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Get trained, multiply your income!

Quite often, professionals feel like they have reached a state of limbo in their career. They may seem to be working long hours and pushing themselves to go the extra mile at work — and yet their efforts seem to be all in vain. They get bypassed for a promotion and don’t get appreciated as much as they should. Sound familiar? If your career is at a standstill, just what can you do to get out of this rut? Are you happy in your present career? If not, it may be time to make a switch. A career change can be a game changer and give your income that much-needed boost. If you find that you have to drag yourself to work every morning, and really don’t enjoy what you are doing, then it’s clear that you need to opt out. There are a number of professional training courses available that can give you a fresh start in a new direction. If you are a software engineer, Big Data  is all the rage these days…you can take a course in Hadoop and pick up the fundamentals of this versatile data platform. Or if network security is your forte, you can get started on a career in Ethical Hacking with a CEH certification. Evaluate your interests and make the right decision. If you are happy with your career choice, but not so happy with the paycheck you are drawing, then you can upgrade your skills with a certification course that takes your competencies up a notch. For instance, if you are currently a team leader; get PMP certified and establish your capability of driving a complex project with confidence. The promotion and salary hike you seek will soon be yours! The Project Management Salary Survey—Eighth Edition claims that certification holders earn 17 percent more than their non-certified peers. Whether its upskilling yourself, or learning a new skill entirely, getting trained can start you on the path to personal and professional success. Step back and evaluate yourself; set clear goals for your career, and draw out a road map that will take you where you want to go!
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Get trained, multiply your income!

239
Get trained, multiply your income!

Quite often, professionals feel like they have reached a state of limbo in their career. They may seem to be working long hours and pushing themselves to go the extra mile at work — and yet their efforts seem to be all in vain. They get bypassed for a promotion and don’t get appreciated as much as they should.

Sound familiar? If your career is at a standstill, just what can you do to get out of this rut?

Are you happy in your present career? If not, it may be time to make a switch. A career change can be a game changer and give your income that much-needed boost. If you find that you have to drag yourself to work every morning, and really don’t enjoy what you are doing, then it’s clear that you need to opt out. There are a number of professional training courses available that can give you a fresh start in a new direction. If you are a software engineer, Big Data  is all the rage these days…you can take a course in Hadoop and pick up the fundamentals of this versatile data platform. Or if network security is your forte, you can get started on a career in Ethical Hacking with a CEH certification. Evaluate your interests and make the right decision.

If you are happy with your career choice, but not so happy with the paycheck you are drawing, then you can upgrade your skills with a certification course that takes your competencies up a notch. For instance, if you are currently a team leader; get PMP certified and establish your capability of driving a complex project with confidence. The promotion and salary hike you seek will soon be yours! The Project Management Salary Survey—Eighth Edition claims that certification holders earn 17 percent more than their non-certified peers.

Whether its upskilling yourself, or learning a new skill entirely, getting trained can start you on the path to personal and professional success. Step back and evaluate yourself; set clear goals for your career, and draw out a road map that will take you where you want to go!

Usha

Usha Sunil

Blog Author

Writing is Usha's hobby and passion. She has written widely on topics as diverse as training, finance, HR and marketing, and is now into technical writing and education. She keeps an interested eye on new trends in technology, and is currently on a mission to find out what makes the world go around.

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How to Become an Entry-Level Project Manager: 5 Things You Should Know

