Project Manager Job Description

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What is project management?

Project management is the practice of applying processes and techniques to initiate, plan, manage and deliver specific projects to achieve their goals on schedule and on budget. Project management personnel will typically utilise various methodologies and tools as part of the process.

Project management is a rapidly growing field and the profession has developed significantly over the past two decades. Experienced project managers will find themselves in high demand as more organisations understand the importance of well-managed projects. 

What does a project manager do?

A project manager is responsible for planning and overseeing projects within an organisation, from the initial ideation through to completion. They coordinate people and processes to deliver projects on time, within budget and with the desired outcomes aligned to objectives.

Project managers also act as a point of liaison between the project team and senior management. They use project management tools such as Microsoft Project to plan, monitor and regularly report to stakeholders on the progress of the project.  

A key part of a project manager's role is to identify and mitigate risks which may impact successful delivery of projects.

Project manager responsibilities

  • Defining project objectives, project scope, roles & responsibilities.
  • Defining resource requirements and managing resource availability & allocation – both internal and third party.
  • Outlining a budget based on requirements and tracking costs to deliver project on budget.
  • Preparing a detailed project plan to schedule key project milestones, workstreams & activities.
  • Managing delivery of the project according to this plan.
  • Tracking project and providing regular reports on project status to project team and key stakeholders.
  • Managing and adjusting for any changes in project scope, schedule and / or budget.
  • Identifying and mitigating potential risks.
  • Managing the relationship and communication with the client and all stakeholders, ensuring the project is delivered to their satisfaction.

What skills does an IT project manager need to have?

  • IT project managers require strong technical skills and a solid understanding of software development.
  • Business & commercial acumen and excellent stakeholder management skills are also essential.
  • Analytical skills are necessary in order to correctly identify risks and solve any problems which may arise throughout the project.
  • Mathematical and budgeting skills.
  • Good time management skills and the ability to juggle multiple tasks at once.
  • A good communicator with effective stakeholder management & conflict resolution skills.
  • Be a good team player and an effective leader who is able to motivate their project team.

Common project management terms

  • Milestone
  • Stakeholder
  • Project plan
  • Risk mitigation
  • Assumptions
  • Agile
  • PRINCE2
  • Task
  • Deliverable
  • Baseline
  • Gantt chart
  • Activity
  • Change management
  • Contingency plan
  • Critical path
  • Change request
  • Change request
  • Status report
  • Scrum
  • Stand-up
  • Business case
  • Use case
  • SWOT
  • Waterfall

What qualifications do IT project managers need?

A tertiary education in IT or computer science is beneficial to providing necessary technical knowledge to IT project management. There are also a number of recognised industry certifications, with PRINCE2 and the Project Management Institute (PMI) being the two main certifying bodies. The PMI offers a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification - the primary certification for professionals in the field of project management.

However, many project managers fall into the field without any formal education or certification in the field after being assigned to run a project and just hitting the ground running.

Great project managers must have strong familiarity with project management software tools, methodologies & best practices. They also need proven ability to deliver projects according to agreed scope, timeline & budget.

What is the career path for a project manager?

There are a number of different career paths an experienced project manager can pursue.

Junior roles
Project Assistant
Project Coordinator
Project Management Support
Manager roles
Project Manager
Implementation Manager
Project Leader
Senior Management roles
Management Consultant
Program Manager
Portfolio Manager
Head of Projects
Director of Projects
Head of PMO

Who does a project manager report to?

The reporting lines for a project manager will vary depending on the scale of the project and organisation. In a smaller organisation they may report directly to senior management. However, in a larger organisation, they may report to a program manager, head of PMO or to the project sponsor.

How much does a project manager earn?

Depending on their level of experience and seniority, project managers can earn between AUD80k-180k per year in a permanent role, or AUD600-1000 per day as a contractor.​

Sydney

 
Permanent (AUD/000)
Contracting (AUD/day)
Financial Services
Project Manager
110 - 140
800 - 1,000
Senior Project Manager
140 - 180
950 - 1,150
Project Coordinator
80 - 110
350 - 500
Senior Project Coordinator
100 - 120
500 - 700
Project Administration
60 - 75
150 - 300
Project Scheduler
85 - 105
400 - 700
Master Scheduler
110 - 150
700 - 1,100
Commerce and Professional Services
Project Manager
110 - 130
750 - 900
Senior Project Manager
130 - 140
850 - 1,000
Project Coordinator
75 - 100
500 - 650
Senior Project Coordinator
100 - 120
500 - 700
Project Scheduler
85 - 105
400 - 700
Master Scheduler
110 - 150
700 - 1,100

Perth

 
Permanent (AUD/000)
Contracting (AUD/day)
Project Manager
110 - 140
750 - 900
Senior Project Manager
140 - 160
850 - 1,000

Brisbane

 
Permanent (AUD/000)
Contracting (AUD/hr)
Project Manager (Junior)
80 - 100
75 - 90
Project Manager (Mid Weight)
100 - 130
90 - 105
Project Manager (Senior)
130 - 180
105 - 135

Melbourne

 
Permanent (AUD/000)
Contracting (AUD/day)
Project Manager
130 - 150
700 - 900
Senior Project Manager
150 - 180
900 - 1,200

Newcastle

 
Permanent (AUD/000)
Contracting (AUD/hr)
Project Manager
110 - 120
80 - 90
Senior Project Manager
130 - 140
95 - 110
Project Office Manager
120 - 150
100 - 130
Project Administrator
45 - 60
30 - 40
Project Coordinator
65 - 80
45 - 65
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