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Project Manager - An Ultimate Guide

Project management is a fast-paced and profitable career path. This explains the reason younger people are choosing project management as their first career. Businesses are realizing the importance of project management. Companies that are committed to Project management practices waste 28x less money because more of their strategic moves are carried out successfully. Also, 97% of organizations believe that project management is critical to business performance and organizational success. Hence, the reason more companies are hiring Project Managers.  According to PMI, 15.7 million project management roles will be created through 2020.Are you aspiring to be a Project Manager, but don’t know where to start? Are you a Project Manager that is looking for how to take the career to the next level? Whatever your level, this extensive guide will show you the right way to become a Project Manager.Table of Content 1.0 What is a Project Manager?    1.1 What does a Project Manager do?    1.2 Direct responsibility of the Project Manager2.0 Why do you want to be a Project Manager?3.0 How to become a Project Manager    3.1 How to become a certified Project Manager4.0 How much does a Project Manager make?5.0  Types of Project Manager       5.1.1 Construction Project Manager       5.1.2 How to become a construction Project Manager       5.1.3 What does a construction Project Manager do?       5.1.4 How much does a construction Project Manager make?5.2 IT Project Managers       5.2.1 How to become an IT Project Manager       5.2.2 What does an IT Project Manager do?5.3 Technical Project Manager    5.3.1 What does a technical Project Manager do?    5.3.2 How much does a technical Project Manager make?5.4 Digital Project Manager:    5.4.1 How to become a digital Project Manager    5.4.2 What does a digital Project Manager do?6.0 How to become a good Project Manager    6.1 What is the difference between the Project Manager and program manager?    6.2 How to be a successful Project Manager7.0 How to get a Project Manager jobConclusion1.0 Who is a Project Manager?A Project Manager is anybody who is responsible for leading a project through all its phases from conceptualization to closure. According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), the 5 phases in the life cycle of project management are - project initiation/conception, project planning, project execution, project monitoring, and project closure. The design of each phase is such that it meets the particular project's needs.Project Managers exist in every organization. They are the essential change agents, perform greatly under pressure, and are comfortable with the complex nature of dynamic environments. Project Managers are highly motivated and effective leaders, great communicators, excellent time managers, good organizers, reliable, and trustworthy. They are responsible for the whole scope of the project, resources, team, and the success or failure of the project lies on their shoulders. The following statistics show the importance of Project Managers.Companies that are committed to Project management practices waste 28x less money because more of their strategic moves are carried out successfully.80% of “high-performing” projects are directed by a certified Project Manager65% of organizations have a high alignment to strategic goals.83% of executive leaders report that their organizations continue to fully understand the value of project management.The upsides of having certified Project Managers came to light much later, after the organizations realized that they were wasting 9.9% of every dollar due to poor project performance. The main reason behind such project catastrophes was the stark shortage of project management skills. Henceforth, the demand for a go-to resource bundle for project management professionals (PMP®) grew steadily. To understand how such courseware helped the project management professionals to spread across various industries, you can access every detail here in the PMP® Certification Course page.1.1 What does a Project Manager do? Although the Project Managers rarely take part in the direct actions that produce the project's objectives, they occupy an oversight position of managing the human and material resources of a project. This helps in building a healthy communication and trust among the team members and strives to ensure good practices for the success of the project.A Project Manager works on well-defined projects, which are based on fixed schedules, timelines, and budget.1.2 Direct responsibility of the Project ManagerProject planning: This is where the Project Manager plans and defines the project and its objectives, develop a detailed work plan with attention to any possible risks and determines the responsibility of each team member with defined timelines. Project management: Here, the Project Manager strives to have all works executed to the correct standards within the acceptable timeline, while sticking to the approved budget. The motivation of team members is essential here for optimum commitment,  and the Project Manager ensures that there is proper coordination among work done by different teams/groups for the elimination of all obstacles to productivity.Delivery and closure: The Project Manager has the responsibility of maintaining the project budget through to closure. He/she ensures that the Stakeholders receive project status in addition to delivering their expectations. Moreover, the Project Manager aligns the project to business goals and hands over a project that is on schedule and has delivered on all expected outcomes.  2.0 Why do you want to be a Project Manager?Certain needs and/or skills drive the desire to be a Project Manager. You would want to be a Project Manager if you already possess or willing to develop certain traits/skills such as great interpersonal relationship, organizational ability, open to keep learning/improving, etc. If you prefer to have not just a job, but also a career that is challenging, rewarding, and has job security, a career in project management may just be what you want. Demand: There is a great demand for project management in different organizations because of the risks associated with the ever-changing business environment. Businesses are rapidly expanding and positioning themselves for the future, and these create a huge demand for Project Managers to keep everything under control. Salary: Project management salaries are highly competitive because of the multitasking nature of each project - where the Project Manager needs to manage a team, handle clients, and ensure that everything is running on a budget. The average annual salary of a Project Manager in the United States is $131,822 US Dollars as of September 28, 2018 (Salary.com). With the steady year-to-year increase in the demand for Project Managers, salaries of PM roles increase correspondingly, offering more attraction for you to want to be a Project Manager.Teamwork: If you are naturally a people person, good at working with teams, and have great communication skills, you may want to pursue a career in project management. The ability to manage human relationships effectively is necessary for the success of any project. Each project has many moving parts and a Project Manager is essential to keep everything working towards the project's objectives.Industry: Although many Project Managers can fit into many industries, only professionals handle projects in specialized industries such as construction or IT.  Therefore, if you are a professional in any of these specialized sectors, and want to build your career in it, you can be a Project Manager and still be in your career path. Management and Leadership: Are you the type of person that naturally finds yourself in leadership and management roles in a group? These are great skills, and project management can help you develop them more because you will have the responsibility to drive and motivate team members for optimum performance. Responsibility: Do you crave responsibility? Are you comfortable taking ownership of any assignment given to you? Do you enjoy the pressures that often come with deadlines and timelines? Then you would succeed as a Project Manager. CEO Position: The exposure and demands of both a CEO and a Project Manager are much similar. They set objectives and communicate expectations to team members. They both manage people, use leadership skills to produce results, and have a clear focus on financial goals. Therefore, a Project Manager position can be a preparation towards becoming a CEO in the future. 3.0 How to become a Project ManagerEducation: You need a minimum of a bachelor's degree in business management. A bachelor's degree in other specialized areas such as computer science or engineering  (depending on the type of Project Manager you wish to be), will also be sufficient. Experience: With the necessary education qualification, you then need to gain some feel in an environment that exposes you to what project management is all about. Get involved in any organization/club/group that aligns with your project management career goals. For instance, if your desire is to be a construction Project Manager, you can take up an internship in a construction company. You would be amazed at the quality of project management skills you can acquire from this.Personal skills: While acquiring some project management skills and techniques, you need to develop the right human relationship skills to succeed as a Project Manager. People make up projects. Without understanding, training, and communicating effectively with the project team, it will be impossible to be successful as a Project Manager. It is also important you have a mentor at this stage. This should be an expert in your career path. Tools of the trade: Riding on only the knowledge of soft skills in project management such as processes, techniques, etc., may not be enough to make you the complete Project Manager you aspire to be. Organizations tend to complete projects on time, within budget, and with better quality when incorporating project management software. Budgeting, scheduling, risk management, contract management etc., are all essential skills a Project Manager needs to acquire. Do not neglect them.  Certification: The project management industry is highly competitive and certification may be the key to get ahead in your career and land bigger contracts. In addition, if the company implements some type of project management framework, then you need certification that is in line with such a framework. The point is to determine your career path and expectations, decide if a project management certification will help you achieve them, then get the appropriate certification.  An end-to-end training on project management techniques serves a complete package if you want to take your project management career a few notches higher. 3.1 How to become a certified Project ManagerGetting a certification in Project Management Professional (PMP®) can be difficult, but the rewards are great. Follow the steps below to become a certified Project Manager. Eligibility: The Project Management Institute (PMI) stipulates that to be eligible for the PMP certification you must possess the followings:   (i) A four-year degree and 4500 hours of leading and directing projects or a secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or the equivalent) and 7500 hours of leading and directing projects.   (ii) 35 contact hours of project management education.Membership: Once you are certain of your eligibility, register as a paid member of PMI. This is not compulsory but recommended because it qualifies you for discounts on a variety of purchases including exam fee. You also get a free downloadable current edition of PMBOK®Guide (Project Management Book of Knowledge), which helps you prepare for the exam.  Application: Apply for the exam on the PMI website by filling the online application form. Then pay the examination fee ($405 for members and $555 for non-members).Exam schedule: At the approval of your application, you will get the PMI eligibility ID.  