Over the time you have figured out what separates an impressive project manager from the rest is by securing the position you are seeking. Start by doing tons of research regarding businesses and people you wish to work with. And most important of all, accept the fact that no one ever gets it perfect neither will you do. Being difficult and demanding in nature, the role of a project manager requires immense flexibility and unwavering leadership, but to helm, such a role is equally rewarding. Planning, organizing, delegating, budgeting and documenting every aspect are core duties performed by these professionals. Do you think that you have excellent organizational skills and a knack for communication? If so, project management could turn out to be a perfect career choice for you. Now I have come across many people who underestimate their potential as they haven’t worked in a similar role before. Well, never discount your experience.Lack of experience doesn’t mean that you don’t have the right skills. A lot of key attributes such as leadership and time management are required to succeed in the field of project management. In a few experiences that you can include in your profile as a project are a blog, planning an event (e.g., charity evenings, weddings, etc.) and even home improvement projects.Throughout my decade of the journey in the digital realm, first as a software developer and now as a project manager, I have thoroughly managed to conclude on a few tips and tricks that will work brilliantly, turning you into a project god. According to me, one has to be a bit of renaissance person to be a successful project manager. Skill and natural abilities like being a tactical problem solver to reading the nuances of human behavior need to be the must-have skills for a project manager. Tips to consider for Entry-Level Project Manager Listen and engage- Listening is the first step of learning. If you can’t listen, chances are learning automatic gets reduced. Being a beginner, it’s time for you to soak everything up. Pay attention to detail to your work environment, team, study your clients and customers well and start recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of your team players. That’s your job. Always remember the more people you can get on your side, the more success you will have.                                                                                           Source: Skillsyouneed.com               Know your project management tool-  Scheduling your projects on a daily basis, using collaborative project management tools are included in their day’s work. Finding ways to optimize the platform and encourage team members to participate on a thorough basis you may also decide to take the lead to find a product that serves your needs in a better manner. An initiative might win many points for you. Be a productive team player - Unity matters the most, whether you are a developer or project manager, I am sure you both aim to serve your team in your project’s best interest, so learn how to optimize your reliable team members especially in regards to expertise. In addition to this, never be the person who waits for too long to let others know there’s a problem brewing. So try being a transparent problem solver and make your team understand the moment you spot something wrong you will take immediate actions. Be a problem solver - Well, this skill is required in every profession. You might come across a situation when your juniors tend to rush into the doing of a project. They might not even analyze all the dependencies and identify all the risks in prior. During such cases, a PM sees how much preemptive problem-solving needs to be done. You can even put a Private Investigator hat and find out the why-what-where-and-when of what caused the project to fail. After all the best lessons are the ones that are learned from mistakes. But make sure you apply your learnings. Know your customer - Customer will always be your king. So it is essential to know who exactly you are working for. And if you try knowing them as individuals, it’s even better! Understand what your customer’s goals, vision, and mission are. To be precise, think of what they care about or how do they communicate, can they deal with change smoothly or do they like facing conflicts/ solve problems. Reacting to your customers and clients in the most appropriate and meaningful way can compel your bosses to utter the word “promotion” in no time. Communication- Strong communication is no longer an exception — it is a vital element required. Brush your skills so that you can clearly articulating visions, ideas, goals and project issues to a variety of people whether team members or stakeholders. Communication isn’t all about being effectively verbal it even includes written skills. Do you think you are honed for report writing as well? If not, please consider enhancing it as you may require scribbling for meetings and presentations. Let the technology do wonders - A profound transformation is at hand, but how equipped are you to see the potential and perils of the business and technology landscape? Businesses are going to great lengths to learn more about how this technology impacts their bottom line so why don’t you. Programs like Smart Sheet, help streamline regular status reports by using collaborative software that make prioritizing tasks simple and easily distributed. Competence - Many of you often have this misconception that leadership competence refers to the project leader’s technical abilities. In fact, leaders are chosen on the basis of how they lead others rather than on technical expertise. So, make your teammates believe that you are confident about your moves. Prove that you can challenge, inspire, enable, model and encourage in a short span.Work your way upRemember, no great things are built overnight. The same goes for your career. Although you have all the right skills you need to succeed, chances are some roles may still be out of your reach. So be patient! Apart from this, being in charge doesn’t mean you have to take on a dictator’s personality. Treat people the way you’d like to be treated- Respect people around. Role of a project manager is not as easy as it sounds.  Remember you are the cartographer of every individual worker's efforts. So make the most of it!
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How to Become an Entry-Level Project Manager: 5 Th...

