Senior Project Manager Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Senior Project Manager, or Project Director, is responsible for overseeing the planning and implementation of an entire project through budgeting, hiring team members, sourcing suppliers and planning the project release. Their duties include setting deadlines, providing feedback and communicating with clients about the status of their project.

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Senior Project Manager duties and responsibilities

Senior Project Managers must develop a plan of action to get a project completed, working across departments to ensure their needs and wants are included within the confines of the project and budgetary restrictions.

Senior Project Managers may have the following duties:

  • Develop project plans that identify resource and budgetary needs
  • Host project meetings at least once a week with team and managers
  • Provide feedback, advice, project updates and encouragement to team members
  • Manage deadlines and push the team to ensure timeliness
  • Coordinate with vendors and suppliers as needed
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Senior Project Manager Job Description Examples

What does a Senior Project Manager do?

Senior Project Managers work in all types of industries and organizations to accomplish specific initiatives and projects. Their role is to facilitate the completion of a program, project, event or product release by coordinating the activities of an entire team. Senior Project Managers build a team of employees, each with their own core role in accomplishing a project, then develop ways for team members to interact and report progress. Senior Project Managers delegate tasks to individual Project Managers, setting clear standards for their work that they’ll use to integrate each task into a completed project.

Senior Project Manager skills and qualifications

A quality Senior Project Manager will have strong communication and management skills. They must have the ability to follow direction from management, manage budgets and deadlines and have a history of successfully promoting teamwork.

Here are several other skills and qualifications Senior Project Managers should have:

  • Leadership qualities, such as motivation techniques and conflict-management
  • Computer literacy for spreadsheet and word processing software
  • Time management skills, especially familiarity with calendar management and goal setting
  • Familiarity with the work being done by each team member
  • Knowledge of project management processes, such as Scrum and Agile

Senior Project Manager salary expectations

A Senior Project Manager makes an average of $117,107 per year. Salary may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location. 

Senior Project Manager education and training Requirements

Many Senior Project Manager jobs require a bachelor’s degree, at minimum, though candidates with graduate-level education may have more specialized research and writing skills. A degree in business also provides skills in management, organization and strategic planning frequently used on the job.

Pre-employment training often comes in the form have years of relevant industry experience and previous roles in leadership and project management. Once hired, external candidates may need several months of training in their job’s specific industry before beginning their duties, allowing for time to learn about a company’s needs, style and teams.

Senior Project Manager experience requirements

As a senior leadership position, these professionals typically have many years of industry experience, such as in software development, design and computer tools and with the programs needed to perform the position. Many also have served in team lead or project management role for a few years as well. Depending on the needs of your organization, you may prefer a Senior Project Manager with at least 10 years of industry and supervisory experience. They should be well-versed in a number of computer applications and scheduling tools.

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Frequently asked questions about Senior Project Managers?

 

What is the difference between a Senior Project Manager and a Project Manager?

Large, complex projects require Project Managers to oversee certain aspects of a project while the Senior Project Manager oversees the individual Project Managers. Senior Project Managers are responsible for determining the purpose of a project, communicating with clients about their needs, securing funding, budgeting for each department and planning the project’s final release. 

Each Project Manager uses the Senior Project Manager’s guidelines to complete their portion of the project. For example, a Senior Project Manager may assign one Project Manager to handle the marketing and promotional campaign advertising an event, while asking another Project Manager to oversee the entertainment and programming responsibilities. The Senior Project Manager acts as a liaison between each Project Manager and clients or stakeholders, using delegation to accomplish large scale tasks.

 

What are the daily duties of a Senior Project Manager?

Senior Project Managers spend most of their time in meetings where they plan the project, track its progress and resolve workflow issues. They respond to emails and calls from their team members, helping them troubleshoot issues or connecting them with the resources they need to do their job. They compare budgetary restrictions to company accounts, set safety standards for their team, research technology and innovations related to a project, train their team and enforce deadlines. Senior Project Managers give feedback to their employees about their performance and track their progress, recognizing warning signs that a project could experience delays or go over budget.

 

What are the characteristics of a good Senior Project Manager?

Because Senior Project Managers have the ultimate supervision over a project team, they need to have a high level of responsibility and accountability. Good Senior Project Managers show that they are invested in the outcome of a project by providing their team members with the support they need. They’re motivational, inspiring leaders who know how to help their team success. Good Project Managers work extremely well under pressure and use their innovative mindset and problem-solving skills to achieve their goals on time.

 

Who does a Senior Project Manager report to?

Senior Project Managers report directly to clients, shareholders and department heads about their projects. They have a high level of independence for their own actions at work, mainly reporting to their clients and company leaders about the progress of their team over time. They also report to shareholders about the steps they’re taking as Senior Project Manager to lead their team and create innovative ideas for future projects.

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