Choose an exam date that will give you enough time to study. A minimum of 3 Months is ideal. Also, choose a test location suitable for you. Prepare: You need to study and understand everything in the PMBOK® Guide to stand any chance of passing the CAPM® or PMP® exams. You can either take paid preparatory classes that will equip you with exam-focused tips, or study the materials on your own.Exam: You will appear in person for the exam which is a 4-hour test that consists of 200 multiple-choice questions. You need to pass 175 questions out of the 200 multiple-choice questions in the PMP exam. At the end of the exam, you will take a short survey, after which you will have access to your result.Result: Pass or fail, you will know immediately after the short survey. If you passed, you will see your name in the PMI's certification registry in less than a day. Your certificate will come in the mail within a month. You are now a certified Project Manager. 4.0 How much does a Project Manager make?According to Salary.com, the annual average salary for a Project Manager in the United States as of September 28, 2018, is $131,822 US Dollars. However, because of certain variables such as education, a number of years of work experience, level of certification, additional skills etc., salary ranges from $117,345 to $147,570 US Dollars. Apart from the salary, Project Managers in the U.S. can also earn compensations that include bonuses, retirement, and healthcare benefits, up to an average total of $139,926, with the range falling between $122,589 and $160,280 US Dollars.Below are the Average salaries of a PMP in different countries of the world, According to the survey released by the Project Management Institute based on survey collected from 26,000 project management professionals in 34 countries.Annualized salary (in USD) by CountryMedian Salary Exchange rateSwitzerland$130,000Australia$108,546United States$108,200United Kingdom$92,221New Zealand$90,442Netherlands$89,482Belgium$88,364Germany$87,245Qatar$82,314United Arab Emirates$81,6635.0  Types of Project Manager5.1.1 Construction Project ManagerA construction Project Manager is a Project Manager who works in the construction industry. Fundamentally, a construction Project Manager takes charge of the planning, coordination, and execution of any construction project. The project could be civil, residential, commercial, agricultural, industrial, environmental, or institutional. This field consists of complex tasks and needs a Project Manager with great knowledge of construction processes, problem-solving skills, and strong communication skills. Due to the complex nature of the construction industry, a construction Project Manager should have knowledge of different areas which are associated with the construction industry, such as law, finance, mediation, etc. 5.1.2 How to become a construction Project ManagerEducation: Having a minimum of a bachelor's degree seems to be the natural way to go. This could be a degree in building science, engineering, or construction science. Whatever degree path you choose, it is important that your coursework includes classes in construction methods and materials, building standards and codes, project management and control, and any other similar classes. These courses will build the foundation for you to become a Project Manager in construction.Work experience: During or after you have gotten your degree, you should find opportunities that offer on-the-job training for those without construction work experience. Some organizations employ Project Manager assistants. These assistant roles are often very practical and hands-on. The Project Manager concentrates on the big picture while leaving most of the project implementation responsibilities for the assistants. If you do not have any type of degree, then work experience is very important. With lots of experience and years spent in the construction industry, you can easily get selected as an Assistant Project Manager even without having any educational background in the respective field.Certification: Although many companies may not demand that you have a  certification as a prerequisite for giving you a job, a certification can give you a better advantage over other candidates that do not have any certification in construction project management. The Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) and the American Institute of Contractors (AIC) are some bodies that offer certification courses in construction project management. The AIC issues the Certified Professional Constructor and the Associate Constructor certificates while the CMAA offers a course in Certified Construction Manager.Soft skills: Construction projects have many moving parts. These include people,  tools, finance, weather, machines, time etc., and a Project Manager must have certain skills to be able to keep all these parts running smoothly. You need to develop effective communication and time management skills in order to become a Construction Project Manager. The management of human relations is a complex one and the success or failure of any project depends largely on how motivated and committed a team is. As a Project Manager, you need to be a problem solver and able to quickly adapt to change. For instance, the weather is a huge factor in construction because it is beyond human control. When the challenges of poor weather come up, a Project Manager needs to improvise in order to complete the project on time. 5.1.3 What does a construction Project Manager do?Construction Project Managers are also known as general contractors or simply, Project Managers. Their duties will largely depend on the type and scope of projects. Big projects will often have several Project Managers where each Project Manager will handle a specific part of the project. For instance, in some large building projects, there could be a Project Manager in charge of all electrical works, while another Project Manager handles all HVAC responsibilities. These different Project Managers will be under the supervision of one Project Manager. However, generally, a construction Project Manager will have the following roles:Preparation of budgets, timelines, and cost estimatesDetermination of the relevant construction techniques and methods to useClearly communicate technical and contract details to the teamPromptly communicate budget issues and project progress to clientsSelect and hire laborers and subcontractorsSupervise on-site activities and personnelRespond and provide solutions to emergencies, problems, and challengesCollaborate with engineers, architects, and other building and construction expertsAdhere to legal provisions, safety and building codes, and other building regulations5.1.4 How much does a construction Project Manager make?Factors that determine the salary of a construction Project Manager include education, level of experience, location, the scope of projects, certification, etc. In the United States, the average annual salary for a construction Project Manager as at September 28, 2018, is $101,022 and depending on the factors stated above, this could be as high as $113,839 and as low as $88,049 (Salary.com).Below are the salaries of construction managers in different parts of the world.Construction Manager (Country)Average salary per yearUnited States$101,022United Kingdom£41,740CanadaC$77,632AustraliaAus$98,673IndiaRs 966,397United Arab EmiratesAED 312,397ChinaCNY 744,000Source: Payscale & Glassdoor (October 2018)5.2 IT Project ManagersAn Information Technology (IT) Project Manager is an expert that has the duty of managing all the processes of planning, delegation, and execution responsibilities, in fulfillment of an organization's IT goals and objectives. The IT Project Manager has a firm knowledge about the objectives of the business with respect to specific demands and allocates resources in with respect to these goals. Some IT projects are; data management, hardware installation, software development and implementation, system upgrades etc.   5.2.1 How to become an IT Project Manager Education: Most employers demand that their IT Project Managers have a  minimum of a bachelor's degree in fields such as information technology, computer science etc. A master's degree will be an advantage.Experience: Most information and computer system managers have many years of work experience in information technology. If you have experience in managing any project or supervising people in an IT department, you are already on your way to fit into an IT Project Manager role. Skills: To be an IT Project Manager, it is important to acquire relevant skills such as human management, critical thinking, strong communication, time management, decision making, system analysis, use of relevant software (project management/  enterprise resource planning/query/database user interface), leadership skills, etc.Certification: A certification in an IT area relevant to your career path would distinguish you from others. You will have a deeper understanding of your specialization by being current with the latest techniques, technology, and trends in the field.5.2.2 What does an IT Project Manager do?Fast changes occur in the IT industry, and this creates the need for constant improvements and upgrades in systems and technology. The IT Project Manager has the role to supervise a team of IT experts and manage the budgets and timelines of an IT project to ensure smooth execution. These roles include:Ensures communication is effective among all stakeholder throughout the projectMonitor project milestones and modify project plans to meet business needsAssign and delegate duties to team members according to skill setsEnsures that everybody understands the project deliverablesCreate good working relationships among all key stakeholdersEffectively manages budgets and timelines5.2.3How much does an IT Project Manager make?The salary/total pay of an IT Project Manager will always depend on certain variables such as the number of years of experience, education/certification level, location, and additional skills.  In the United States, annual average salaries in this field are $81,697 (IT Project Manager I), $101,961 (IT Project Manager II), and $120,098 (IT Project Manager III) as at September 28, 2018. However, the range falls between $71,897 and $131,846 US Dollars (Salary.com).Below is a table showing average salaries of IT Project Managers across the world.Construction Manager (Country)Average salary per yearUnited States$101,022United Kingdom£41,740CanadaC$77,632AustraliaAus$98,673IndiaRs 966,397United Arab EmiratesAED 312,397ChinaCNY 744,000Source: Payscale & Glassdoor (October 2018)5.3 Technical Project ManagerA technical Project Manager is anyone that oversees and manages the development and delivery of an IT or technology initiative. Technical Project Managers manage either a wholly technical project or the technical side of a project. They are professionals that grew from technical backgrounds, can solve technical issues, evaluate technical risks, and accurately estimate project timelines based on their many years of technical experience. In essence, technical Project Managers come with the combined wealth of organizational skill and technical experience. 5.3.1 How to become a technical Project ManagerEducation: To become a technical Project Manager, you need to have a minimum of a   bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering or other related fields.Experience: You need adequate direct work experience (differs across companies) in a project management role, which has given you sufficient opportunities in process creation and execution.Skill set: To become a technical Project Manager, you need to have strong organizational skills, prioritizing skills, and excellent time management skill. Project management generally is fast-paced with an ever-changing project environment;  therefore, you need to be able to work under the pressure of deadlines. A can-do attitude is compulsory, as well as effective communication.Certification: A specialized certification in technical project management will widen the skills, knowledge, and experiences you have acquired as a working professional, and help you transit faster into a managerial role.5.3.2 What does a technical Project Manager do?The core reason of choosing technical Project Manager for a project is to have someone that can evaluate the project, resources, schedule, and control, through a more technical perspective than the conventional Project Manager can. Responsibilities of a technical Project Manager include:Manage projects with total oversight, in line with budget, scope, and timeline, to ensure project success.Develop detailed project plans that combine a client's requirements with the organization's goals.Coordinate and motivate different technical teams from project conception to completion. Constantly track project progress and create scheduled reports on quantifiable indices such as deliverables and milestones. Evaluate changes in project plans and discuss with stakeholders in order to adopt the beneficial ones.Supervises the acquisition of materials and resources needed for projects and negotiates prices with vendors and suppliers. 