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PMI-ACP® Agile Certification Requirements and Processes

So. you want to get your PMI-ACP®  certification and are wondering what the PMI-ACP®  Certification course requirements and processes are! You are in the right place and this post will hopefully be beneficial in guiding you with regard to all the optional and mandatory steps required to apply for the certification. It’s obvious, whenever someone start a process (Certification Education) or anything new, the first question that comes to mind is, where should I start , and what are the requirements. The PMI-ACP® certification has been recently launched by PMI® . Here we have compiled a list of all the PMI-ACP® certification requirements and processes step by step in detail.   PMI-ACP® Certification Requirements and Processes There are basically seven steps required for PMI-ACP® certification; some are optional while others are mandatory. Step #1: User ID: This is optional. Go to PMI.org and create a User ID. This is not mandatory but there are benefits and I will mention a few of them: Free. You will be able to create a profile and your mode of payment, which makes later access easy. You will get up to date information from PMI®.   Step #2: Eligibility: This is the tricky part and most people get confused. (You can also go to PMI.org and perform the following steps to get updated information as PMI® may change their rules from time to time. Go to PMI.org —> select Certification —>select PMI-ACP. The eligibility is listed. Diploma: · High school. · One year of General Project Management experience with 2,000 hours of work with project teams. · Eight months of Agile Project Management experience with 1,500 hours of work with project teams using agile methodologies. · 21 hours of Agile Project Management Training.   If you think you are eligible, move to step 3. Step #3: Membership: This is optional and is different than your user id. PMI® has a membership service, which offers some benefits. There are several types of membership and the fee is different for each type. Please do check PMI® Membership and Types, PMI® Membership Fee and PMI® Membership Benefits. Also please visit PMI.org for updated information on membership, types, and benefits in details and check whether the membership suits your needs or not. We are mentioning a few benefits of membership here: Free access to PMI® library and a free copy of PMBOK Access to Local PMI® chapter, useful for getting PDUs and networking Waiver in PMI®-ACP fee and re-certification fee   Step #4: Application: Refer to Step #2, mentioning the education and project hours. Now you have to submit an application to PMI® showing proof of your education, the project hours and project management training that you have undergone. Previously, you had to do it online but now PMI® offers a downloadable pdf as well. You have to fill in the required details covering all processes and the hours you spend on each process. Step #5: Fee: When you submit your application, you will be contacted within a few working days and will be asked to deposit the fee for certification. Now as was mentioned previously, the fee is different for both members and non-members. Step #6: [one_half] A: Application accepted: You will be asked to proceed and schedule your exam at a Prometric center. B: Audit: PMI® randomly selects some applicants for an audit process.[/one_half] Step 6 has two parts as you can see; either your application will be accepted or put a hold for an audit. If you are one of the unlucky ones that are caught in the audit process then you have to show written confirmation from the bodies who authorize the education, experience and project management training. Step #7: Schedule exam: Once you are done with the above steps, the last step is to schedule your exam according to your convenience at prometric.com. However, before you schedule your exam, I would encourage you to read this article to familiarize yourself with the PMI®-ACP Exam Format.
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PMI-ACP® Agile Certification Requirements and ...

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PRINCE2® Roles and Responsibilities [Major & Minor Roles explained]

