The management of projects is widely regarded as one of the most challenging professional specializations currently available. In this line of work, there is absolutely no room for monotony. The project manager (PM) is responsible for directing a complete project from its inception all the way through its planning, implementation, and management. Hence we look at the question “How Can I become a project manager”? To guide you on how to become a project manager, we have written this post.
There are always fresh challenges and expectations in this field of work. If you’re the type that thrives on variety, this is the sort of profession that will never tire you. You may always switch your current project, the people you work with, the industry you’re a part of, and the methods and resources at your disposal. There is no such thing as a typical project. Your knowledge in this area, however, will serve you well in the future when you inevitably face challenges and difficulties analogous to those you have already overcome. In a similar vein, your expertise will be crucial in finding effective solutions to issues as they arise.
Are you planning to become a project manager? Do you even know where to start? We’ve put together this article to help you work out the basic aspect of a project manager’s career growth.
Table of Contents
What Is Project Management?
The field of work that requires the most complexity is project management, which comprises guiding a whole project through all of its phases, including planning, initiating, executing, completing, and controlling it. The majority of the time, project managers are the most gregarious members of their teams. They can adjust to new people, environments, cultural norms, and circumstances with ease.
Project management is an essential function in an array of fields, including commercial and charitable work, construction management, information technology and software development, medical and scientific research, to name just a few.
Stages Involved in Project Management
No matter the field, each and every project may be broken down into the following five separate yet interrelated stages. These stages include:
Project viability and feasibility are evaluated at the beginning. This usually includes doing a feasibility study to learn how likely it is that the project will be finished if it is pursued, and a business case to explain the necessity (and significance) of the project.
The planning phase of a project is initiated if the sponsors of the project or the stakeholders in the project reach a consensus that the project ought to be undertaken. It is at this phase that a comprehensive outline and documentation of the whole project’s scope is produced and created.
Once a comprehensive strategy has been created and given the green light, the project may be put into action. Getting the project to this point means finishing all of the necessary steps and reaching all of the major goals outlined in the planning process.
Monitoring and Controlling
This stage involves keeping a close eye on the project’s development and making sure that all of the major checkpoints are being reached as the implementation proceeds.
Reviewing how well the project achieved its goals is a key part of the closure process. Also included is making sure all paperwork is filed away safely and securely after being used (such as when a contract is terminated or an invoice is paid).
Who Is A Project Manager?
A person who manages projects professionally is called a “project manager.” Regardless of the sector, project managers are accountable for the whole lifecycle of any endeavour with a clearly defined scope, beginning, and end. In their role as project representatives, project managers serve as the initial point of contact for problems that arise among the leaders of different departments within a company.
So being flexible is key to team communication since the project manager has to be a team leader, co-worker, and supervisor at the same time. A project manager is the first person people on the team go to when a problem occurs as they’re expected to hold the answers to any inquiry. A PM has to deal with both formal and informal interactions, they’re quite similar to psychologists.
The Roles Of A Project Manager
They know the exact problem, desire, and expectation that the employees or clients may have. However, as a person, a PM can’t get emotionally involved in their projects. Some responsibilities of a project manager include:
- Taking part in the creation process, preparing communication methods, executing the project, finding solutions to recurring issues, ensuring your team is getting things done and monitoring the project’s progress from start to finish.
- The PM must connect each project to its clients. The entire responsibility for the project’s success will fall on their shoulders as they will be held accountable for any mistake the team makes or the client’s complaints.
- Tackling daily project management challenges requires accountability, analytical, adaptability, strategic thinking, risk-taking, decisiveness, multitasking, and a stress-resistant personality.
Some Of The Most Common Responsibilities Of A Project Manager Include:
- Directing all project management phases.
- Define the overall scope of the project.
- Setting and managing project expectations with external and internal stakeholders.
- Updating the project documentation.
- Coordinating and tracking various projects through an entire project lifecycle.
- Establish effective communication.
- Developing a detailed project management plan to track project progress.
- Track work times and maintain accurate daily timesheets.
- Mentor, motivate and supervise project team members.
- Develop professional business relationships.
- Ensure project tasks are executed and reviewed within the predefined scope.
- Prioritize the tasks of the project and accurate forecasts for revenue and resource requirements.
- Align various teams to maintain the quality of deliverables.
- Partner with all departments to ensure work is done according to demands.
- Conduct project status meetings, daily stand-ups, and retrospective meetings.
- Ensure team members have all the necessary information.
- Conduct workshops and training.
- Report and escalate issues to management when necessary.
- Follow up on the progress, risks, and opportunities of the project.
- Measure project performance using appropriate systems, tools, and techniques.
- Focus on customer satisfaction.
- Manage projects through KPIs and budgets/billings.
- Evaluate team performance.
- Act as the main customer contact for project activities.
- Make recommendations for project improvements.
- Obtain customer input.
