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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.  

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

Author

KnowledgeHut is an outcome-focused global ed-tech company. We help organizations and professionals unlock excellence through skills development. We offer training solutions under the people and process, data science, full-stack development, cybersecurity, future technologies and digital transformation verticals.
Website : https://www.knowledgehut.com

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Project Manager Salary Guide 2021

Project management skills and expertise are in demand globally, and earning potential remains promising. The Project Management Institute (PMI)regularly runs a salary survey to find out what kind of salary project managers draw across industries and across geographies. This is probably one of the most comprehensive salary surveys conducted for any job type. Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey—Eleventh Edition (2020), the latest salary survey from the Project Management Institute (PMI) equips practitioners with the most comprehensive view of project managers’ earnings from 42 countries around the world.  Greater awareness of how skill level, experience and certifications impact salary can give practitioners considerable earning power in a dynamic job market. And this critical data can help recruiters, human resources and compensation professionals establish fair and equitable salaries for project management roles within their organizations. Some of the data you will discover in this PMI report might surprise you. In this article, we give you the complete lowdown on the findings of the survey.Data gathered The scale of the PMI salary survey is vast: over 32,000+ project managers across industries and verticals, across the globe. This sample size is a good representative of the population and provides a realistic representation of salary figures. Quite a wide variety of information is collected by PMI’s team – position, years of PM experience, highest formal education, degree in project management, PMP® status, training per year, type of project, avg team size, project budget, and many more – from the sample size from each of the 42 countries. The report is of about 360 pages long, with quite a detailed information segregated by countries.One can thus slice and dice the figures to extract an amazing amount of insights into how project management in general and PMP certification can impact the salary of employees across industries, verticals, positions, and geographies. The top3 countries The top 3 countries on median salary figures were: Switzerland ($132,086) United States ($116,000) Australia ($101,381)The verdict “There’s never been a better time to be a project manager”, states the PMI Salary Survey, Eleventh Edition (2020).But what the report truly indicates is that there has never been a better time to be a PMP® certified project manager. The final verdict? Here it is: Respondents with PMP® certification report 22% higher median salaries than those without PMP® certification. Project Manager salary ranges Candidates with a PMP certification are prioritized over non-certified candidates. They are also more likely to get better compensation. However, the median salary depends on several factors such as their country of residence, years of experience, position or role and the average size of projects managed, including average project budget and average project team size. Project Manager salaries by countryCountriesMedian SalaryUSA$116,000India$28,750Singapore$71,279Hong Kong$76,607United Arab Emirates$81,665Project Manager salaries by years of experienceYearsUSAIndiaSingaporeHong KongUnited Arab Emirates
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Project Manager Salary Guide 2021