A project is run by a team and without one, it won’t even begin or complete. When a team is finally formed, they would then have to formulate a plan and act on the same to complete the project. Thus, it becomes an issue of great importance that the members in the team associated with a particular project are aware of what they have to do, what they can expect from others as well as their team members, to whom they have to report their work, and who shall do the brainstorming and decision-making, and this article focuses on providing answers for these questions. Hence, this principle defines the roles and responsibilities of everyone who is associated with the project, from the very beginning till the closure of the project.PRINCE2® clearly suggests that a project should have well-defined, distributed and agreed roles and responsibilities among the entire team undertaking the project. It is important for an organization to distinctly identify these roles and responsibilities to enable its structure that deals with Business, User and Stakeholder interests to function properly and effectively.PRINCE2® ORGANIZATION THEMEThe organization theme is responsible for defining and authorizing the accountability and responsibilities, that form the structure of a project.PRINCE2® assumes that there will be a customer responsible for specifying the desired result and then purchasing the project. Similarly, a supplier will also be present to provide the resources and skills needed to deliver the desired results. Thus, it is safe to say that  PRINCE2® is based on a customer/supplier environment.One major feature of PRINCE2® is that all the projects should have a defined organizational structure that will ultimately bring together the various parties and teams for the common aspirations of the project. It further enhances the effectivity of project governance and decision making.These are the components of a successful project management team under the organization theme:1. Representation of all the three major stakeholders as listed in PRINCE2®, a project consists of three major stakeholders which are the Business Sponsors, Users, and Suppliers.Business Sponsors are responsible for ensuring that the product or service offers value for money and is of high-quality standards.Users represent the consumer aspects, they will use the final finished products and services, and are the ones receiving the benefit of those products and services.Suppliers are responsible for providing the basic material and resources, raw or tailored and supplying proper knowledge and experience to the project. They are the producers, producing the finished products according to the designed project plan.This particular principle clearly states that the three major stakeholders must be correctly represented in the Project Management Team and in the Project Board as they act as the three staunch pillars that support and drive the project further ahead. Every successful project team must have a proper Business, User, and Supplier stakeholder representation.An effective project team should have defined responsibilities for directing, managing and delivering the project. These three processes paired up with accountability are the key components of a project and thus require accurate and proper distribution of responsibilities.Another component of a successful project team is the regular and continuous reviewing of various project roles assigned to the members throughout the project.The final component is to come up with an effective strategy for properly managing the communication flows that the project team must maintain to/from the external key stakeholders.It is a common understanding that the senior management board will be under a lot of workload and cannot supervise the day-to-day development of the project. Hence, the board issues certain responsibilities to certain individuals or a group of individuals, such that the direction and management of the project is separated from the delivery of the project’s outputs and results. It is done by using the principle of Management by Exception.The structure that eventually forms comprises of four levels, where Corporate level is outside the project borderlines:Corporate: It is responsible for:Commissioning the project in the first placeAppointing the Project Executive  Defining the project level tolerances to be followed by the project boardDirecting: It is undertaken by the project board, which is responsible for:Overall direction and supervision of the projectAccountable for the project’s successThey approve all the major plansThey approve completion of each stageThey authorize the start of the next stageCommunicating with the stakeholdersAuthorizing any deviation that exceeds the project level tolerancesManaging: Project Manager comes under this level and is responsible for:The day-to-day management of the project within the parameters set by the project boardTo make sure that the products are being delivered according to the time, cost, quality, scope of risk and benefit objectivesDelivering: Team Managers come under this level and are responsible for:Delivering the project’s products with the desired quality standards and within a specified time frame and costTo summarize these components, we can conclude that each project should have direction, management, control and communication within its structure and project team for providing better and fruitful outcomes.THE PREDEFINED ROLES IN A PROJECTThe PRINCE2® methodology is based on processes and division of stages for improved performance. It also brings along a series of defined roles with specific tasks designated to them. The predefined roles in a project based on a PRINCE2® environment are:Project Board - It is a group of professionals that includes :Executive: The executive has the custody of the