5.3.3 How much does a technical Project Manager make?In the U.S., the annual average salary for a technical Project Manager as of October 05, 2018 is $109,071 US Dollars. Average additional compensation is $9,721. Factors that determine the total pay for a technical Project Manager are location, experience, employer, skills/qualifications, etc. These factors cause the annual average to range from $83,000 to $144,000 US Dollars and the annual average compensation from $2,304 to $23,084 US Dollars (GlassDoor.com).Below are the salaries of construction managers in different parts of the world.Technical Project Manager (Country)Average salary per yearUnited States$83,000United Kingdom£40,659CanadaC$81,210AustraliaAus$99,392IndiaRs 1,433,957United Arab EmiratesAED 267,401China¥300,000Source: Payscale & Glassdoor (October 2018)5.4 Digital Project Manager: A digital Project Manager is someone that has the responsibility of fine-tuning the processes involved in the management of online projects from conceptualization to closure, within budget, and using a specific amount of resources. Examples of digital projects are social media, games, advertising, videos, mobile apps, search engine optimization, events, websites, content development, etc.5.4.1 How to become a digital Project ManagerThere is no straightforward route to becoming a digital Project Manager. You will see no specific university degrees or courses that will teach you digital project management, and you cannot assume a role here without any previous experience. Nevertheless, as a guide, the path to becoming a digital Project Manager can be broken down into a few steps as follows:Skill building: One of the most certain ways you can advance your career is by developing skills highly sought after by companies you admire. Search for these companies to see if any of them has an open or recently closed vacancy for a manager. You can as well search on job boards. Once you find any suitable company, make a list of all the skills, certifications, etc. they demand as requirements for the position and improve yourself by acquiring same skill set. Shadowing: The best way to get anything done is by following those that have successfully done those same things. LinkedIn is a great place to search out professionals in various industries. Search for Project Managers in companies you admire and check what they have listed in their career path/timeline. Look at their educational background, skills they possess, and jobs they handled before becoming Project Managers. You would often notice that these Project Managers have already specialized in one core digital areas or the other (development, design etc.) before climbing up the managerial ladder. You stand a better chance of becoming a digital Project Manager if you first learn and specialize in one of the core digital areas. Certification: A project management certification alone is not the key to getting a  project management job. It only makes it easier when it comes down to an employer having to make a choice between two qualified candidates where the one with certification has better chances of securing the job. Apart from getting a certification that is relevant to your industry needs and career path, a management degree such an MBA will also give you good chances of getting a digital project management job. Responsibilities: It is a prerequisite for a digital Project Manager to be an expert in your core digital specialization. Depending on your present company, and your desire to take on more responsibilities, this can take anywhere from a few months to years. If you show willingness in assisting your Project Manager, and you are proficient when taking on project management focused roles, your boss will naturally give you more work to do. More work means more experience, and more experience means a quicker climb into a full Project Manager role.5.4.2 What does a digital Project Manager do?The digital Project Manager has the role of making sure that all the required deliverables for a project are properly completed and handed over within the project timeline and on budget. Digital Project Managers ensure that all the different parts of the project are streamlined and running smoothly. These roles include - assigning duties and deadlines, clearing obstacles, defining and managing the scope of the project, developing and communicating the project plan/timeline/budget, monitoring and evaluation of project progress/success, etc. 5.4.3 How much does a digital Project Manager make?The salary of a digital Project Manager varies and is dependent on factors that include experience, location, and the level of responsibility the digital Project Manager handles. Salaries in the United States come at an annual average of $90,337 US Dollars as of October 04, 2018 and ranges from $59,000 to $134,000 US Dollars. The average compensation ranges from $1,703 to $22,564 US Dollars (GlassDoor.com).Below are the salaries of construction managers in different parts of the world.Digital Project Manager (Country)Average salary per yearUnited States$90,337United Kingdom£33,673CanadaC$58,429AustraliaAus $115,000India₹420502United Arab EmiratesAED 208,425ChinaCNY 285,766Source: Payscale & Glassdoor (October 2018) 6.0 How to become a good Project ManagerIn the professional environment of today, Project Managers are required to multi-task, switching promptly between the daily duties of managing a team to not losing sight of the big picture. The environment is high-pressured and needs great skills and dedication to be successful.Build positive relationships: Create the right attitude and interaction among all parties to the project. This establishes effortless communication and understanding.The big picture: Focus on the big picture but do not neglect the details. The ability to see both perspectives is a skill that makes you a good Project Manager.Lead: You can neither be everywhere nor do everything. Provide enough guidance for your team and do not micromanage them. Trust makes the workspace runs smoothly.Be firm: Projects veer off course when people start focusing on themselves and neglecting common goals. This creates friction and lack of respect and cooperation. Setting some ground rules from the onset with clear consequences will limit disruptions.Influence: Identify each team member's strength and influence each person to give their best irrespective of conflicts, personal opinions, and challenges. 6.1 What is the difference between the Project Manager and Program Manager?Project Managers and program managers use similar techniques and tools, but they have different roles because of their different job descriptions. While a Project Manager is in charge of the team responsible for executing the project and producing expected results, program managers have a broader role. Program managers manage several projects, and sometimes, several programs. The key roles that differentiate the Project Manager from the program manager are:a) Program manager: Manages several projectsManages several project teams that sometimes may include the Project ManagersEnsures successful program deliverablesb) Project Manager:Manages a particular project with the associated schedule, scope, and resourcesCoordinates and manages the project's team's activitiesEnsures project deliverables are successful, timely, and within budget 6.2 How to be a successful Project ManagerIn the highly competitive project management industry, simply being a good Project Manager may not set you apart from the rest. In order to take your career to the next level, you must transit to being a successful Project Manager, whose approach has some uniqueness and produces amazing results.Get involved: To be successful, you need to be wholly involved, especially in team building. A study, understand and know how to get the best out of your team. Know each team member's skill and the way to utilize it effectively. Be informed. Be agile. Be flexible. Change is inevitable. Have a firm grasp of the project and know when and how to adapt to any sudden change that occurs.Be proactive: A successful Project Manager knows that unexpected curves do appear along the project management track. As long as you have the big picture in focus, anticipate these curves in your planning and scheduling, and be ready to provide real-time solutions. Successful Project Managers create alternatives.Bargaining power: You may never have everybody agree with you all the time.  However, if you have great bargaining skills, can negotiate and collaborate effectively with all stakeholders to achieve your organization's objectives, you are already on your way to being a successful Project Manager. Time, Budget, and Quality: Projects are successful when completed on time, within budget, and with high-quality deliverables. A successful Project Manager will make the team aware of these three essential factors to a project's success.7.0 How to get a Project Manager jobA Project Manager's role is very demanding. It needs someone that is flexible with strong leadership skills. The role spans across several industries such as construction, IT, human resources, etc. You will need to plan, organize, delegate, budget, and document all aspects of a new project. This profession is also highly rewarding. To get a Project Manager job, the following steps will guide you.Employer requirements: Research the qualities employers desire in a Project Manager. Some favorite important traits common among employers include strong leadership, effective communication, integrity, initiative, and foresight.Evaluation: Assess yourself and your experiences. Compare your skills with those required by employers, determine where they overlap, and where there are gaps. Deepen and reinforce all current skills that are project management focused and improve to fill the gaps identified. Get qualified: It is becoming very difficult finding entry-level roles in project management. Having some sort of degree qualification, which can be different from one industry to another, is often the first essential step to securing a job. Even without a degree, there are now many online platforms where you can get project management courses without going through a university.Keep improving: The career path in project management is far-reaching. Whether you are looking to secure your first job in project management or aspiring towards higher roles in your career, you can succeed as long as you have a positive attitude and stay motivated. Keep updated on the trend within your industry, and regularly add to your skills, qualifications, and knowledge accordingly. If you are an Agile professional looking to make it big as a Project Manager as well, being the best fit for a project management job can be challenging. Industry experts, however, recommend an exhaustive Agile PMP® Training Program to make you industry-fit and enhance your earning potential. ConclusionThe demand by companies for accomplished Project Managers that are technical savvy, and with great leadership skills is on the increase. The business environment is constantly changing and becoming more complex by the day. The need for a leader that can hold it all together, yet produce fantastic results has become a major priority of business owners. Therefore, any Project Manager with the necessary training, in addition to relevant core soft skills can stand out in his or her chosen field, achieve great results, and attain unimaginable heights.  
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Project Manager - An Ultimate Guide