Project management skills and expertise are in dem... Read More

Project Management: What’s Trending in 2021

Project management is the practice that is used to initiate, design, execute, control, and close a team's work in order to reach specific objectives and fulfil specific success criteria at the specified time. The main challenge of project management is to achieve all project objectives within the given limits.A decade ago, managing projects was difficult and challenging. It was difficult to set clear goals with less project management tools and projects were being managed by smaller teams with simpler projects.Fast forwarding to 2020, the scenario is completely different as Project Management seems like a phoenix rising from the ashes. The teams are no longer small, nor are the tasks, and the goals are defined with a proper system.The project management industry is quickly evolving, keeping pace with advanced technologies, tools, and the latest trends.Today, we will discuss the top 5 Project Management global trends in 2020.1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Automation Will Impact ProjectsArtificial Intelligence has had a very positive impact on projects. According to a PMI report, software development, aerospace, healthcare and financing all implement Artificial Intelligence in their way of managing projects.The first thing project managers need to do is take AI into account in project management and then learn how to utilize it for successfully completing projects.Using AI in automating data will make it easier to handle projects than before. Moreover, you can form positive business relationships with your team members and clients, resulting in proper coordination and transparency.It’s quite common to witness poor estimates and unknown external factors pushing the deadline. Artificial intelligence can calculate the duration, cost and progress of a project properly and predict realistic project schedules.2. More Project Managers Will Incorporate Hybrid Project ManagementEvery project is created differently and differs in methodology and execution. No wonder the concept of hybrid project management is becoming increasingly popular and with every passing day, many Project managers and Scrum masters are combining more than one methodology.According to PMI reports, Hybrid project management aims to combine standard project management techniques with the agile methodology.When the hybrid model, such as combining a traditional approach is implemented with an Agile process, team members from different points of view and work styles will collaborate and achieve more flexibility, dedication, and productivity in their own way.Project managers are inclining to this flexible approach of projects in the current year. A combination of agile and traditional methodologies is best suited in a multi-project environment, where complex parts are executed using agile, and a traditional method is used for the simpler parts.3. Managing Projects Will Become Easier with Emotional Intelligence (EI)It seems strange, but project success is related to humans understanding and realizing emotions. How? According to PMI.org emotional intelligence can strongly predict performance no matter what job you do. It allows clients, team members, sponsors and management to interact with each other with clarity, handle challenges efficiently and make committed choices to act strategically and swiftly. EI is now an essential technology for a successful business outcome.Understanding the emotions of the team members and dealing with different personalities ensures that the project keeps progressing at a smooth and constant pace. This is an invaluable leadership ability for project managers around the world.Therefore, it becomes more important than ever to learn about emotional intelligence and what drives people to predict future project success.4. Remote Working is on the RiseThe trend of working remotely is now extremely common and this will go on in future too. There are a lot of advantages when people work remotely. It offers more flexibility and saves a lot of time as you don’t need to travel to your workplace. The costs to the project and company get further reduced leading to the development of talent. According to the results of a survey by Wrike, 83% of respondents work remotely every day for at least one to two hours. 43% of them reported that they work remotely now, more than they did a couple of years ago.When working remotely, projects will be managed by:Setting up daily, stand-up meetings and calls to stay updated on the progressHaving your team members keep you updated on any project changes or updatesUsing online collaboration tools such as Microsoft Planner to collaborate with team members and never miss out on any changes or updatesDoing quarterly individual assessments in a yearThe future of project management will witness a steep rise in next-gen project managers, project management offices, and more focus stepping up cybersecurity. Project managers should pay attention to these trends to successfully lead their teams.5. More Jobs Will be Available for Project ManagersProject managers are involved in every possible industry. According to ‘The Project Management Institute (PMI) report’ last year, the project management labour force is predicted to grow by 33 percent in over 11 countries by 2027. There will be a wide range of jobs for project management and these are estimated to grow over the next 10 years. Some of them are in industries like: Management and Professional ServicesManufacturingFinance and InsuranceInformation Services and PublishingConstructionUtilitiesOil and GasBy 2027, nearly 88 million professionals will be required in project management-oriented roles. The first in the race to hiring are China and India forming more than 75 percent of the total project management-oriented employment.The report further stresses that project managers are key in delivering successful projects and products. Acting otherwise can potentially create loss of nearly US$208 billion in GDP over the 10 years in the 11 countries examined.With the new trends of 2020, project management will be playing a major role in fastening product development with its new technologies, and in turn, increasing workflow efficiency. Owing to its exponential growth, multiple job opportunities will be created and staying on top of the latest trends will give one the leverage to make the most of such changes.
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Project Management: What’s Trending in 2021

