Senior Project Manager Expectations


I want this entry to focus on the Senior Project Manager Expectations that exist in companies. I need to be aware of the expectations of the role. In role I play as a senior project manager is introducing technology changes into the organization.  In my role as a senior project manager I am always trying to learn more and help others as well as be aware of the expectations of the role.  I was asked about the expectations of a senior project manager and recalled reading an article written by Neal Whitten, in the PM Network (April 2012) magazine.  I still refer to that article when I prepare for an interview or start a new project.  The list of 10 expectations is from Neal and my own experience regarding the respective expectations.

10 Expectations of Senior Project Managers

The following are ten expectations that manager’s would have regarding what a Senior Project Manager should be able to do:

  • Mentor less senior personnel – As I have mentioned strongest strength in the Strength’s Finder assessment was “Learner”.  I love to share with others what I have learned and like to help others with their careers.  I have mentored several people and have found it more rewarding to me than the person I have mentored.
  • Evaluate performance – as a senior project manager we are expected to provide information to various manager’s regarding team member’s performance throughout the year.   I have found that Toastmaster’s have proven to be a good forum to practice and learn evaluation techniques.
  • Identify project management related training needs – again the “learner” strength is used here to help identify what training is needed by both myself as well as the team member’s on my projects
  • Conduct training – I recently had the opportunity to be an adjunct instructor at a local Technical College and those skills are put to use at my company in more informal training to others on my project team..
  • Perform project reviews – at the completion of each project we are asked to provide a post implementation review. 
  • Turn trouble projects around – I have had the opportunity when I was a contract project manager to take over project’s that were in trouble and turn them around.  This is a very challenging event.  It is important to try to identify the key barriers of the project and work out a plan to remove or alter the project to overcome the barriers.
  • Help hire or place project managers – I have been asked to help interview project manager’s.  I have been involved in asking the more technical aspects of project management.
  • Make continuous improvement a priority – on projects that are new or had previously been worked on at the company we are asked to review the previous PIR’s to help gauge the direction of the project.  I recently became a Scrum Master Professional and for each sprint we have a Sprint Retrospective that is an opportunity to improve the processed used by the team.
  • Think like a businessperson – having owned my own business I find that I am always trying to look at my work from an owner perspective.  I have found a systems thinking tool “Six Perspectives” to be helpful in making sure that the project is looking at least six perspectives and one of those being the business or customer perspective.
  • Be a role model for integrity – I like to think that I bring honesty and integrity to me each day in my role as a senior project manager.


I hope that you found this article of value and that allows you to become more familiar with at least 10 of the expectations of senior project managers.