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Project Manager - An Ultimate Guide

Project management is a fast-paced and profitable career path. This explains the reason younger people are choosing project management as their first career. 

Businesses are realizing the importance of project management. Companies that are committed to Project management practices waste 28x less money because more of their strategic moves are carried out successfully. Also, 97% of organizations believe that project management is critical to business performance and organizational success. Hence, the reason more companies are hiring Project Managers.  According to PMI, 15.7 million project management roles will be created through 2020.

Are you aspiring to be a Project Manager, but don’t know where to start? Are you a Project Manager that is looking for how to take the career to the next level? Whatever your level, this extensive guide will show you the right way to become a Project Manager.

Table of Content 

1.0 What is a Project Manager?

    1.1 What does a Project Manager do?

    1.2 Direct responsibility of the Project Manager

2.0 Why do you want to be a Project Manager?

3.0 How to become a Project Manager

    3.1 How to become a certified Project Manager

4.0 How much does a Project Manager make?

5.0  Types of Project Manager

       5.1.1 Construction Project Manager

       5.1.2 How to become a construction Project Manager

       5.1.3 What does a construction Project Manager do?

       5.1.4 How much does a construction Project Manager make?

5.2 IT Project Managers

       5.2.1 How to become an IT Project Manager

       5.2.2 What does an IT Project Manager do?

5.3 Technical Project Manager

    5.3.1 What does a technical Project Manager do?

    5.3.2 How much does a technical Project Manager make?

5.4 Digital Project Manager:

    5.4.1 How to become a digital Project Manager

    5.4.2 What does a digital Project Manager do?

6.0 How to become a good Project Manager

    6.1 What is the difference between the Project Manager and program manager?

    6.2 How to be a successful Project Manager

7.0 How to get a Project Manager job

Conclusion

1.0 Who is a Project Manager?

A Project Manager is anybody who is responsible for leading a project through all its phases from conceptualization to closure. According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), the 5 phases in the life cycle of project management are - project initiation/conception, project planning, project execution, project monitoring, and project closure. The design of each phase is such that it meets the particular project's needs.

Project Managers exist in every organization. They are the essential change agents, perform greatly under pressure, and are comfortable with the complex nature of dynamic environments. Project Managers are highly motivated and effective leaders, great communicators, excellent time managers, good organizers, reliable, and trustworthy. They are responsible for the whole scope of the project, resources, team, and the success or failure of the project lies on their shoulders. 

The following statistics show the importance of Project Managers.

  • Companies that are committed to Project management practices waste 28x less money because more of their strategic moves are carried out successfully.
  • 80% of “high-performing” projects are directed by a certified Project Manager
  • 65% of organizations have a high alignment to strategic goals.
  • 83% of executive leaders report that their organizations continue to fully understand the value of project management.

The upsides of having certified Project Managers came to light much later, after the organizations realized that they were wasting 9.9% of every dollar due to poor project performance. The main reason behind such project catastrophes was the stark shortage of project management skills. 

Henceforth, the demand for a go-to resource bundle for project management professionals (PMP®) grew steadily. To understand how such courseware helped the project management professionals to spread across various industries, you can access every detail here in the PMP® Certification Course page.

1.1 What does a Project Manager do?

 Although the Project Managers rarely take part in the direct actions that produce the project's objectives, they occupy an oversight position of managing the human and material resources of a project. This helps in building a healthy communication and trust among the team members and strives to ensure good practices for the success of the project.

A Project Manager works on well-defined projects, which are based on fixed schedules, timelines, and budget.

1.2 Direct responsibility of the Project Manager

Duties of project manager

  1. Project planning: This is where the Project Manager plans and defines the project and its objectives, develop a detailed work plan with attention to any possible risks and determines the responsibility of each team member with defined timelines. 
  2. Project management: Here, the Project Manager strives to have all works executed to the correct standards within the acceptable timeline, while sticking to the approved budget. The motivation of team members is essential here for optimum commitment,  and the Project Manager ensures that there is proper coordination among work done by different teams/groups for the elimination of all obstacles to productivity.
  3. Delivery and closure: The Project Manager has the responsibility of maintaining the project budget through to closure. He/she ensures that the Stakeholders receive project status in addition to delivering their expectations. Moreover, the Project Manager aligns the project to business goals and hands over a project that is on schedule and has delivered on all expected outcomes.  

2.0 Why do you want to be a Project Manager?

Reasons to become a project manager

Certain needs and/or skills drive the desire to be a Project Manager. You would want to be a Project Manager if you already possess or willing to develop certain traits/skills such as great interpersonal relationship, organizational ability, open to keep learning/improving, etc. If you prefer to have not just a job, but also a career that is challenging, rewarding, and has job security, a career in project management may just be what you want. 

  1. Demand: There is a great demand for project management in different organizations because of the risks associated with the ever-changing business environment. Businesses are rapidly expanding and positioning themselves for the future, and these create a huge demand for Project Managers to keep everything under control. 
  2. Salary: Project management salaries are highly competitive because of the multitasking nature of each project - where the Project Manager needs to manage a team, handle clients, and ensure that everything is running on a budget. The average annual salary of a Project Manager in the United States is $131,822 US Dollars as of September 28, 2018 (Salary.com). With the steady year-to-year increase in the demand for Project Managers, salaries of PM roles increase correspondingly, offering more attraction for you to want to be a Project Manager.
  3. Teamwork: If you are naturally a people person, good at working with teams, and have great communication skills, you may want to pursue a career in project management. The ability to manage human relationships effectively is necessary for the success of any project. Each project has many moving parts and a Project Manager is essential to keep everything working towards the project's objectives.
  4. Industry: Although many Project Managers can fit into many industries, only professionals handle projects in specialized industries such as construction or IT.  Therefore, if you are a professional in any of these specialized sectors, and want to build your career in it, you can be a Project Manager and still be in your career path. 
  5. Management and Leadership: Are you the type of person that naturally finds yourself in leadership and management roles in a group? These are great skills, and project management can help you develop them more because you will have the responsibility to drive and motivate team members for optimum performance. 
  6. Responsibility: Do you crave responsibility? Are you comfortable taking ownership of any assignment given to you? Do you enjoy the pressures that often come with deadlines and timelines? Then you would succeed as a Project Manager. 
  7. CEO Position: The exposure and demands of both a CEO and a Project Manager are much similar. They set objectives and communicate expectations to team members. They both manage people, use leadership skills to produce results, and have a clear focus on financial goals. Therefore, a Project Manager position can be a preparation towards becoming a CEO in the future. 