Project management is the practice that is used to... Read More

The PMP® Exam Blueprint For 2021

Preparing for your PMP® exam might seem like a struggle, but the end result is quite rewarding. From the initial application process, you need to go through a lengthy procedure to become a PMP® certified professional. The PMP® exam tests the professionals on the five project management processes: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing.  It is also important for the candidates to have a thorough understanding of the nine knowledge areas under project management, which includes integration management, project scope management, time management, project resource management plan, procurement management, cost management, and time management.The PMP® certification is a validation of a professional’s experience in project management and is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) to those candidates who qualify the PMP® examination.The process of preparation can be quite challenging for a candidate who is preparing for a PMP® certification. This article discusses the details of the PMP® exam, giving an insight into the prerequisites, layout of the exam and some tips on how to ace the exam the first time.PMP® Examination FormatThe PMP® examination contains a total of 200 multiple-choice questions. Out of these 200 questions, 25 questions are ‘unscored questions’, that is, they do not affect the exam score. These questions act as an effective and admissible way to test the validity of future examination questions. The questions are placed and are asked randomly throughout the examination. It is very important to keep in mind that the unscored questions cannot be distinguished from the scored questions. Hence it is important that all the questions are answered with the same level of precision.No. of Scored QuestionsNo. of Unscored QuestionsTotal number of Questions17525200The standard method of PMI  examination is Center-based Testing (CBT). While paper-based Testing is also available, but only under limited circumstances.The allotted time duration for completion of the exam is 4 hours. There aren’t any scheduled breaks during the examination, though a small break can be taken if needed. If any break is taken during the exam, the exam clock time does not stop but continues to count down.Before you begin taking the exam, you will be shown a tutorial explaining the process of the exam. It’s recommended to go through this video that takes around 15 minutes. Further, your PMP® exam will be followed by a survey. The time for both excludes the four hours of the examination during which you need to answer 200 questions.Allotted time for the Examination4 hoursNew PBT Policy effective from 1 July 2017The Paper-based testing for the PMP® examination is available under limited circumstances. The instances are listed as follows:Distance to a Prometric CBT (Centre-based testing)  site exceeds 240 km (150 miles)A Prometric CBT site isn’t available in the country of residence and travelling across borders is prohibited/burdensome.As of 01 July 2017, the price for PBT exam has been changed, which now equals the CBT prices.NOTE: It should be indicated during the certification payment process if the candidate will be opting for a centre-based or a paper-based examination. In the case of PBT examination, the site location, date and group testing number on the application should be included as well.How are the PMP® examination questions developed?The questions which are asked in the PMP® examination are:Developed in accordance with the standards of  IOC/IEC 17024Developed and are validated independently by global work groups of PMP® certification holders.Monitored via psychometric analysisAccording to the specifications made in the PMP® Examination Content Outline.Referenced to the present project management titles, which include but not limited to PMI ’s global standards.Are any language aids provided for the PMP® examination?PMI  examinations are administered in English. However, for the questions and answers of the PMP® examinations, language aids are provided with no additional costs.Language Aids are available in 14 languages, which are stated as follows:ArabicHebrewBrazilian PortugueseItalianChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)JapaneseKoreanFrenchRussianGermanSpanishPolishTurkishThe language aids are provided when the examination is being administered. They are protected under the PMI  Test Security and Confidentiality rules.NOTE: If a language aid is required, it should be indicated as a part of the payment process, that is, while submitting the application online; or as a part of the application process, if a paper application is being submitted.The post-exam survey and pre-exam tutorial are administered only in the English language. The language aid is provided only for the PMP® examination questions and answers.What is the Blueprint of the PMP® Examination?The PMP® examination blueprint, which is depicted in the table below defines the proportion of questions which are asked from each domain. These percentages determine the number of questions that will appear in the examination, covering all the domains and process groups of the project management. The following is the blueprint:Blueprint of the PMP® ExamDomainPercentage of QuestionsInitiation13%Planning24%Execution31%Monitoring and Controlling25%Closing7%TOTAL100%Further, let’s discuss the domains, tasks, knowledge and skill statements which are defined by the Role Delineation Study. There are multiple tasks under each domain which are measured through the process of PMP® certification.Domain I, Initiating - 13%Task 1: Carry out a project assessment based on the available information, meetings with stakeholders, and the lessons which are learned from the previous projects.Task 2: Figure out the key deliverables to direct the achievement