A project management specialist is in charge of monitoring a company's projects from conception to completion. Each project may have specific budget and performance metric guidelines that the specialist is held accountable for. Specialists are typically responsible for delegating tasks to their direct reports, inspiring them to act in the best interests of the firm, and for preparing periodic reports. Other primary duties of a project management specialist include developing business relationships, conflict resolution, and notifying company leadership of the resources needed to complete each project.
Often, project management involves monitoring work that requires the cooperation of several departments or individuals. An example might be the installation of several new data lines for a large business customer. The project management specialist ensures that all departments are meeting their specified deadlines and completing their individual tasks according to plan. He or she may serve as a communication liaison between the customer and the various internal personnel involved with completing the project.
Besides monitoring existing projects, a specialist may be responsible for designing new project guidelines. Part of the design process involves estimating the amount of financial and human resources it will take for completion. A project management specialist may determine how many steps it will take, who will perform them, and how long each step should take. Specialists often work directly with a company's senior management to brainstorm project ideas and make sure that they are in alignment with the firm's overall strategic goals.
A vital part of a specialist's job duties is leading and organizing the people needed to accomplish certain project tasks. Most tasks rely on the interdependency of several team members. Completion of a project may even require the cooperation of third-party vendors. Specialists often find themselves having to negotiate and bridge communication gaps between these individuals.
Monitoring the completion of certain milestones is an important part of being a project management specialist. He or she will often observe whether assigned team members are completing tasks according to schedule. If a task falls behind schedule, it is the specialist's responsibility to find out why. Notification of the customer or escalation may be appropriate, depending upon the nature and severity of the delay.
Reporting and documentation is another component of a project management specialist's job. Most companies employ an enterprise software application that allows individual team members to update statuses and communicate with each other electronically. Some of these applications may create metrics reports for the specialist. Other types of reporting may require the use of information obtained through project management software and direct communication with personnel responsible for the project's tasks.