3.0 How to become a Project Manager

  1. Education: You need a minimum of a bachelor's degree in business management. A bachelor's degree in other specialized areas such as computer science or engineering  (depending on the type of Project Manager you wish to be), will also be sufficient. 
  2. Experience: With the necessary education qualification, you then need to gain some feel in an environment that exposes you to what project management is all about. Get involved in any organization/club/group that aligns with your project management career goals. For instance, if your desire is to be a construction Project Manager, you can take up an internship in a construction company. You would be amazed at the quality of project management skills you can acquire from this.
  3. Personal skills: While acquiring some project management skills and techniques, you need to develop the right human relationship skills to succeed as a Project Manager. People make up projects. Without understanding, training, and communicating effectively with the project team, it will be impossible to be successful as a Project Manager. It is also important you have a mentor at this stage. This should be an expert in your career path. 
  4. Tools of the trade: Riding on only the knowledge of soft skills in project management such as processes, techniques, etc., may not be enough to make you the complete Project Manager you aspire to be. Organizations tend to complete projects on time, within budget, and with better quality when incorporating project management software. Budgeting, scheduling, risk management, contract management etc., are all essential skills a Project Manager needs to acquire. Do not neglect them.  
  5. Certification: The project management industry is highly competitive and certification may be the key to get ahead in your career and land bigger contracts. In addition, if the company implements some type of project management framework, then you need certification that is in line with such a framework. The point is to determine your career path and expectations, decide if a project management certification will help you achieve them, then get the appropriate certification.  

An end-to-end training on project management techniques serves a complete package if you want to take your project management career a few notches higher. 

3.1 How to become a certified Project Manager

Getting a certification in Project Management Professional (PMP®) can be difficult, but the rewards are great. Follow the steps below to become a certified Project Manager.

  1.  Eligibility: The Project Management Institute (PMI) stipulates that to be eligible for the PMP certification you must possess the followings:
       (i) A four-year degree and 4500 hours of leading and directing projects or a secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or the equivalent) and 7500 hours of leading and directing projects.
       (ii) 35 contact hours of project management education.
  2. Membership: Once you are certain of your eligibility, register as a paid member of PMI. This is not compulsory but recommended because it qualifies you for discounts on a variety of purchases including exam fee. You also get a free downloadable current edition of PMBOK®Guide (Project Management Book of Knowledge), which helps you prepare for the exam.  
  3. Application: Apply for the exam on the PMI website by filling the online application form. Then pay the examination fee ($405 for members and $555 for non-members).
  4. Exam schedule: At the approval of your application, you will get the PMI eligibility ID.  Choose an exam date that will give you enough time to study. A minimum of 3 Months is ideal. Also, choose a test location suitable for you. 
  5. Prepare: You need to study and understand everything in the PMBOK® Guide to stand any chance of passing the CAPM® or PMP® exams. You can either take paid preparatory classes that will equip you with exam-focused tips, or study the materials on your own.
  6. Exam: You will appear in person for the exam which is a 4-hour test that consists of 200 multiple-choice questions. You need to pass 175 questions out of the 200 multiple-choice questions in the PMP exam. At the end of the exam, you will take a short survey, after which you will have access to your result.
  7. Result: Pass or fail, you will know immediately after the short survey. If you passed, you will see your name in the PMI's certification registry in less than a day. Your certificate will come in the mail within a month. You are now a certified Project Manager. 

4.0 How much does a Project Manager make?

According to Salary.com, the annual average salary for a Project Manager in the United States as of September 28, 2018, is $131,822 US Dollars. However, because of certain variables such as education, a number of years of work experience, level of certification, additional skills etc., salary ranges from $117,345 to $147,570 US Dollars. Apart from the salary, Project Managers in the U.S. can also earn compensations that include bonuses, retirement, and healthcare benefits, up to an average total of $139,926, with the range falling between $122,589 and $160,280 US Dollars.

Below are the Average salaries of a PMP in different countries of the world, According to the survey released by the Project Management Institute based on survey collected from 26,000 project management professionals in 34 countries.

Annualized salary (in USD) by Country
Median Salary Exchange rate
Switzerland
$130,000
Australia
$108,546
United States
$108,200
United Kingdom
$92,221
New Zealand
$90,442
Netherlands
$89,482
Belgium
$88,364
Germany
$87,245
Qatar
$82,314
United Arab Emirates
$81,663

5.0  Types of Project Manager

5.1.1 Construction Project Manager

A construction Project Manager is a Project Manager who works in the construction industry. Fundamentally, a construction Project Manager takes charge of the planning, coordination, and execution of any construction project. The project could be civil, residential, commercial, agricultural, industrial, environmental, or institutional. This field consists of complex tasks and needs a Project Manager with great knowledge of construction processes, problem-solving skills, and strong communication skills. Due to the complex nature of the construction industry, a construction Project Manager should have knowledge of different areas which are associated with the construction industry, such as law, finance, mediation, etc. 

5.1.2 How to become a construction Project Manager

  1. Education: Having a minimum of a bachelor's degree seems to be the natural way to go. This could be a degree in building science, engineering, or construction science. Whatever degree path you choose, it is important that your coursework includes classes in construction methods and materials, building standards and codes, project management and control, and any other similar classes. These courses will build the foundation for you to become a Project Manager in construction.
  2. Work experience: During or after you have gotten your degree, you should find opportunities that offer on-the-job training for those without construction work experience. Some organizations employ Project Manager assistants. These assistant roles are often very practical and hands-on. The Project Manager concentrates on the big picture while leaving most of the project implementation responsibilities for the assistants. If you do not have any type of degree, then work experience is very important. With lots of experience and years spent in the construction industry, you can easily get selected as an Assistant Project Manager even without having any educational background in the respective field.
  3. Certification: Although many companies may not demand that you have a  certification as a prerequisite for giving you a job, a certification can give you a better advantage over other candidates that do not have any certification in construction project management. The Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) and the American Institute of Contractors (AIC) are some bodies that offer certification courses in construction project management. The AIC issues the Certified Professional Constructor and the Associate Constructor certificates while the CMAA offers a course in Certified Construction Manager.
  4. Soft skills: Construction projects have many moving parts. These include people,  tools, finance, weather, machines, time etc., and a Project Manager must have certain skills to be able to keep all these parts running smoothly. You need to develop effective communication and time management skills in order to become a Construction Project Manager. The management of human relations is a complex one and the success or failure of any project depends largely on how motivated and committed a team is. As a Project Manager, you need to be a problem solver and able to quickly adapt to change. For instance, the weather is a huge factor in construction because it is beyond human control. When the challenges of poor weather come up, a Project Manager needs to improvise in order to complete the project on time. 

5.1.3 What does a construction Project Manager do?

Construction Project Managers are also known as general contractors or simply, Project Managers. Their duties will largely depend on the type and scope of projects. Big projects will often have several Project Managers where each Project Manager will handle a specific part of the project. For instance, in some large building projects, there could be a Project Manager in charge of all electrical works, while another Project Manager handles all HVAC responsibilities. These different Project Managers will be under the supervision of one Project Manager. However, generally, a construction Project Manager will have the following roles:

  1. Preparation of budgets, timelines, and cost estimates
  2. Determination of the relevant construction techniques and methods to use
  3. Clearly communicate technical and contract details to the team
  4. Promptly communicate budget issues and project progress to clients
  5. Select and hire laborers and subcontractors
  6. Supervise on-site activities and personnel
  7. Respond and provide solutions to emergencies, problems, and challenges
  8. Collaborate with engineers, architects, and other building and construction experts
  9. Adhere to legal provisions, safety and building codes, and other building regulations

5.1.4 How much does a construction Project Manager make?

Factors that determine the salary of a construction Project Manager include education, level of experience, location, the scope of projects, certification, etc. In the United States, the average annual salary for a construction Project Manager as at September 28, 2018, is $101,022 and depending on the factors stated above, this could be as high as $113,839 and as low as $88,049 (Salary.com).

