What is Project Management?
If you have ever planned a family event, arranged for friends to do an activity together, completed a residential move, you have conducted project management (PM). This skill set is used every day across the world in countless ways. Formal recognition of it as a profession unto itself occurred in the mid-20th century. Project Management encompasses balancing a project’s timeframe, budget and overall scope as the team works to meet its objectives. Project Management Institute (PMI) defines project management (PM) as:
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This career is not bound by industry or geography. Some studies predict 22 million project management related jobs by 2027. The job potential is a reflection of the positive impact, including increased efficiencies, realized cost-savings, and improved moral, that competent Project Managers can have within an organization. If you want a job that can take place anywhere in the world and not be tied to any one industry, this is perfect for you.
Formal Framework of Project Management
In the professional setting, the Project Manager is responsible for determining and directing separate tasks towards the identified final deliverable; success or failure can hinge on the choices made by the Project Manager. PM approaches are reflective of the needs of the industry in which it is used, including Waterfall, Kanban, Agile, and Scrum. The PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP) credential is grounded in Waterfall; for that approach, the process of identifying and guiding work tasks is documented in the PMI’s A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) as such:
“Waterfall” can be successfully completed by the Project Manager whose training and expertise reflects ten knowledge areas:
Don’t emphasize one approach over the other. It’s important to understand that all of these approaches play a role in helping teams work towards their business goals. Project Managers who use the techniques above would benefit from training in the ten knowledge areas.
Why Do Businesses Need Project Managers?
You’ve probably done some type of PM in your personal life- but why not formalize it? With a sustainable process and training, you can increase the probability of a successful outcome. Business writer Rocco Baldassarre shares in his Entrepreneur.com article a powerful listing of how businesses benefit from trained Project Managers:
1. Cut down response times.
2. Help prioritizing tasks.
3. Create a bridge between corporate functions.
4. Optimize corporate processes.
5. Keeps track of open communication.
80% of global executives believe having project management as a core competency has helped them remain competitive. Well conducted PM enables companies in “…planning actionable strategies and implementing solutions to challenges as they arise…”. If there is anything we have all learned in 2020 with Covid-19, it is that change happens. As aptly put by Leyna O’Quinn in Why Organizations Need Project Management,” Without it, nothing would ever get accomplished.
What Does A Project Manager Do Exactly?
Indeed.com, the world leader in job searches, defines the role of a Project Manager as:
Notice that it does not say a Project Manager must use a specific approach or framework. Project Managers need to focus on workflow and streamlining in order to be successful in their role. Throughout your career as a Project Manager, you will come across many challenges. A lot of them seem insurmountable at first glance but are not if approached in the right way. That’s why practice and formalized PMP training are necessary.
Studying for the PMP Exam?
What Does It Take to Practice Effective Project Management?
It does not require the job title of Project Manager to need and benefit from the skills of PM. For yourself or those you seek to bring to your organization, consider a focus on these skills:
Your Next Project? Elevating Your Project Management Knowledge
There is not a single path to gaining Project Manager skills nor adding it as a competency to your organization’s talent pool. This skill set grows in value and provides many benefits to an organization.
Project Management skills can help your career now and provide opportunities in the future, regardless of your title. Consider that the PMI’s “Project Management Job Growth and Talent Gap 2017– 2027” reports the need for 87.7 million project management-oriented roles by 2027. Now’s the perfect time to gain new PM skills, deepen existing skills, or a combination as long as you have them.
Organizations with formalized project management methods in place enjoy reduced risks, reduced costs and improved success rates. To realize those benefits, organizations need to support the development of current talent – across roles – in the discipline of Project Management.
Project managers are the real heroes of business. They have to be able to navigate changes and challenges, maintain a steady hand in difficult times, and motivate others towards common goals – all while dealing with other people’s problems on top of their own!
PM is not only about formalized project plans and procedures. It also requires a talented team to do the job right, which means that you need somebody with good organizational skills in place to make sure this happens!
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