A strong project manager job description is essential in communicating the expectations of a role, finding and retaining top talent, and fostering organizational alignment.
See our example job description below to see how it's done, and download our job description template for best results.
What Does A Project Manager Do?
A project manager is responsible for leading a project from start to finish, ensuring it runs smoothly and meets the expectations of key stakeholders.
They are problem-solvers who use their experience, knowledge, and project management skills to make sure everyone has what they need to complete the project on time, within budget, and with results that exceed expectations.
- Project managers create a detailed project plan that outlines how to reach the project goals. They proactively monitor and adjust the plan when needed, providing guidance and motivation to project team members along the way.
- Project managers bring people together to make things happen. Project management is all about leading, empowering, facilitating, and communicating.
- Project managers guide digital problem-solving. The job requires an understanding from a strategic perspective of why you should do a project, what technology could be used to achieve it, what it could look like, how it could work, how much it will cost, and when it could be delivered.
- Project managers are expert communicators. They need to be able to speak and understand the language of the team, clients and external stakeholders, and other departments in the org. They should be comfortable navigating ambiguity and creating clarity for their team.
- Project managers are highly organized. A project manager nudges a project along and keeps things on track. They are detail-oriented.
- Project managers are leaders. The difference between a good project manager and a great project manager is in providing leadership to the project—being the hub of knowledge and source of truth, influencing people, anticipating and resolving issues, and seeing the big picture.
Project Manager Job Description Example
This is a real job description I have used to recruit, hire, and evaluate many project managers in a technology company.
Job Title: Project Manager
The company is seeking a project manager to join our services team. This role offers the chance to work in a collaborative and curious open environment where you are given the opportunity to innovate and grow.
The project manager works cross-functionally with the larger team to lead individual project teams to solve problems, enhance services, and deliver a top-notch customer experience through program project execution.
We believe job satisfaction comes from being able to do what you love while working with other talented people and having fun along the way.
Tasks can range from designing project activities and positioning client-facing communications to working with non-technology departments to assigning resources to achieve project goals.
Teamwork is imperative in handling the wide range of situations and specific projects we can encounter—we are lively, collaborative, and work in a fast paced environment.
The most successful project managers work to anticipate client needs, contribute to the team, and drive cross-functional team members towards project goals.
Essential Functions & Responsibilities
Essential functions and responsibilities include:
- Project planning: work with leadership to scope individual projects, creating and managing a detailed work plan for successful completion of projects.
- Work with program managers to determine required resources inside and outside of the project team. Collaborate with people managers to identify and assign resources to individual project tasks.
- Meet work standards by following production, productivity, quality, and customer-service standards; resolving operational problems; and identifying work process improvements.
- Drive execution of individual projects to ensure on-time delivery within the project budget.
- Monitor and communicate individual project status to leadership and stakeholders to ensure forward project progress, escalating when required. Balance the critical dimensions of project scope, schedule, and cost.
- Coordinate internal functions and external 3rd party resources as required. Frequent interaction across the company teams, partners, and customers.
- Document plans, statuses, issue logs, deliverables, and outcomes for individual projects according to set program standards.
- Ensure that all project artifacts are delivered on-time and within scope.
- Make data-driven decisions across the project lifecycle in the context of larger project needs.
- Lead individual project close tasks to ensure operational readiness for post-project handoff.
- Enhance department and organization reputation by accepting ownership for accomplishing new and challenging requests; exploring opportunities to add value to job accomplishments.
- Other duties as assigned.
Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Skills & Qualifications
- Bachelor’s degree
- Minimum of 5-years of experience successfully managing complex cross-functional initiatives
- Information technology, software, and/or systems project leadership experience
- Experience with project management practices and tools to create, manage, and track project performance across milestones
- Ability to lead large and diverse teams exercising strong leadership and soft skills
- Outstanding analytical and complex problem-solving skills
- Experience with client impact analysis; communication positioning, design, and delivery
- Ability to work under pressure; exceptional time management skills
- Excellent client-facing and internal communication skills
- Effective communication skills, both written and verbal
- Outstanding organizational skills including attention to detail and multitasking skills.
- Experience with project management software and project management tools such as Atlassian Suite, ClickUp, Monday.com, Smartsheet, etc.
- Experienced user of Google Suite and/or MS Office toolset (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint)
- PMI Project Management Professional (PMP) or Certified Scrum Master preferred
As the role increases in complexity and requirements, the salary will typically follow suit, however not at an equal rate. Every organization’s job ladder will be different, but this is an example of what a career path could be in a project manager role.
Project Manager Job Description Template [Download]
We’ve done the hard work for you with a robust project manager job description template that’s around 3 x pages long / 1000 words and can be edited down to fit the requirements of the job.
Save yourself hours of work and download the template (supplied as a .doc) to adapt as you need. The template is unbranded and uses generic Microsoft Word styling to make it easy for you to add your own logo and edit content.
Download our project manager job description template for a head start on crafting your own job descriptions. Also included in our resources (all of which are available for DPM members) are job descriptions for project coordinators, senior project managers, and project directors as well.
Project Manager Key Responsibilities
A project manager in a digital world has many responsibilities.
- They need to be aware of the latest trends, technologies, and tools available to them to help manage projects effectively.
- They must be able to prioritize tasks, delegate work, and coordinate team members in order to complete projects on time and within budget.
- The project manager must ensure communication between all stakeholders is up-to-date, timely, and accurate.
- They must develop strong relationships with vendors, clients, or other external partners
- They must manage project risks and issues that could arise, and conduct proper risk management practices.
- The project manager needs to monitor progress throughout the life cycle of the project, provide feedback, and take corrective action where necessary.
A project manager's responsibilities might vary slightly depending on the context of their specific role.
What Are The Required Skills & Qualifications?
The required skills and qualifications for a project manager will vary slightly depending on the context of the role, but the following are the general requirements.
- Experience leading cross-functional project initiatives for a period of time (the level of the role typically determines the number of years of experience required)
- Analytical and problem-solving skills
- Facilitation skills and team leadership skills
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Experience with client-facing projects, customer service, and working with external vendor partners
- Technology skills, including specialized technology in some cases
- Project management certifications or certifications in specific project management methodologies
- Education in business or a related field
Not all of these skills and qualifications are required 100% of the time. For example, there are highly-skilled project managers that do not have university degrees or formal project management certifications, such as the Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI).
Proven experience with executing projects can often be a stand in for formal training or education.
What Is The Salary For Project Managers?
Generally, project manager salaries depend on the industry, work arrangement, and scenario.
In some industries, project management salaries may be relatively low, but project managers in fields like software development or finance often see higher salaries due to the complexity of their roles. Compensation can also be dependent on whether someone is employed as a full-time employee or working as a freelance project manager.
It's important for aspiring project managers to stay informed about market trends so that they can negotiate effectively and secure fair compensation for their hard work.
Amy Kapell’s Manifesto on Project Management
Here's Amy Kapell’s description of project managers; it captures the essence of our role very succinctly:
"We are project managers. We are the eye in the hurricane of chaos...We listen, we worry, we care. We are the center around which all others orbit. We are the purveyors of schedules and the keeper of secrets...We know exactly how to get where we’re going. And we know how to bring everyone along. We are the quiet ones who make it all possible. Without us, there is chaos."
– Amy Kapell @amykapell
Sign up for DPM membership to get full access to our 100+ templates, samples, and examples. You'll also be able to join the conversation in Slack with 100's of other digital project managers!