Project management is currently a brisk and lucrative career path. This shows why the younger generation is fancying project management as their first career choice. Businesses have started to realize the importance of project management as an independent component essential for an organization’s progress. According to a study by the PMI, 15.7 million project management jobs would be created during 2020 alone. We at PM Training School, Auckland, New Zealand have compiled an exclusive project management guide for giving a heads up to the beginners. 

Kindly read through the entire project management guide thoroughly before making your educational or career decision. 

What is it to be a project manager? 

If you are usually keen on leading group projects and team activities and strive to keep everyone and everything organized with a common goal in mind, then project management would be an engaging and challenging career option for you. 

It is a career packed with loads of adventure that involves figuring out solutions to complex business problems. If you assume the role of a project manager, you become responsible for leading an entire project in its various stages such as initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and completing. 

Being a project manager, you would be required to work in teams. So you should excel in social and communication skills. You have to keep personal biases aside and treat all the team members equally without discriminating based on race, language, nationality, cultural or educational background.

Skills 

Of course, knowledge is wealth. A strong educational background generally enables you to improve your knowledge. But knowledge does not assure you an employment opportunity, rather skills do. You should have a sufficient level of knowledge to identify a problem, and the requisite amount of skills to rectify the given problem. These skills are often self-developed. A project manager requires managerial skills such as adaptability, accountability, strategic and analytical thinking, a stress-resistant personality, and at times risk management skills too.

A film director is generally called the captain of the ship as he or she leads and regulates several departments of filmmaking. Similarly, in a project management environment, a project manager controls and coordinates several stakeholders such as client, finance manager, resource manager, sales manager, marketing department, human resource trainers, and so on. 

The most valuable skill that a project manager requires is self-motivation. A project team including the project manager may run out of ideas and energy. But a project manager should know how to motivate himself and the team members to keep things going. 

Job description 

A project manager’s roles, responsibilities and duties are extremely diverse and vary from one industry to another and also depends upon the overall goals of the organization. 

  • establish the scope of a project
  • set project expectations with the internal and external stakeholders
  • act as a single point of contact (SPOC) for clients
  • devise a comprehensive project management plan
  • track the entire project lifecycle and progress
  • mentor and motivate project members
  • prioritize daily tasks
  • project documentation
  • forecast resource and revenue requirements
  • supervise and coordinate all departments
  • ensure that work is completed in accordance with clients’ demands
  • manage daily timesheets
  • report issues to management when required
  • conduct project status meetings and retrospective meetings
  • review billings and budgets
  • conduct training and workshops
  • assess team performance

How to succeed in the project management career? 

There are no secrets to success in any career. Similarly, in project management, all factors that contribute to becoming a successful project manager are open for anyone to know. But people assume that copying the working methodologies of the best project managers will bring them the fruit of success, which is unfortunately not true. Being passionate about your role, focusing on the goals of your project, and adaptability to change is very important. 

As technology has reached enormous heights, it is now very easy for project managers to pick and choose suitable project management tools. Although, finding the right tools usually demands a considerable amount of time in testing. 

How to become a project manager? 

How to begin? 

  • To see if a career in project management is right for you, you could read the stories of popular project managers, get in touch with them, and clarify all your queries.
  • You could also apply for project management internship opportunities.
  • You may try introductory project management courses online. These courses assign tasks and assignments to you to make you interact with different types of businesses to find out if you can handle them.
  • If you are about to start your entry-level project management job, before accepting the offer, you should find out if the workplace will let you grow. The hierarchical setup of your organization must let you interact with and learn from your colleagues and superiors.

Education 

You may go to a university and acquire a degree in project management or business administration. Not having a formal education is not a demerit, but if you can pursue the relevant studies, it would be a good head start. It is never late to shift to a career that satisfies your interests. Unlike common perception, Project management does not belong to one single industry. Projects may belong to any line of businesses such as art, science, software, technology, linguistics, logistics, economics, etc. In such cases, those organizations might expect the candidates who possess a Bachelor of Arts or a Master of Economics, and so on. 

Certification 

People do ask: “Are project management certifications worth it?” 

Of course, they are. As you progress in your project management career, you may either feel that you need to certify your knowledge in project management to get promoted to a better position or you may be required by your employer to get certified. Though certifications are only entry tickets to a new or a better job, the experience you gain during the training and the distinct knowledge you procure from the study materials are indispensable. 

Most important Project Management certifications 

PMP® certification 

One of the most highly acclaimed and commonly known project management certifications, the Project Management Professional certification (PMP) offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI®) fixes project management standards. The PMBOK® Guide and Standards comprises the most essential guidelines and features required for project management. Other similar certifications that are extensively provided by PMI includes PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP®) and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM®). 

Although PMP® certification is globally recognized, they are most popularly known in the United States of America, Canada, and the Middle East. For Europe, you should look out for PRINCE2 certification.  

PRINCE2 certification 

The PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is a method of project management. The government of the United Kingdom developed PRINCE2. So if you’re planning on working in the UK, you could give this certification a try. 

Salary 

The salary of a project manager often depends on three important factors: 

  • The country of the workplace
  • The candidate’s period of experience 
  • Special achievements of the candidate

According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a project manager in the US is $75,474 while additional perks and benefits may be anywhere between $1,541 and $19,755. 

What’s next? 

Your career doesn’t necessarily have to stop with being a project manager. You may move on to handle multiple projects that are related to each other. Another alternative is to look out for opportunities to become a portfolio manager. Their key responsibility is to choose and prioritize future projects keeping the organization’s goals and strategies in mind. You may also become a project management office manager (PMO manager). They ensure that people who work on behalf of the company act according to the company’s standards throughout every stage of each project’s advancement and accomplishment. 

The need for a leader who can manage everyone and maintain everything together, yet produce phenomenal results has become a vital priority of businessmen. PM Training School through its training and courses offered facilitates the formulation and evolution of such leaders.

PM Training School is a project management institute located in Auckland, New Zealand which offers training and support to people who are interested in various project management courses.

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