A Day in the Life of a Project Manager: Roles and Responsibilities

Take your career to the next level with an online PRINCE2® qualification. 

For project managers, each day offers a unique blend of challenges and opportunities, making their work both exciting and unpredictable. Changes, constraints and disputes can emerge unexpectedly, demanding swift action to ensure a project is executed and delivered successfully. 

In this blog, we explore the daily routine of a project manager, shedding light on their vital role in driving projects to fruition. 

What is a Project Manager?

Project managers serve as the linchpin of organisational change and technological initiatives. Their responsibilities encompass overseeing and coordinating various project facets, from inception to completion and even beyond.

Whether it's launching a new product, orchestrating a marketing campaign, developing software, or constructing a building, project managers are responsible for ensuring seamless progress towards project milestones and ultimate success.

A Day in the Life of a Project Manager 

There isn’t a rigid framework for a day in the life of project managers since tasks can vary from day to day, depending on the project at hand, and the size of the team they lead. 

However, below, we give you an overview of what is most likely to be a typical day in the life of a project manager, including: 

Morning Routine

After a project manager has clocked into work, priority is given to setting out their tasks and duties for the day.

Being organised from the start of their day helps project managers better monitor their team’s progression and how well they’re keeping up with the schedule and tasks set out, to reach the project’s milestones on time and successfully. 

1) Email Management: A focal part of a project manager’s role is having to frequently oversee the work of colleagues or speak with clients, who may work from different time zones. Due to that, the very first thing a project manager does during a work day is to go through and reply to all the messages and emails they have in their inbox. 

In some cases, some of those messages sent to their inbox overnight have information and attachments that could affect the course of a project, and more specifically of the following working day. That’s why going through their inbox helps them better plan their remaining day accordingly. 

2) Day planning: After having gone through their inbox and identifying any new information or amendments to the project, project managers then go ahead and plan their day. This allows them to continue working in a flexible way, ensuring that they meet their individual and team goals on-time, while quickly addressing any concerns or queries from clients and company directors. 

For example, they could’ve received an email the night before from a client reporting on project feedback and requesting a meeting for the next working day to discuss project pitfalls. As a result, the project manager now must review the schedule they’ve put together the day before and make the appropriate changes to accommodate the new meeting request. 

3) Attend project-related meetings: For some project managers, especially those leading remote teams, it’s important to communicate with their team members on a daily basis so that they’re caught up with completed and pending tasks. They spend a short part of their morning getting caught up with everything, while also allowing for idea-sharing and progress reporting between the team.

While this helps project managers stay-on-top of a project’s needs and next steps, it also enables team members to address any issues they may be facing with the project and receive support from their project manager, to maintain their productivity. 

Mid-day Project Management Responsibilities

Once they’ve completed their administrative tasks for the day, project managers usually move on to more strategic and operational responsibilities, which oftentimes take over the majority of their day.  

Since these responsibilities usually form the bulk of project managers' work, they also affect the course of the project they oversee and shape how their team works. These include: 

1) Creating and monitoring budgets: In project management, budgeting involves the allocation of finances an organisation or client has set out, to reach the desired result for a project. Due to the specialised knowledge project managers have, they’re able to recognise which components of a project may require funding and make sure to put together a budgeting plan that reflects those. 

For example, a project’s budget may mention how much money they can spend on the workforce, such as freelancers, or how much certain tools may cost, such as computer software. The project manager is therefore responsible for monitoring and accurately updating the project’s expenses to ensure the project remains within budget.

2) Progress Tracking: While project managers don’t always have a specific team they work with on all projects, monitoring a project team’s progress allows project managers to remain informed at all times about the objectives and milestones the team has met, compared to the goals set for every stage of the project.

Not only that, but through this, project managers can also evaluate performance in real time, while frequently checking metrics, such as duration and cost of tasks, allowing them to make any changes that could contribute to a project’s overall success in terms of the team members. 

3) Communicating with clients: Although many projects tend to be client-facing, project managers also take on internal projects of their organisation. When it comes to client projects however, project managers are often the line of communication for clients to find out any project updates, be informed on the project’s progress and be made aware of any changes or conflicts that could come up. Therefore, holding regular client meetings, whether in-person or through call, is a big part of a project manager’s role.

During these meetings, project managers can find out about aspects of the project, such as how much work the client expects the project team to perform. They can then use the information relayed during these meetings to put together work schedules for the team and identify whether they’ll need to hire more freelancers for example. 

4) Workflow optimisation: In order for project teams to reach specific goals, workflows are laid out, highlighting the sequence of tasks that need competing. Then, project managers check on their team’s daily progress to ensure they’re on-track with the workflow, increasing their productivity and improving collaboration. 

However, strategising workflows also involves assessing whether changing the order and importance of tasks could help with efficiency and minimising the costs of the project. 

This is an especially important part of a project manager’s day, as every project will conjure up its own issues that could potentially make it fall behind schedule. By doing this, project managers can catch up on the time lost and put the project back on track.

Tasks to Close the Day Off

To end their day, project managers usually perform tasks that help them summarise their day, while simultaneously preparing for the next one ahead, including: 

1) Performance reporting: As part of their daily monitoring tasks, project managers often conclude their day by generating a performance report for their entire team. This report summarises all the work and tasks the project team completed during the day, allowing them to identify which critical tasks to focus on the following day.

Additionally, project managers are able to evaluate and compare their team’s performance over time, while also enabling them to pin down which tasks caused the most delay or affected the team’s motivation. They can then put together a strategy to effectively deal with it when and if it comes up again.

2) Rescheduling incomplete work: During a single work day there’s an unlimited amount of things that could go wrong or cause delays to the project’s progressions. For that reason, at the end of each work day, project managers must identify and evaluate which objectives were met by their team during that day and which weren’t, in order to reschedule them. 

The project manager may also take some time at this point to label which tasks should be prioritised, which often are the ones that had to be rescheduled, in order to stay on target. They will then instruct their team members to focus on the prioritised tasks and complete them immediately at the start of their next working day. 


In the world of project management, no two days are alike. The nature of tasks and responsibilities varies depending on project size, scope, and deadlines. However, one thing is for certain: a career in project management promises excitement and constant adaptation.


Launch your project management career with a 100% online PRINCE2® qualification.

Get Your Free Course Brochure

Get more information about our PRINCE2 courses

Share this post