What Does A Project Manager Do? Exploring the Daily Tasks

What Does A Project Manager Do? Exploring the Daily Tasks

Written By : Bakkah

11 Jun 2024

Table of Content

Project managers play a pivotal role in driving success by overseeing projects from inception to completion. From overseeing project timelines to coordinating resources and managing stakeholder communication, explore how project managers navigate multifaceted responsibilities and complexities of project management to ensure successful outcomes. 

In this article, we delve deep into the daily tasks and duties that define the role of a project manager, providing valuable guidance for aspiring project managers and stakeholders alike.

What Is A Project Manager?

A project manager is a professional responsible for planning, executing, and overseeing the successful completion of a project within specific constraints such as time, budget, and scope. They serve as the primary point of contact for all stakeholders involved in the project, including team members, clients, and executives.

Project managers are adept at creating detailed project plans, allocating resources effectively, managing risks, and ensuring that project objectives are met within the defined parameters. Moreover, project managers play a crucial role in fostering collaboration and communication among team members to ensure everyone is aligned with project goals and deadlines.

They often employ various project management methodologies, such as Agile, Scrum, or Waterfall, depending on the nature and requirements of the project. Additionally, project managers must possess strong leadership, problem-solving, and organizational skills to navigate challenges and keep the project on track from initiation to closure. 

Overall, their expertise and oversight contribute to the successful delivery of projects on time, within budget, and to the satisfaction of stakeholders.

Project Manager Tasks

Here's a breakdown of typical tasks that a project manager might handle:

1. Initiation Phase

In the initiation phase, the project manager lays the foundation for the project's success. They work closely with stakeholders to define the project's scope, objectives, and deliverables.

This involves conducting thorough research and analysis to understand the project's feasibility and alignment with organizational goals. Once the project scope is established, the project manager creates a project charter, outlining key objectives, stakeholders, and constraints.

They assemble a project team with the necessary skills and expertise, ensuring that each team member understands their role and responsibilities within the project.

2. Planning Phase

During the planning phase, the project manager develops a detailed roadmap for achieving project objectives. They break down the project scope into manageable tasks and create a work breakdown structure (WBS) to organize project activities hierarchically.

The project manager collaborates with the project team to develop a comprehensive project plan, which includes timelines, milestones, and dependencies. They estimate resource requirements and develop a resource management plan to ensure that resources are allocated efficiently throughout the project lifecycle.

Additionally, the project manager identifies potential risks and develops a risk management plan to mitigate threats and capitalize on opportunities. They establish quality standards and develop a quality management plan to ensure that project deliverables meet stakeholder expectations.

3. Execution Phase

In the execution phase, the project manager leads the project team in executing the project plan. They coordinate resources, manage project schedules, and oversee day-to-day project activities.

The project manager holds regular team meetings to review progress, address issues, and provide guidance to team members. They monitor project performance against key metrics, such as schedule adherence and budget utilization, and take corrective action as needed to keep the project on track.

Additionally, the project manager manages changes to the project scope, schedule, and budget, ensuring that stakeholders are informed and that changes are implemented effectively.

4. Monitoring and Controlling Phase

During the monitoring and controlling phase, the project manager oversees the project's progress and ensures that the project stays on course. They track project performance against the baseline plan, monitoring key metrics and identifying any deviations or variances.

The project manager conducts regular risk assessments, updating the risk register and implementing mitigation strategies to address emerging risks. They review and approve project deliverables to ensure that they meet quality standards and stakeholder requirements.

Additionally, the project manager addresses issues and conflicts within the project team, fostering a collaborative and productive work environment.

5. Closing Phase

In the closing phase, the project manager formalizes project closure and ensures that all project objectives have been met. They obtain sign-off from stakeholders, acknowledging the successful completion of the project.

The project manager conducts a thorough project review, assessing lessons learned and identifying areas for improvement in future projects. They archive project documentation and deliverables, ensuring that valuable project assets are preserved for future reference.

In addition, the project manager releases project resources and closes out contracts, formally concluding project activities. Finally, the project manager prepares a final project report, summarizing project outcomes and communicating them to stakeholders.

What does a project manager do daily

The daily tasks and responsibilities of a project manager can vary depending on the stage of the project and the specific needs of the team and stakeholders. However, here are some common activities that a project manager might perform daily:

1. Team coordination

A project manager starts the day by checking in with team members individually or in a group setting. They review progress on tasks, discuss any challenges or roadblocks encountered, and provide guidance or support to ensure team members are equipped to carry out their responsibilities effectively.

2. Task assignment and tracking

Throughout the day, the project manager assigns new tasks to team members based on project priorities and deadlines. They track the status of existing tasks using project management tools or software, ensuring that tasks are completed on time and within scope. They also monitor task dependencies to prevent delays.

3. Communication

Project managers engage in ongoing communication with team members, stakeholders, and other relevant parties. They respond to emails, phone calls, and messages promptly, hold regular meetings or video calls to provide updates, address concerns, and facilitate collaboration among team members.

4. Documentation

Project managers maintain and update project documentation to keep it current and reflective of the project's progress. This includes the project plan, risk register, issue log, meeting minutes, and any other relevant documents. Clear and accurate documentation helps ensure alignment and transparency among team members and stakeholders.

5. Risk management

Project managers continuously identify, assess, and manage risks to the project. They proactively identify potential risks, analyze their impact and likelihood, develop mitigation strategies, and monitor risk throughout the project lifecycle. By staying vigilant and responsive to potential threats, they minimize the likelihood of project disruptions.

6. Budget management

Project managers monitor project expenses against the allocated budget on a daily basis. They review spending, identify any discrepancies or oversights, and take corrective action if necessary. Effective budget management ensures that the project remains financially viable and that resources are allocated efficiently to achieve project objectives.

7. Quality assurance

Project managers review project deliverables regularly to ensure they meet established quality standards. They conduct quality checks, solicit feedback from stakeholders, and address any deficiencies promptly through revisions or corrective action. By maintaining a focus on quality assurance, they uphold project integrity and stakeholder satisfaction.

8. Stakeholder engagement

Project managers engage with stakeholders to gather feedback, address concerns, and keep them informed about project progress and key decisions. They maintain open lines of communication, seek input on project deliverables and milestones, and proactively manage stakeholder expectations to foster collaboration and support.

9. Problem-solving

Project managers are adept at identifying and resolving issues or conflicts that arise within the project team. They facilitate discussions, mediate disagreements, and work collaboratively with team members to find solutions to challenges that may impede progress.

Their problem-solving skills are essential for maintaining project momentum and achieving project goals.

10. Planning and strategy

Project managers regularly review project goals, objectives, and timelines to ensure alignment with organizational priorities. They assess progress against the project plan, identify areas for improvement or adjustment, and refine strategies or priorities as needed to keep the project on track. Strategic planning helps project managers anticipate and navigate changes effectively.

11. Personal development

Project managers prioritize professional development to stay current with industry best practices, trends, and emerging technologies. 

They allocate time for activities such as attending training sessions, participating in networking events, or pursuing certifications relevant to their role. Personal development enhances their skills and expertise, enabling them to excel in their project management responsibilities.

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Overall, project managers play a pivotal role in driving successful project outcomes. Their tasks encompass various responsibilities, including defining project objectives, developing plans, managing resources, leading teams, monitoring timelines, mitigating risks, communicating with stakeholders, and ensuring quality control.

By effectively executing these tasks, project managers contribute significantly to the achievement of organizational goals and the realization of successful projects.