Below are the salaries of construction managers in different parts of the world.

Construction Manager (Country)
Average salary per year
United States
$101,022
United Kingdom
£41,740
Canada
C$77,632
Australia
Aus$98,673
India
Rs 966,397
United Arab Emirates
AED 312,397
China
CNY 744,000

Source: Payscale & Glassdoor (October 2018)

5.2 IT Project Managers

An Information Technology (IT) Project Manager is an expert that has the duty of managing all the processes of planning, delegation, and execution responsibilities, in fulfillment of an organization's IT goals and objectives. The IT Project Manager has a firm knowledge about the objectives of the business with respect to specific demands and allocates resources in with respect to these goals. Some IT projects are; data management, hardware installation, software development and implementation, system upgrades etc.   

5.2.1 How to become an IT Project Manager

  1.  Education: Most employers demand that their IT Project Managers have a  minimum of a bachelor's degree in fields such as information technology, computer science etc. A master's degree will be an advantage.
  2. Experience: Most information and computer system managers have many years of work experience in information technology. If you have experience in managing any project or supervising people in an IT department, you are already on your way to fit into an IT Project Manager role. 
  3. Skills: To be an IT Project Manager, it is important to acquire relevant skills such as human management, critical thinking, strong communication, time management, decision making, system analysis, use of relevant software (project management/  enterprise resource planning/query/database user interface), leadership skills, etc.
  4. Certification: A certification in an IT area relevant to your career path would distinguish you from others. You will have a deeper understanding of your specialization by being current with the latest techniques, technology, and trends in the field.

5.2.2 What does an IT Project Manager do?

Fast changes occur in the IT industry, and this creates the need for constant improvements and upgrades in systems and technology. The IT Project Manager has the role to supervise a team of IT experts and manage the budgets and timelines of an IT project to ensure smooth execution. These roles include:

  1. Ensures communication is effective among all stakeholder throughout the project
  2. Monitor project milestones and modify project plans to meet business needs
  3. Assign and delegate duties to team members according to skill sets
  4. Ensures that everybody understands the project deliverables
  5. Create good working relationships among all key stakeholders
  6. Effectively manages budgets and timelines

5.2.3How much does an IT Project Manager make?

The salary/total pay of an IT Project Manager will always depend on certain variables such as the number of years of experience, education/certification level, location, and additional skills.  In the United States, annual average salaries in this field are $81,697 (IT Project Manager I), $101,961 (IT Project Manager II), and $120,098 (IT Project Manager III) as at September 28, 2018. However, the range falls between $71,897 and $131,846 US Dollars (Salary.com).

Below is a table showing average salaries of IT Project Managers across the world.

Construction Manager (Country)
Average salary per year
United States
$101,022
United Kingdom
£41,740
Canada
C$77,632
Australia
Aus$98,673
India
Rs 966,397
United Arab Emirates
AED 312,397
China
CNY 744,000

Source: Payscale & Glassdoor (October 2018)

5.3 Technical Project Manager

A technical Project Manager is anyone that oversees and manages the development and delivery of an IT or technology initiative. Technical Project Managers manage either a wholly technical project or the technical side of a project. They are professionals that grew from technical backgrounds, can solve technical issues, evaluate technical risks, and accurately estimate project timelines based on their many years of technical experience. In essence, technical Project Managers come with the combined wealth of organizational skill and technical experience. 

5.3.1 How to become a technical Project Manager

  1. Education: To become a technical Project Manager, you need to have a minimum of a   bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering or other related fields.
  2. Experience: You need adequate direct work experience (differs across companies) in a project management role, which has given you sufficient opportunities in process creation and execution.
  3. Skill set: To become a technical Project Manager, you need to have strong organizational skills, prioritizing skills, and excellent time management skill. Project management generally is fast-paced with an ever-changing project environment;  therefore, you need to be able to work under the pressure of deadlines. A can-do attitude is compulsory, as well as effective communication.
  4. Certification: A specialized certification in technical project management will widen the skills, knowledge, and experiences you have acquired as a working professional, and help you transit faster into a managerial role.

5.3.2 What does a technical Project Manager do?

The core reason of choosing technical Project Manager for a project is to have someone that can evaluate the project, resources, schedule, and control, through a more technical perspective than the conventional Project Manager can. Responsibilities of a technical Project Manager include:

  1. Manage projects with total oversight, in line with budget, scope, and timeline, to ensure project success.
  2. Develop detailed project plans that combine a client's requirements with the organization's goals.
  3. Coordinate and motivate different technical teams from project conception to completion. 
  4. Constantly track project progress and create scheduled reports on quantifiable indices such as deliverables and milestones. 
  5. Evaluate changes in project plans and discuss with stakeholders in order to adopt the beneficial ones.
  6. Supervises the acquisition of materials and resources needed for projects and negotiates prices with vendors and suppliers. 

5.3.3 How much does a technical Project Manager make?

In the U.S., the annual average salary for a technical Project Manager as of October 05, 2018 is $109,071 US Dollars. Average additional compensation is $9,721. Factors that determine the total pay for a technical Project Manager are location, experience, employer, skills/qualifications, etc. These factors cause the annual average to range from $83,000 to $144,000 US Dollars and the annual average compensation from $2,304 to $23,084 US Dollars (GlassDoor.com).

Below are the salaries of construction managers in different parts of the world.

Technical Project Manager (Country)
Average salary per year
United States
$83,000
United Kingdom
£40,659
Canada
C$81,210
Australia
Aus$99,392
India
Rs 1,433,957
United Arab Emirates
AED 267,401
China
¥300,000

Source: Payscale & Glassdoor (October 2018)

5.4 Digital Project Manager: 

A digital Project Manager is someone that has the responsibility of fine-tuning the processes involved in the management of online projects from conceptualization to closure, within budget, and using a specific amount of resources. Examples of digital projects are social media, games, advertising, videos, mobile apps, search engine optimization, events, websites, content development, etc.

5.4.1 How to become a digital Project Manager

There is no straightforward route to becoming a digital Project Manager. You will see no specific university degrees or courses that will teach you digital project management, and you cannot assume a role here without any previous experience. Nevertheless, as a guide, the path to becoming a digital Project Manager can be broken down into a few steps as follows:

  1. Skill building: One of the most certain ways you can advance your career is by developing skills highly sought after by companies you admire. Search for these companies to see if any of them has an open or recently closed vacancy for a manager. You can as well search on job boards. Once you find any suitable company, make a list of all the skills, certifications, etc. they demand as requirements for the position and improve yourself by acquiring same skill set. 
  2. Shadowing: The best way to get anything done is by following those that have successfully done those same things. LinkedIn is a great place to search out professionals in various industries. Search for Project Managers in companies you admire and check what they have listed in their career path/timeline. Look at their educational background, skills they possess, and jobs they handled before becoming Project Managers. You would often notice that these Project Managers have already specialized in one core digital areas or the other (development, design etc.) before climbing up the managerial ladder. You stand a better chance of becoming a digital Project Manager if you first learn and specialize in one of the core digital areas. 
  3. Certification: A project management certification alone is not the key to getting a  project management job. It only makes it easier when it comes down to an employer having to make a choice between two qualified candidates where the one with certification has better chances of securing the job. Apart from getting a certification that is relevant to your industry needs and career path, a management degree such an MBA will also give you good chances of getting a digital project management job. 
  4. Responsibilities: It is a prerequisite for a digital Project Manager to be an expert in your core digital specialization. Depending on your present company, and your desire to take on more responsibilities, this can take anywhere from a few months to years. If you show willingness in assisting your Project Manager, and you are proficient when taking on project management focused roles, your boss will naturally give you more work to do. More work means more experience, and more experience means a quicker climb into a full Project Manager role.

