track and on time by knowing at-a-glance where a project’s key milestones are and what needs to happen to achieve them. 
  • Tracking the budget. Project Managers work to maintain project boundaries that will help align assets with timelines, and keep everyone informed of their timeframes. 
  • Communicating with the team. Our Project Managers keep all shareholders informed and up-to-date with the progress of your project. 

Wyzoo’s Project Managers help keep the team informed and in-touch with how the project is progressing, keeping the quality of work high while pushing the bar higher. They truly are the lifeblood of our Wyzoo team. 

Resources

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