So you want to be a Project Director


Main areas of responsibility for the Project Director include

  • Managing the resources of the project. This may include
    • participating in multiple and consistent meetings with grant accountant
    • maintaining consistent communication with the Program Officer
    • preparation for audits
  • Planning and implementing the work of the project
  • Communicating with individuals and groups about the project
  • Ensuring deliverables are met on time or modified if necessary
  • Reporting - could be monthly, quarterly or annually and may include gathering reports from sub-recipients

Qualities and considerations that make for a successful Project Director


The Project Director bears primary responsibility for all administrative elements of the project. As you guide your team toward achieving stated goals, processing necessary paperwork for budget, contracts, reports and requisitions may take more time than anticipated. The bulk of your time may be spent on these management tasks rather than project implementation. Allow extra time if you are new to the process.

Attention to detail

There are myriad details that need to be organized and tracked in preparing a budget, preparing contracts, hiring staff, requisitioning supplies and services from vendors, and preparing reports.

Budget acumen

Understanding of budgeting is critical to managing a project.

Database savvy

You will need to access and be comfortable with CCSF’s grant management software systems, Banner and Argos. Training is provided if you are not already familiar with these. 


You may have a clear concept about the personnel you need to carry out your project and how to structure expenses. You will need flexibility to organize your needs so that they interface with CCSF’s systems. You may also have to respond to changes in the working environment, including staffing changes that may require revisiting specifics of the project’s structure.

Advance planning and patience

The various systems the College has put in place to ensure institutional accountability take time for review and approval. Patience is key, as is the ability to work with other faculty, administrators and classified staff.

Good communication skills

You will need to articulate specifics about your project to a wide variety of people. You may need to be persuasive about your ideas, be able to gain stakeholder buy-in and maybe even get people excited about your project, as well as be an effective advocate for it.  You will also have to be able to work through challenges in a collegial and effective manner.


In addition to working with your own team, your project will impact colleagues in many areas of the College in ways you may not at first anticipate. You should be prepared to work with a range of colleagues and understand the perspective they bring from their own functions and departments.