What does a project manager do?

I know some people who have gone into project management roles but I can't really tell what they do...

Asked by JeremyColumbia University in the City of New York

2 Answers


Haha it's kind of tough to really internalize, but how let me try to give you an example. A project manager's goal is to make sure that a project is completed on-time, and on-budget. In the case of constructing a building, a project manager is coordinating with the hundreds of suppliers, contractors, sub contractors and government officials to make sure:

  • materials are there on time (and re-sent when they're inevitably late)
  • all the teams that are supposed to be on site are in fact on site
  • that, say the glass contractor, knows to show up after the framing contractor comes in
  • and most importantly – that everything is costing what it's supposed to cost and not more! Costs can add up very quickly and can send a project way over budget, potentially bankrupting the project or even worse, the company!
  • etc, etc, etc

Now, of course project managers are not just for the construction industry but these same principles of making sure stakeholders are communicated to and sufficiently resourced to do their jobs at the right times and right costs are at the core of any project management role. Hope this clears things up for you!!

Answered by LucilleBarnard College


This is kinda funny for me as I am taking QSO-300 Operations Management course right now.

My definition of a Project Manager is very simple. They find the best cost, best value, best way to get what is needed to accomplish a goal.

Answered by SherriSouthern New Hampshire University