What does a Certified Project Manager or CPM do?

A project manager works closely with individuals of all ranks and departments, helping coordinate the efficient and accurate flow of information among all project stakeholders. Depending on the industry and company structure, a project manager may either focus on a single project at a time or juggle multiple projects and their respective timelines and responsibilities.

According to careers.gov, a project manager may do some or all of the following:

  • Define project deliverables
  • Manage the project delivery timeline
  • Manage communication with stakeholders and project team members
  • Forecast and manage the budget and resources
  • Produce and update all project documentation
  • Meet project goals on time and to the required standards
  • Manage the project team to ensure group and individual performance is met
  • Ensure suppliers deliver the products and services requested to agreed specifications
  • Hire staff to work on projects

A program manager has a wide range of responsibilities to ensure the success of a project. These include:

  • Daily program management throughout the program life cycle;
  • Defining the program governance (controls);
  • Planning the overall program and monitoring the progress;
  • Managing the program’s budget;
  • Managing risks and issues, and taking corrective measurements;
  • Coordinating the projects and their interdependencies;
  • Managing and utilizing resources across projects;
  • Managing stakeholders’ communication;
  • Aligning the deliverables (outputs) to the program’s “outcome” with the aid of the business change manager; and
  • Managing the main program documentation, such as the program initiation document

Working conditions

Project managers usually work regular business hours, but may have to work evenings and weekends to meet deadlines. They typically work in offices but may have to be on site sometimes, depending on the industry they are working in, such as on a commercial building site. They may also have to travel around the country and overseas to clients’ worksites.

The bottom line: Being a Certified Project Manager, like many careers, can be challenging at times; but it has a lot of growth potential and can be very rewarding