business case and is the person ultimately taking responsibility for the project.Senior User: This position can be held by an individual or a group of professionals. Their primary objective is to represent the demands of the final user.Senior Supplier: This position can also be assigned to one or more individuals. Their responsibility is to ensure the representation of the interests of the suppliers.Project Assurance: The primary goal of Project Assurance is to make sure that the interests of the stakeholders are met.Change Authority: They are responsible for deciding the major change requests on behalf of the Project Board.Project Manager: The person responsible for undertaking the day-to-day supervision of the project on behalf of the Project Board.Project Support: It is the body responsible for assisting the Project Manager in the Project Management tasks and duties.Team Manager: This position can be assigned to one or more professionals that ensure the quality and other elements of production in the various teams that focus on a particular skill or knowledge from various departments.1. Roles Associated with the Project BoardThe project board represents the direction level of the project and consists of the following roles : a. The Executive: The executive actually owns the business case and his role is that of a business-oriented leader who is ultimately accountable for the project. The executive also has the authority of delivering the final words and decisions that are taken in the project. Thus, the project board doesn’t demonstrate any signs of democracy and equal decision-making rights.The executive is appointed by the corporate of programme management, he is the one responsible for the project with additional support from the Senior User and Senior Supplier. The executive is also responsible for designing and appointing the project management team, including the rest of the project board and also appoints the project manager b. The Senior User: It represents the final user’s requirements in the board. It specifies the needs of the user that will use the finished product or service and also establishes communication between the project management team and the users, and ensuring that the products will cater to the needs of the users, especially the quality of the product or service and ease of use. It also supplies benefits information for the Benefit Review Plan. c. The Senior Supplier: It represents the interests of the supplier. It represents the interests of those designing, developing, facilitating and implementing the project’s product and services, they provide supply to the project and make sure that only the right tools, people, equipment and expertise are in place. They also ensure that the product meets the expected criteria including the quality criteria.   Only one person can be the executive, but both the other two roles i.e the senior user and the senior supplier can be assigned to one or multiple individuals.Associated DutiesThe project board is responsible for holding accountability for the success and the failure of the project.Another duty is to provide unified direction to the project and the respective Project Manager.The project board also provides the resources and also authorizes funds utilized in the project.They should also provide additional visible and continuous support and assistance to the Project Manager.They ensure that there is effective communication within the project team and with external stakeholders.In real life, there are many organizations that have a project board that is incapable of handling projects or is either inexperienced or not at all interested in the project itself. This is a serious issue and a major drawback that could sabotage the entire project and the team associated. Henceforth, a great project board is a must to ensure that the direction is on point and effective. 2. The Project Assurance RoleIt is the responsibility of the Project Board to ensure that the project performs well and the products/services are produced, this is known as the Project Assurance. The board usually checks it directly through the Project Manager. But in large projects, many of the board members are busy with their respective tasks. Thus, the board can delegate this responsibility to someone else. The basic method is to double-check the information and this is called Project Assurance.It monitors the performance of the project and provides assistance to the Project Manager by giving insights on corporate-related issues. That’s how the board uses its Project Assurance responsibility to ensure that everything is going according to plan and the Project Manager is up to date with corporate regulations.Different board members have their respective Project Assurance responsibilities. For example:The Executive is responsible for Business Assurance (Business Value)The Senior User is responsible for the User AssuranceThe Senior Supplier is responsible for the Supplier’s Assurance 3. The Change Authority Role The responsibilities associated with the Change Authority are as follows:This role lies under the Project Team Management.The Project Board may decide if an individual should be appointed or an entire group is required to undertake this role.The primary objective of  Change Authority is to review the requests for change or the off-specifications related to the project.The Change Authority is also capable of delegating responsibility to a number of levels depending on the intensity and the complexity of the change.Asperity of Change RequestDecided ByLevel 1Project Support / Help DeskLevel 2Project ManagerLevel 3Change AuthorityLevel 4Project BoardLevel 5Corp / Programme ManagementIf smaller changes are expected in a project then the Project Board can handle them. But when many major changes are expected then it is more efficient to use a separate Change Authority group.A separate Change Authority group simplifies the change process and saves the Project Board from all the hassle. 