5.4.2 What does a digital Project Manager do?

The digital Project Manager has the role of making sure that all the required deliverables for a project are properly completed and handed over within the project timeline and on budget. Digital Project Managers ensure that all the different parts of the project are streamlined and running smoothly. These roles include - assigning duties and deadlines, clearing obstacles, defining and managing the scope of the project, developing and communicating the project plan/timeline/budget, monitoring and evaluation of project progress/success, etc. 

5.4.3 How much does a digital Project Manager make?

The salary of a digital Project Manager varies and is dependent on factors that include experience, location, and the level of responsibility the digital Project Manager handles. Salaries in the United States come at an annual average of $90,337 US Dollars as of October 04, 2018 and ranges from $59,000 to $134,000 US Dollars. The average compensation ranges from $1,703 to $22,564 US Dollars (GlassDoor.com).

Below are the salaries of construction managers in different parts of the world.

Digital Project Manager (Country)
Average salary per year
United States
$90,337
United Kingdom
£33,673
Canada
C$58,429
Australia
Aus $115,000
India
₹420502
United Arab Emirates
AED 208,425
China
CNY 285,766

Source: Payscale & Glassdoor (October 2018) 

6.0 How to become a good Project Manager

In the professional environment of today, Project Managers are required to multi-task, switching promptly between the daily duties of managing a team to not losing sight of the big picture. The environment is high-pressured and needs great skills and dedication to be successful.

  1. Build positive relationships: Create the right attitude and interaction among all parties to the project. This establishes effortless communication and understanding.
  2. The big picture: Focus on the big picture but do not neglect the details. The ability to see both perspectives is a skill that makes you a good Project Manager.
  3. Lead: You can neither be everywhere nor do everything. Provide enough guidance for your team and do not micromanage them. Trust makes the workspace runs smoothly.
  4. Be firm: Projects veer off course when people start focusing on themselves and neglecting common goals. This creates friction and lack of respect and cooperation. Setting some ground rules from the onset with clear consequences will limit disruptions.
  5. Influence: Identify each team member's strength and influence each person to give their best irrespective of conflicts, personal opinions, and challenges. 

6.1 What is the difference between the Project Manager and Program Manager?

Project Managers and program managers use similar techniques and tools, but they have different roles because of their different job descriptions. While a Project Manager is in charge of the team responsible for executing the project and producing expected results, program managers have a broader role. Program managers manage several projects, and sometimes, several programs. The key roles that differentiate the Project Manager from the program manager are:

a) Program manager: 

  • Manages several projects
  • Manages several project teams that sometimes may include the Project Managers
  • Ensures successful program deliverables

b) Project Manager:

  • Manages a particular project with the associated schedule, scope, and resources
  • Coordinates and manages the project's team's activities
  • Ensures project deliverables are successful, timely, and within budget 

6.2 How to be a successful Project Manager

In the highly competitive project management industry, simply being a good Project Manager may not set you apart from the rest. In order to take your career to the next level, you must transit to being a successful Project Manager, whose approach has some uniqueness and produces amazing results.

  1. Get involved: To be successful, you need to be wholly involved, especially in team building. A study, understand and know how to get the best out of your team. Know each team member's skill and the way to utilize it effectively. Be informed. Be agile. Be flexible. Change is inevitable. Have a firm grasp of the project and know when and how to adapt to any sudden change that occurs.
  2. Be proactive: A successful Project Manager knows that unexpected curves do appear along the project management track. As long as you have the big picture in focus, anticipate these curves in your planning and scheduling, and be ready to provide real-time solutions. Successful Project Managers create alternatives.
  3. Bargaining power: You may never have everybody agree with you all the time.  However, if you have great bargaining skills, can negotiate and collaborate effectively with all stakeholders to achieve your organization's objectives, you are already on your way to being a successful Project Manager. 
  4. Time, Budget, and Quality: Projects are successful when completed on time, within budget, and with high-quality deliverables. A successful Project Manager will make the team aware of these three essential factors to a project's success.

7.0 How to get a Project Manager job

A Project Manager's role is very demanding. It needs someone that is flexible with strong leadership skills. The role spans across several industries such as construction, IT, human resources, etc. You will need to plan, organize, delegate, budget, and document all aspects of a new project. This profession is also highly rewarding. To get a Project Manager job, the following steps will guide you.

  1. Employer requirements: Research the qualities employers desire in a Project Manager. Some favorite important traits common among employers include strong leadership, effective communication, integrity, initiative, and foresight.
  2. Evaluation: Assess yourself and your experiences. Compare your skills with those required by employers, determine where they overlap, and where there are gaps. Deepen and reinforce all current skills that are project management focused and improve to fill the gaps identified. 
  3. Get qualified: It is becoming very difficult finding entry-level roles in project management. Having some sort of degree qualification, which can be different from one industry to another, is often the first essential step to securing a job. Even without a degree, there are now many online platforms where you can get project management courses without going through a university.
  4. Keep improving: The career path in project management is far-reaching. Whether you are looking to secure your first job in project management or aspiring towards higher roles in your career, you can succeed as long as you have a positive attitude and stay motivated. Keep updated on the trend within your industry, and regularly add to your skills, qualifications, and knowledge accordingly. 

If you are an Agile professional looking to make it big as a Project Manager as well, being the best fit for a project management job can be challenging. Industry experts, however, recommend an exhaustive Agile PMP® Training Program to make you industry-fit and enhance your earning potential. Conclusion

The demand by companies for accomplished Project Managers that are technical savvy, and with great leadership skills is on the increase. The business environment is constantly changing and becoming more complex by the day. The need for a leader that can hold it all together, yet produce fantastic results has become a major priority of business owners. Therefore, any Project Manager with the necessary training, in addition to relevant core soft skills can stand out in his or her chosen field, achieve great results, and attain unimaginable heights.  

KnowledgeHut

KnowledgeHut Editor

Author

KnowledgeHut is a fast growing Management Consulting and Training firm that is a source of Intelligent Information support for businesses and professionals across the globe.


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What is the difference between Risk & Issues?

First of all, let’s look at the high level difference between “Issues” & Risks”: “Issues”   –  Present focused –  Always negative –  Documented in “Issue register” –  Response will be “Issue work- around” “Risks” – Future focused – Can be positive (or) negative – Documented in “Risk register” – Response will be done based on “risk response planning” Now let’s see how risks & issues play an integral role in a project: In general, if a project manager identifies all the possible negative risks and their respective response plans within the project, then the possibility of issues can be drastically reduced.  (i.e. prevention is better than cure). However, certain unforeseen situations may still arise which turn out to be issues. They could be certain potential risks which were unidentified in the past. They could also be risks which have been already identified, where the risk response plans are inadequate- and those events turn into issues and impact the project. If a project manager pays inadequate attention to risk management, there is a greater possibility of his spending his valuable time & efforts later in managing the issues that arise! Now, when it comes to issue management the project manager will document the issues in the “issue register” and will perform an issues analysis to identify the possible “work-arounds” to fix the issue. For example: Let us suppose there is a FIRE in the room. If we consider this in the context of issue & work-around, we say that there has been an occurrence of a fire, and we need to put it off by using a fire extinguisher. Since issues are present focused, there is a very limited time available to identify the work-arounds required to fix the issue. Once the work-arounds are identified, it’s also equally important that such issues should not get repeated in future. There should also not be any possibility of re-occurrences in a different form, in order to bring it to a permanent closure.  In case of a re-occurrence then such events will be treated as “risks” because risks are future focused. They will be documented in the “risk register” and then sufficient risk response plans should be identified to cover those possible future risks.
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What is the difference between Risk & Issues?

