Project Management Guide
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What Is an Assistant Project Manager?

An assistant project manager is generally someone who reports to and assists the project manager. This person typically has some education or experience in project management and is likely working towards a career as a project manager. However, the exact job description and requirements will vary from company to company.

When does a project have an assistant project manager?

Large, overly complex, or highly critical projects may require an assistant project manager to help with management duties and oversight. An assistant project manager may also be assigned to a project to shadow an experienced project manager. This lets new or junior staff gain project management experience before taking on projects of their own. 

What are the duties of an assistant project manager?

These may vary from company to company and project to project, but some standard duties that may be delegated to an assistant project manager are:

  • Updating and reporting on the schedule progress
  • Updating and reporting on the budget and spending
  • Identifying resource requirements and gaps
  • Monitoring project performance, such as earned value management systems (EVMS) reports
  • Managing a subset of the project, such as a particular phase or deliverable
  • Any other project management duties that are routine, standardized, or low risk

What is the difference between an assistant project manager and a project manager assistant?

A project manager assistant can also be called a project coordinator. This person’s role is more administrative. A project coordinator would not be delegated any management activities on the project, but their duties may include:

  • Scheduling meetings
  • Recording meeting minutes
  • Assisting with the formatting, publishing, recording, or sharing of reports and documents
  • Taking care of admin tasks such as printing, filing, booking meeting rooms, making coffee, ordering lunches, answering phone calls, etc.

How can you become an assistant project manager?

Are you interested in project management but don’t have experience as a project manager? Securing a position as an assistant project manager can be a good way to gain experience and advance your career. The job requirements will depend on the company and project but are typically lower than those of a project manager. For example, if you have experience working on a project in another role (such as project scheduler) and a project management professional (PMP) certification, you may qualify to become an assistant project manager. Keep an eye out for opportunities listed under any of the following job titles, as they are often similar:

  • Assistant project manager
  • Project management lead
  • Project lead
  • Junior project manager

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