of project goals and manage customer expectations based on the business requirements.Task 3: Use appropriate tools and techniques to perform stakeholder analysis so that expectations can be aligned and support can be gained for the project.Task 4: Recognise high-level risks, constraints, and assumptions based on the historical data, current environment, organisational factors, and expert judgement, so that an implementation strategy can be proposed.Task 5: Engage in the process of development of project charter by compiling and analyzing the gathered information so that it is ensured that the project stakeholders agree on its elements.Task 6: Acquire the project charter approval from the sponsor, so that the authority assigned to the project manager can be assigned, while at the same time commitment and acceptance can be gained.Task 7: Perform benefit analysis with relevant stakeholders so that the project alignment with organizational strategy can be validated.Task 8: Ensure that there is a common understanding of the key deliverables, milestones, as well as their roles and responsibilities by informing the stakeholders of the approved project charter.Knowledge and SkillsAnalytical skillsBenefit analysis techniquesElements of a project charterEstimation tools and techniquesStrategic managementDomain II, Planning - 24%Task 1: Based on the project charter and lessons learned, review and assess the project requirements, constraints and assumptions with the stakeholders.Task 2: Based on the approved project scope and using scope management techniques, develop scope management so that the scope of the project can be defined, maintained and managed.Task 3: Based on the project scope, resources, schedule, approved project charter, and other information, plan the cost management using estimating techniques so that the project costs can be managed.Task 4: Based on the approved project deliverables and milestones, scope, and resource management plans, develop the project schedule so that a scheduled completion of the project can be managed.Task 5: Come up with a Project Resource Management plan where the roles and responsibilities of the project team members can be defined so that a project organizational structure can be created and guidance can be formed regarding how resources will be managed and assigned.Task 6: Work on a communication management plan which will be based on the project organizational structure and stakeholder requirements, so that the flow of project information can be defined and managed.Task 7: Based on the project scope, budget, and schedule, create a procurement management plan. This ensures that the required project resources will be available.Task 8: To prevent the occurrence of defects while at the same time control the cost of quality, come up with a quality management plan to define the quality standards for the project and its products which will be based on the project scope, risks, and requirements.Task 9: Work on change management so that the changes can be managed and tracked.Task 10: Develop a risk management plan. Identify, analyse and prioritize the project risk; create a risk register, and define risk response strategy to do so. This way, the uncertainty and opportunity throughout the project life cycle can be managed.Task 11: Present the project management plan to the relevant stakeholders in accordance with the applicable policies and procedures, so the approval to proceed with the project execution can be attained.Task 12: Conduct kick-off meeting, communicate the start of the project, and other relevant information to engage stakeholders and gain commitment.Task 13: Develop a stakeholder management plan after analyzing the needs and potential impact so that the stakeholders’ expectations can be managed and can be engaged in project decisions.Knowledge and SkillsChange management planningCommunications planningEstimation tools and techniquesLean and efficiency principlesQuality management planningRegulatory and environmental impacts assessment planningScope deconstruction (e.g., WBS, Scope backlog) tools and techniquesStakeholder management planningWorkflow diagramming techniquesCost management planning, including project budgeting tools and techniquesContract types and selection criteriaHuman resource planningProcurement planningRequirements gathering techniquesRisk management planningScope management planningTime management planning, including scheduling tools and techniquesDOMAIN III, Executing - 31%Task 1: Follow the human resource and procurement management plans by obtaining and managing the project resources so that the project requirements can be met.Task 2: Lean and develop the project team to manage the task execution based on the project management plan so that the project deliverables can be achieved.Task 3: Use appropriate tools and techniques to implement a quality management plan. This is done to ensure that the work is being performed as per the required quality standards.Task 4: Follow the change management plan to implement the approved changes and corrective actions so that the project requirements can be met.Task 5: Follow the risk management plan to implement the approved actions so that the impact of risks can be minimized while at the same time, the advantage of opportunities on the project can be attained. ‘Task 6: Follow the communication plan and manage the flow of information so that the stakeholders are kept engaged and informed.Task 7: Follow the stakeholder management plan to maintain the stakeholder relationship so that continued support can be received and expectations can be managed.Knowledge and SkillsContinuous improvement processesElements of a statement of workProject budgeting tools and techniquesVendor management techniquesContract management techniquesInterdependencies among project elementsQuality standard toolsDomain IV, Monitoring and