First of all, let’s look at the high level diffe... Read More

Importance and Benefits of The Project Charter

What is the Project Charter:PMBOK® Defines Project Charter as a document issued by the project initiator or sponsor that formally authorizes the existence of a project, and provides a project manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to the project.PMI® gives a lot of importance to project charter. Project Charter will state the high-level requirements to satisfy the stakeholders’ needs and it also defines the authority of the Project Manager.Business Case and Project statement of work are the documents that are necessary to create a project charter. The purpose of a business case is to understand the business need for the project and determine whether it is worth investing in. Business needs or demands include market demands, organizational need, customers’ requests, technological advance, legal requirements, ecological impacts, and social needs.“According to the PMBOK® Guide, the business case is an economic feasibility study. It is used to track progress and compare project results against the success factors identified in the business case”.A project isn’t a project until the project charter is approved, and the project charter cannot be started until the business case is approved.The Project Charter highlights high-level initiation draft defined as below:Let's look at why the project charter is so important!The main purpose of the project charter is the formal authorization of the project and the go-ahead to commit organizational resources to it; without a project charter, the project can be canceled anytime and for any reason and can be subject to an audit as an unauthorized project.Let us imagine a project without a project charter. If there is no project charter, projects will have no direction. The Project Managers will lack authority. There will be no expectations for the projects undertaken. The scope of the projects will not be clearly defined.Let's consider a project has started for 2-3 months. A Project Manager is already authorized, and the project is moving well. Due to certain circumstances, current Project Manager resigns from the company and the project is assigned to another Project Manager. The initial task of every Project Manager authorized should be to go through the Project Charter to understand its business need and objective. The Project Charter project describes goals, scope, stakeholders and a high-level deliverable at high levels. Imagine project having no project charter then Project Manager would have been like a “Fish Out of Water”.What is included in the Project Charter?A Charter is a document that elucidates the project in succinct wording without a lot of details. It’s written for high-level management needs. Charter doesn’t provide detailed end goals, schedule, and cost.A Project Charter template may include some or all the following:Components of the Project CharterDo We Really Require Project Charter?Project Charter is important for the success of a project. The Project charter builds a foundation for any projects undertaken. It is a great communication tool for the stakeholders and provides a direction to the project.Following are few of the benefits of a project charter:It gives an authority to the project manager to complete the projectExplains the business importance and existence of project.Demonstrates Management support for the project.Defines outcome for the project.Aligns project with the organization objectives.Provides a team with a clear concise reporting system.Protects team members from scope creep.Helps in avoiding disagreements between stakeholders.Authorizes the existence of the project or establishes the project.Defines the parameters within which the project manager is authorized to operate.Gives the project manager authority to spend money and procure resources.Provides the high-level requirements for the project.Links the project to the ongoing operations of the organization.Process of project charter:The project charter is an important document and a project should not be started without one. The success of the project cannot be measured without a project charter.A project charter is important in the Project Management, because-It ensures that the project manager understands the sponsor’s needs and requirements.It provides vital information needed to get the projects started.It acts as a reference document to make sure everyone (i.e. Project Manager, Stakeholder, Higher Management etc.) are on the same page.It authorizes and protects the project manager by describing what are the benefits of the Projects that need to be achieved.* Remember According to the PMBOK® Guide, a project benefit is the result of actions or behaviors, and/or the value of the product, service, or result from the project brings to the organization and the project stakeholders.
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Importance and Benefits of The Project Charter

What is the Project Charter:PMBOK® Defines Projec... Read More

10 Characteristics Of a Good Project Manager

Good leaders are hard to find, but great project managers are rarer stillWhat a great saying! Well, it has its own worth acknowledging that to find a reliable, and successful project manager in the current era is like finding a true pearl inside the sea shell.IntroductionBeing a project manager is a specific kind of leadership position, which requires certain character traits and important qualities. If we ask you, do you have any general idea about a good project manager, a single point you can define them would be – they deliver projects within the deadline and budget set by the clients, meeting or not withstanding surpassing the desires of the partners, right?It’s not enough. Actually, it takes more to become a good and idol project manager to whom someone could admire. In this article, we are going to highlight some striking traits and important qualities of a Good project manager which can help you become a better one or to improve yourself.Time Management techniques helps you to assign correct time slots to activities as per their importance. The right allocation of time to the right task in order to make the best possible use of time refers to time management.Top 10 important Qualities to become a Successful Project Manager1. They Inspire a Shared VisionAn effective project leader is often described as having a vision of where to go and the ability to articulate it. A leader or project manager is someone who lifts you up, gives you a reason of being, and gives the vision and spirit to change.The visionary project managers enable people to feel they have a real stake in the project. Moreover, they empower their team mates to experience the vision of their own and offer other the opportunity to create their own vision, to explore what the vision will mean to their jobs and their lives, as well as to envision their future as part of the vision of their organization.2.They are a Good CommunicatorAccording to Jada Pinkett Smith, a slogan of every good project manager is;“My belief is that communication is the best way to create strong relationships”Another strong trait that distinguishes a good project manager from others is, their ability to communicate with people at all levels. Since, the project leadership calls for clear communication about responsibility, goals, performance, expectations, and feedback – a good project manager can be said a complete package comprising all these important qualities.The pioneer must be able to successfully arrange and utilize influence when it’s important to guarantee the accomplishment of group and venture. How it comes about gainful? Successful correspondence brings about group accomplishments by making express rules for professional success of cable car individuals.3.IntegrityOne of the most important things any project manager should always keep in their mind is, it takes their actions to set a particular modus operandi for a team, rather than their words. A good management demands commitment and demonstration of ethical practices.The leadership or project management depends on integrity represents set of values, dedication to honesty, and consistency in behaviors with team mates. Integrity is that a good project manager takes responsibility for setting the high bar for ethical behaviors for oneself, as well as reward those who exemplify these practices. Leadership motivated by self-interest does not serve the wellbeing of a team.4.They Possess Leadership SkillsIf you want to become a successful project manager, you ought to own good leadership skills. Project managers must also deal with teams coming from various walks of life. Hence, it winds up noticeably basic for them to rouse workers and calibrate group execution to achieve organizational goals through various leadership styles.A great project manager sets the tone for the project and provide a clear vision about its objectives for the team. A feeling of foreknowledge helps also – by foreseeing potential issues, you can have your group prepared to solve them in the blink of the eye. Enthusiasm and passion are two key elements you should adopt, if you want to make people follow you—nobody will do so if you’re sporting a negative attitude.5.They are Good Decision MakerGood decision making skill is not only crucial for personal life but it also very important in professional life as well. The good project managers are empowered to make countless decisions which will help define the project track.As we all know that a single minor wrong decision taken can easily jeopardize the entire project. Thus, a project manager needs to be capable of thinking quickly and reacting decisively.6. Expert in Task DelegationTask delegation is another basic skill in you which you need to be expert in. You should be able to judge your team members’ skills and assign the tasks in accordance with their strengths.Being a pioneer doesn’t imply that you have to consider each minor little detail of a venture. Show your team members you trust them and delegate tasks to them.7.They are Well OrganizedHenry Mintzberg said;“Management is, above all, a practice where art, science, and craft meet”Good organization is a key factor for creating a productive work environment as well as solving problems under pressure. Being well-organized helps to stay focused on the big picture and to prioritize your own tasks and responsibilities.With regards to exhibiting your outcomes, you ought to have the capacity to recuperate all the important information and demonstrate an intelligible vision of a venture to be executed.8.They Own ProficiencyProficiency and thorough knowledge – they both can be said a basic yardsticks on the basis of which a leader’s or manager wisdom or excellence can be weighed. Being on top of your projects entails a vast amount of industry knowledge to be effective in what you do.Some learning on the money related and legitimate side of your tasks won’t hurt either. You should be seen as able and skilled by your group.9.They are Great Problem Solver!The good project managers work with a team of experts or consultants and use their mastery of handling issues in most effective ways.Nobody will anticipate that you will have a prepared answer for every single issue; you should have the capacity to utilize the knowledge of your team members and even stakeholders to produce a collective response to any problems you experience on your way to delivering a project.10.They know what is CollaborationThis is the last, and the most important trait that should exist within every good project manager or leader. A grip of group progression is fundamental on the off chance that you need your group to work easily on your ventures.When building up your group, remember this: contentions and contradictions will undoubtedly happen; as a pioneer, you’ll should have the capacity to intervene them and ensure all you colleagues progress in the direction of a similar objective.
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10 Characteristics Of a Good Project Manager

Good leaders are hard to find, but great project m... Read More