How to become a successful project manager

Project management is an important job and how well it is done may be the deciding factor of project success. Hiring a project manager may seem costly initially. However, not having one can lead to more expenses. It can also cause delays and problems with deliverables. Client expectations may not be met without a project manager. As such, becoming a successful project manager is quite an accomplishment and an in-demand career option. However, before wanting to become a project manager it is important to understand what project management is.  

What is project management?

Project management covers everything from the initiating and planning stages of a project to team management, reporting, completion, and delivery. Additionally, project management makes use of specific types of methodologies to achieve the desired outcome with limited resources. These methodologies provide structured frameworks for efficient execution and resource allocation. They can be defined as a set of guiding techniques, that can be used to plan and execute a project. Using a process-based methodology such as the one used in PRINCE2 Foundation training and certification, projects can be broken down into small and easy-to-handle tasks.

What is the role of a project manager? 

The duties of a project manager encompass running point on projects, in addition to making efficient use of the allocated resources. Furthermore, effective communication with clients is crucial for project managers to ensure smooth operations. Moreover, they are responsible for supervising and assisting team members throughout the project lifecycle. Ultimately, their goal is to deliver a project on time. Consequently, successful project managers are equipped with the skills and knowledge required to handle a variety of projects effectively.

The project manager will also have to be able to make strategic business decisions, manage risks and report to senior management. Most importantly, a project manager must be able to ensure high-quality deliverables and guaranteed client satisfaction. Being familiar with the process-based methodology used in PRINCE2 Foundation training and certification is a bonus for project managers as it is scalable.

How to become a project manager?

Finally, what is required to become a project manager? From what we’ve discussed, it is no easy feat and a combination of several soft and hard skills together with determination are required to become a successful project manager. The list below discusses the required skills which can be learnt and further developed through practical experience. 

1. Tech-Savvy

As a project manager with a team of employees depending on you. You must have a fair understanding of how technology works and how it can be applied in project management. 

2. Effective communication

Effective communication isn’t just about giving out instructions or passing on a message. It means conveying information in a simple manner such that it is understood easily and the message is clear. 

3. Decision-making

As the project lead, it will be your responsibility to make informed decisions and choose strategic solutions for challenges.

4. Time management

Organising your time efficiently is important to accomplish important tasks without wasting time on trivial issues. 

5. Leadership

Being a good leader requires you to be someone people can look up to for inspiration and motivation. This requires being approachable and listening attentively to your employees. Remaining calm in times of duress, being unbiased towards all members of the team, building team spirit and more are expected.

6. Cost Control

As a project manager, you will be in charge of managing project costs. Furthermore, this involves planning and sticking to a budget, minimising unnecessary expenses and preparing for possible risks. Cost control will also require you to monitor how spending is varying from baseline and adjust accordingly.

7. Project Planning 

An essential part of project management; project planning lays the foundation for executing a project. A roadmap is created defining progress measurables, client requirements, resource allocation, individual goals, and more. One of the benefits of PRINCE2 Certification is having access to a highly structured project management format with templates and processes that can be used in a range of different projects. 

8. Risk Assessment

Analysing the quantitative and qualitative impacts of risks on a project and calculating the probability of said risks occurring is part of risk assessment. This allows you to create preventive measures and deal with risks in a proactive manner.  

9. Quality Control

To achieve superior-quality deliverables, outputs have to be constantly monitored and tested. Project management includes tools that can be used to maintain a quality register wherein the quality of the product is continuously compared to the agreed-upon standard. Therefore, any deviation or problems can be dealt with immediately. 

10. Building relationships

An undervalued but essential skill in project management is being able to build and maintain good relationships with people from fellow project managers to clients, team members, consultants, and more. This will open up a lot of avenues for you as people will enjoy working with you and trust and rely on you to run projects successfully. 

Last but not least, it is important to be comfortable with showcasing your abilities. Recruiters and employers often look for confidence when hiring and being sure of yourself can go a long way in helping you become a successful project manager. Further, being certified in project management with a globally recognised program such as the PRINCE2 Foundation course and exam online is likely to increase your chances of being employed as a project manager as you will have an advantage over candidates without any related qualifications. 

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