Here Are The Things You Should Consider As A Point Of Reference Before Kickstarting Your Career In Project Management:
- Solid understanding of business cases and risk management processes
- Strong business acumen and expert knowledge to meet specific circumstances
- Proven project management and self-management skills
- Critical thinking and strong leadership skills
- Ability to monitor and control budgets
- Good communication and negotiation skills
- Strong interpersonal skills and capability to make decisions under pressure
- Ability to define situations, document data, draw conclusions and interpret instructions regardless of their form
- Strong organizational and multitasking skills
- Analytical skills and a creative mindset
- Accuracy and attention to detail
- Excellent time management skills and working knowledge of project management tools
- Capacity to maintain schedules and meet deadlines
- Problem-solving skills, self-motivation, accountability, and good work ethic
How Can I Become A Project Manager?
Before you begin a career in project management, ensure that it’s the right path for you. Read about other project managers, reach out to them and ask candid questions. There are basically two ways through which one can become a project manager.
- Through formal education and training.
- Through the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach.
If you are determined to enter the field of project management, the simplest way to get there is through formal education and training. The alternative method emphasizes initiative and independence. To get your career off the ground as a project manager, through formal education and training, you may begin by taking the following steps:
Get A Bachelors Degree
Project managers normally need a bachelor’s degree to start their professions. Project managers often major in business or project management as undergraduates. You could also start by getting a degree in Marketing, project management, or your chosen area, such as engineering or Information Technology (IT)
Lookout For A Specialty
A project manager can get employment in a variety of fields and with many different kinds of businesses. If you are interested in becoming a project manager, determining the industry in which you would like to work is one of the first steps you should take. Choose one that’s related to the projects you work on or the industry you’re involved in.
Getting certified in project management is a great way to set yourself apart from the competition and may even be necessary to land some project manager jobs. Among the many possible certifications you can get are those listed below.
When it comes to being ready for a career as a project manager, one of the most crucial things you can do is gain experience working in the field. After determining the sector in which you are interested in working, your next step should be to hunt for entry-level roles in that sector that will provide you with experience managing projects.
For instance, if you want to work in the field of information technology as a project manager, you should get experience in an entry-level position that incorporates computers so that you may improve your technical knowledge and abilities.
Develop Your Management Skills
Develop your managerial abilities at the same time as you hone your professional competence. To effectively lead and inspire the teams they oversee, project managers often possess solid management abilities. You may improve these skills by taking on more responsibility at work, taking on internship positions, or taking on higher-priority duties.
Here’s A List Of The Most Important Project Management Certifications That You Should Consider:
1. PMP® Certification
The Project Management Professional certification is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI®). The PMBOK Guide and Standards is the main study resource that contains the most important guidelines and characteristics needed for project management. It’s okay to study any other materials in preparation for the PMP® exam.
The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions and requires 3 years of previous working experience as a project manager (or 5 if you don’t have a four-year degree in PM), at least 4,500 hours of experience working on directing a project (or 7,500 if you don’t have a four-year degree), and 35 hours of formal education on project management.
The PMP® training offers comprehensive courses that are widely accepted standards to help you achieve project success. This certificate has to be renewed every 3 years due to the changing nature of project management standards.
Please note that the PMBOK® Guide and the PMP® certification are mostly known in the USA, Canada, and the Middle East. If you’re not yet prepared to sit the PMP® exam, you can try going for a Certified Associate in Project Management examination (CAPM®). This certification is perfect for less experienced people with little or no project management experience.
2. PRINCE2 Certification
The PRojects IN Controlled Environments is a project management method developed by the UK government. PRINCE2 certification has two main learning paths you can choose to pursue:
i. PRINCE2 Foundation
This level serves to confirm your basic knowledge of this PM method. Although there are no prerequisites for taking this exam, you have to possess previous experience with project management.
ii. PRINCE2 Practitioner
This second level confirms whether you can use the PRINCE2 method in a real-life scenario.
3. Scrum Certifications
This is an Agile framework which is often used for product management or software-industry projects. Scrum.org provides assignments that can certify your knowledge of this method. You can choose between the following assessments:
Professional Scrum Master™, Professional Scrum Developer™, Professional Scrum Product Owner™, Professional Agile Leadership™, Scaled Professional Scrum™ and Professional Scrum With Kanban™.
The views expressed in all of the certifications/training are different, although they’re complimentary for successful project delivery.
What Is The Salary Range For Project Managers?
A project manager’s salary varies based on the country in which they’re working and their previous experience (skills plus knowledge). Their annual income is between $51,000 and $111,000.
According to Glassdoor, the median project manager salary in the US is about $75,474 while additional cash compensation is between $1,541 and $19,755. The project management job is one of the highly in-demand jobs and their annual wages are expected to grow within the next ten years. This is as companies are shifting their attention from typical routine actions to actual projects.