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Project Manager Vs. Delivery Manager

You can explore the responsibilities, job growth, salaries, and degree requirements for project managers and delivery managers, both of which may keep project teams focused, even when challenges arise.

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Comparing Project Managers to Delivery Managers

Project managers lead teams to keep the development and design of a wide variety of products on time and within a budget. Delivery managers are interested in customer satisfaction and helping a company run efficiently, often through the development of technology services. Some additional info about these two careers is outlined below.

Job Title Educational Requirements Median Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2016-2026)**
Project Managers Bachelor's Degree $71,066 (Project Manager, Unspecified Type\General) 8% (Managers, All Other)
Delivery Managers N/A $100,425 8% (Mangers, All Other)

Sources: *Payscale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Responsibilities of Project Managers vs. Delivery Managers

Project managers are familiar with any technical aspects of a project so they can communicate the project's features and requirements to the team and stakeholders in the company. In a similar fashion, delivery managers involved in technology become familiar with the current technical standards of a company to continue creating software that suits their computer architecture or brand. When a project manager's project is not completed according to the agreed upon specifications, it is the project manager who must answer to the stakeholders. For delivery managers, when a product is not completed on time, they are the ones who hold the team accountable.

Project Managers

Project managers should be good leaders who work with different teams on any given project and still find ways to motivate each member. They should also be aware of the business strategies that drive a project and understand what the purpose of the project is, whether it is producing a consumer good, developing software, or building a bridge. During a project, these leaders are responsible for controlling any issues that may arise, which may result in changes to the original plan. According to a report published by the Project Management Institute, there will be a need for 87.7 million people in project management by 2027.

Job responsibilities of a project manager include:

  • Developing a contract between the project team and stakeholders that includes the objective, estimated cost, and deadline
  • Completing visuals, such as diagrams, that outline smaller project goals and due dates
  • Allocating fiscal resources, human resources, and raw materials to different parts of the project
  • Communicating changes and issues to stakeholders

Delivery Managers

Delivery managers focus on completing projects, controlling business processes, and making a company effective. Their focus on delivering a finished product or service may require them to prioritize a team's tasks based on improvements that need to be made to the product. Those working in technical fields supervise projects using agile project management techniques. Improvement for them means measuring the information technology services offered by a company and changing delivery processes to boost customer satisfaction. First, they work with product managers to define the plan for software development. Then, they support technical leaders as they innovate new ways to deliver software products to customers. Finally, they may on-board new customer accounts.

Job responsibilities of a delivery manager include:

  • Creating development standards
  • Hiring skilled team members for a project
  • Completing data analyses to ensure the project is on schedule
  • Developing a lasting relationship with clients

Related Careers

If becoming a project manager seems fulfilling, a program manager does similar work with multiple projects at once, so this career may also be for you. Similarly, if you're interested in a career as a delivery manager, scrum masters do similar work for software development teams but with a more product oriented approach.

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