4. The Project Manager RoleThe Project Manager role has the following impact on the project:Their primary objective is to manage the project on a daily basis. Their main focus is on the day-to-day progress of the project.This particular position of a Project Manager can never be shared and only one is appointed for a particular project.The Project Manager runs and supervises a project on behalf of the Project Board within a few specified constraints and collaborates throughout the project with the Project Board and the Project Assurance.In the case of PRINCE2®, it is usually preferred that the Project Manager belongs to the customer side.The Project is also responsible for running all the principal processes except Directing a Project Process (DP).The Project Manager is responsible for the Project Support and assistance and also the Team Managers.In several smaller projects, where there are no Team Managers, the Project Manager can manage the team members directly. Additionally, in cases where there is project support, the support task is completely on the shoulders of the Project Manager.5. The Team Manager RoleThe role of a Team Manager is actually optional and not necessary in smaller projects. The role  of a Team Manager only comes into the scene if:The Project is quite huge and requires a lot of members. Thus, a number of Team Members would be required to manage and supervise several teams from different departments and expertise.Team Managers are usually required for a specific skill, skillset or knowledge of the products to be produced. For example, a project requires an individual with great expertise of JAVA to provide assistance in handling and developing the applications or programs or researching on a particular product.They are also the need of the hour when the project is affected by geographical reasons. The project might include remote teams that provide assistance from remote locations, then that particular remote team is managed by a Team Manager.If the project is using an external company, then it would be easier to coordinate with the Team Manager rather than all the team members directly and individually.6. The Project Support RoleThe project support role offers the following services to the project:The Project Support provides administrative services to provide assistance to the Project Manager in the form of filing, distributing documents, adding documents to an IT System, etc.Project support also advises and offers guidance regarding the use of project management tools and configuration management.The Project Support also provides additional assistance in planning and risk management. For example, keeping the planned documents up to date and also highlighting what has been completed and what aspects of the projects are delayed.The prominent responsibility of the Project Support is Configuration Management and following the guidelines under the Configuration Management Strategy Document: it is one of the four strategy documents formulated at the beginning of the project.The responsibility of the Project Support is under the authority of the Project manager. To put forward in simple words, the Project Manager is responsible for the administrative duties associated with the project. Therefore, this role is not optional, however, the Project Manager can delegate this responsibility to another person or group.In a case, where the Project Manager is unable to delegate this role to someone else, it is the responsibility of the Project Manager to assume the role of the Project Support. This is the reason why we see many Project Managers working late in the evening and doing overtime. As they are trying to catch up on their administrative tasks and keep forgetting to plan all this in their normal working hours.STAGE-WISE MANAGEMENTA great way of handling a big and chunky task or project is to divide it into smaller and manageable fragments. This is the same methodology implemented in the PRINCE2® method of project management. But, instead of chunks or fragments, in PRINCE2® a different terminology is used, i.e. stages - Management Stages. The PRINCE2® methodology focuses on running and operating a project under a planned and controlled environment through a stage by stage basis.These stages are separated and decided by the Project Board on the basis of Decision Points. After the completion of each stage, the Project Board assesses the performance of the previous stage, analyzes the plans for the next stage, and ultimately decides whether to proceed to the next stage or not. The higher the number of stages, the more control is possessed by the Project Board, but it also increases their workload. Fewer stages in a project require less amount of work from the Project Board which indicates that the Senior Management will have less control over the project.  The division of a project into stages has some advantages as mentioned below:It allows the project to be divided into smaller and simpler fragments that can be easily managed.It leads to a high-level plan for the project and a very detailed Stage Plan.It also incorporates learning from the previous stages while devising a plan for the upcoming stages.There should be a minimum of two management stages in a project under a PRINCE2® project environment:The Initiation StageThe Management StageThe Closing a Project process is the last part of the second stage in a two-stage project.In this manner a particular PRINCE2® project is controlled, managed, and monitored on a stage by stage basis.
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PRINCE2® Roles and Responsibilities [Major &am...

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