Controlling - 25%Task 1: Use appropriate tools and techniques to measure the project performance so that any variance and corrective actions can be identified and quantified.Task 2: Follow the change in the management plan and manage changes to the project so that the project goal remains aligned with the business needs.Task 3: Use appropriate tools and techniques to meet project requirements and business needs in order to verify that the project deliverables conform to the quality standards which has been established in the quality management plan.Task 4: Monitor and assess the risk to determine if exposure has changed and evaluated the effectiveness of response strategies so that the impact of risks and opportunities on the project can be managed.Task 5: Review and update the issue log as well as determine corrective measures by using appropriate tools and techniques so that the impact on the project can be minimized.Task 6: Use lessons learned management techniques to capture, analyze, and manage the lessons learned so that continuous improvement can be attained.Task 7: According to the procurement plan, monitor the procurement activities so that the compliance with project activities can be verified.Knowledge and SkillsPerformance measurement and tracking techniquesProject control limitsProject monitoring tools and techniquesQuality measurement toolsRisk response techniquesProcess analysis techniquesProject finance principlesProject quality best practices and standardsRisk identification and analysis techniquesQuality validation and verification techniquesDomain V, Closing - 7%Task I: Collect the final acceptance of the project deliverables from the relevant stakeholders as confirmation that the project scope and deliverables were achieved.Task II: According to the project plan, transfer the ownership of deliverables to the assigned stakeholders so that the project closure can be facilitated.Task III: Obtain financial, legal and administrative closure via the accepted practices and policies so that a formal closure of the project can be attained and a transfer of liability can be ensured.Task IV: According to the communications management plan, prepare and share the final project report so that the project performance can be documented and conveyed as well as project evaluation can be assisted.Task V: Collect and combine the lessons that were learned throughout the project and conduct a project review so that the organization’s knowledge base can be updated.Task VI: Archive the materials and project documents by making use of the generally accepted practices so that statutory requirements can be complied with and for potential use in future projects and audits.Task VII: Use appropriate tools and techniques to get feedback from relevant stakeholders so that their satisfaction can be evaluated.Knowledge and SkillsArchiving practices and statutesContract closure requirementsFeedback techniquesProject review techniquesActive listeningBenefits realizationBusiness acumenCoaching, mentoring, training, and motivational techniquesConfiguration managementCustomer satisfaction metricsDecision makingDiversity and cultural sensitivityExpert judgment techniqueGenerational sensitivity and diversityInterpersonal skillsLeadership tools, techniques, and skillsMeeting management techniquesOrganizational and operational awarenessPresentation tools and techniquesProblem-solving tools and techniquesQuality assurance and control techniquesRisk assessment techniquesStakeholder management techniquesVirtual/remote team managementCompliance (statute/organization)Close-out proceduresPerformance measurement techniquesTransition planning techniqueApplicable laws and regulationsBrainstorming techniquesChange management techniquesCommunication channels, tools, techniques, and methodsConflict resolutionData gathering techniquesDelegation techniquesEmotional intelligenceFacilitationInformation management tools, techniques, and methodsKnowledge managementLessons learned management techniquesNegotiating and influencing techniques and skillsPeer-review processesPrioritization/time managementProject finance principlesRelationship managementSituational awarenessTeam-building techniquesTips for passing and preparing for PMP® ExamPMP® exam requires a lot of dedication and efforts in order to clear it at one go. The following tips will surely help you to prepare and pass your PMP® exam:Memorise all formulas to easily answer the math questions.Spend around 4 hours to practice full sample exams at one sitting.On the day of your exam, use your time effectively to answer 200 questions within 4 hours. You will have 1 minute to answer each question.Answer all questions, do not leave any question blank.Use the process of elimination for obviously incorrect answer options to maximise probability in case you are not sure about the correct answer.Avoid spending too much time on any single question. If you are spending more than 2 minutes on a single question then you can make your best guess for the answer and mark it for review at the end of the exam.Try to reserve the last 10 minutes to review the marked questions.Read all the answer options before selecting an answer.Keep in mind that some questions may provide hints to other questions in the exam.Wear comfortable cloth and footwear on the day of your exam.To wrap it up!The PMP® certification acts as a validation of a professional’s experience in project management and is a challenging process as well. Start preparing well for the five domains (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing) in advance so that you can ace the examination and get nearer to achieving your dream career. All the best!
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The PMP® Exam Blueprint For 2021

Preparing for your PMP® exam might seem like a st... Read More

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