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Project Manager - An Ultimate Guide

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

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Project Manager - An Ultimate Guide

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

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

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

Table of Content 

1.0 What is a Project Manager?

    1.1 What does a Project Manager do?

    1.2 Direct responsibility of the Project Manager

2.0 Why do you want to be a Project Manager?

3.0 How to become a Project Manager

    3.1 How to become a certified Project Manager

4.0 How much does a Project Manager make?

5.0  Types of Project Manager

       5.1.1 Construction Project Manager

       5.1.2 How to become a construction Project Manager

       5.1.3 What does a construction Project Manager do?

       5.1.4 How much does a construction Project Manager make?

5.2 IT Project Managers

       5.2.1 How to become an IT Project Manager

       5.2.2 What does an IT Project Manager do?

5.3 Technical Project Manager

    5.3.1 What does a technical Project Manager do?

    5.3.2 How much does a technical Project Manager make?

5.4 Digital Project Manager:

    5.4.1 How to become a digital Project Manager

    5.4.2 What does a digital Project Manager do?

6.0 How to become a good Project Manager

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

    6.2 How to be a successful Project Manager

7.0 How to get a Project Manager job

Conclusion

1.0 Who is a Project Manager?

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

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

The following statistics show the importance of Project Managers.

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

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

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

1.1 What does a Project Manager do?

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

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

1.2 Direct responsibility of the Project Manager

Duties of Project Manager

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

2.0 Why do you want to be a Project Manager?

Reasons to become a Project Manager

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

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

3.0 How to become a Project Manager

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

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

3.1 How to become a certified Project Manager

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

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

4.0 How much does a Project Manager make?

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

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

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

5.0  Types of Project Manager

5.1.1 Construction Project Manager

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

5.1.2 How to become a construction Project Manager

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

5.1.3 What does a construction Project Manager do?

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

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

5.1.4 How much does a construction Project Manager make?

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

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

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

Source: Payscale & Glassdoor (October 2018)

5.2 IT Project Managers

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

5.2.1 How to become an IT Project Manager

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

5.2.2 What does an IT Project Manager do?

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

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

5.2.3How much does an IT Project Manager make?

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

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

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

Source: Payscale & Glassdoor (October 2018)

5.3 Technical Project Manager

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

5.3.1 How to become a technical Project Manager

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

5.3.2 What does a technical Project Manager do?

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

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

5.3.3 How much does a technical Project Manager make?

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

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

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

Source: Payscale & Glassdoor (October 2018)

5.4 Digital Project Manager: 

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

5.4.1 How to become a digital Project Manager

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

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

5.4.2 What does a digital Project Manager do?

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

5.4.3 How much does a digital Project Manager make?

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

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

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

Source: Payscale & Glassdoor (October 2018) 

6.0 How to become a good Project Manager

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

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

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

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

a) Program manager: 

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

b) Project Manager:

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

6.2 How to be a successful Project Manager

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

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

7.0 How to get a Project Manager job

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

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

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

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

KnowledgeHut

KnowledgeHut

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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Whether it is the IT or non-IT industry, a successful project always depends on a highly competent project manager. An adept and proactive project manager helps the teams in becoming consistently productive and accountable for their tasks and responsibilities. Nowadays project management is a highly pursued job title. Any professional aspiring to be a project manager can greatly benefit from working in this role. This is not only because of the lucrative salary but also because a lot of skills can be acquired after being certified as a project manager, like knowing how to plan, schedule, budget, execute, deliver and then report on the business projects. Here are some of the top certifications in project management that companies are looking for, presently:1. PMP®: Project Management Professional Project Management Professional (PMP)® is one of the top-level project management certifications and is globally recognized as the gold standard in project management. By being PMP® certified, you can work in any industry with any methodology irrespective of the situation. This certification includes all the top necessities required to test your knowledge and skills in managing the project "triple constraints", that is time, cost, and scope.Accreditation body: Project Management Institute (PMI)® Eligibility criteria:Eligibility RequirementFour-year degree or global equivalentA secondary degree or global equivalentYears of Project Management Experience3 Years (36 months)5 Years (60 months)Hours Leading & Directing Projects4,500 Hours7,500 HoursHours of Project Management Education35 Hours35 Hours2. CAPM®: Certified Associate in Project Management Another certification governed and accredited by the Project Management Institute (PMI)®, the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® lays the foundation stone for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification. CAPM® is perfect for professionals who want to move steadily into the project management field. Individuals who do not possess a college degree or have no/minimal experience in the field can also apply for this certification. Accreditation body: Project Management Institute (PMI)® Eligibility criteria:A minimum of 23 hours of project management education before the examination. The minimum educational criterion to go for the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® certification is a high school diploma certificate or any global equivalent form of education.3. CSM®: Certified Scrum MasterEver since agile methodologies have become the standard in most industries, especially the IT sector, Certified Scrum Masters have been in high demand. Despite various Scrum master certifications being available in the market, the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)® from the Scrum Alliance is a great way for aspiring project managers to start as Scrum practitioners. Scrum Alliance® offers this CSM® credential and is a non-profit organization that promotes the concept of adopting Scrum and agile practices. The organization globally has 450,000 plus certified practitioners. Accreditation body: Scrum Alliance® Eligibility criteria: There is no set of eligibility requirements to attend this Scrum Master Certification course and it can be taken by freshers or professionals who want to:Extend their careers in project management.Strengthen their grasp of Scrum.4. PMI-RMP®: Project Management Institute-Risk Management ProfessionalNowadays it is normal for any undergoing project to face risks at every stage, thus affecting its execution, success rate, and the final result. This requires planning the project by detecting potential risks, both threats, and opportunities, taking actions to reduce threats, and increasing opportunities.  The Project Management Institute-Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)® credential affirms that Risk Managers know the best way to identify project risks and lessen threats while making the best of available opportunities. Accreditation body: Project Management Institute (PMI)® Eligibility criteria: Either Secondary degree (high school diploma, an associate degree, or the global equivalent) 4,500 hours of project risk management experience within the last 5 consecutive years 40 hours of project risk management education Or Four-year degree (bachelor’s degree or the global equivalent) 3,000 hours of project risk management experience within the last 5 consecutive years 30 hours of project risk management education5. CompTIA Project+ certificationTraining in the CompTIA Project+ certification will enable professionals to learn and implement common project management principles and important soft skills such as team building, conflict resolution, communication, negotiation, setting, and managing expectations. CompTIA's Project+ serves as a primary-level project management credential.Accreditation body: CompTIAEligibility criteria:There are no strict prerequisites, however, according to CompTIA, a candidate should have at least one year of experience managing, directing, or participating in small- to medium-scale projects.6. PRINCE2® Foundation/PRINCE2 PractitionerAccredited by Axelos, PRINCE2® is a de facto standard that describes project management standards and assists in forming consistency among projects. It began in the UK and then applied it to its government entities. Famous across Europe and now countries in the middle and far east, many industries have adopted these standards and gained impressive results. As a result, PRINCE2® Practitioners are sought-after for their knowledge of applying this framework on projects. There are two key certifications: PRINCE2® Foundation and PRINCE2® Practitioner Certifications. The Foundation certification is an entry-level credential, testing basic project management terminology and methodology. On the other hand, the Practitioner certification tests advanced project managers who have already achieved the PRINCE2® Foundation.Accreditation body: Axelos Eligibility criteria: PRINCE2® Foundation Certification: There are no eligibility criteria for the PRINCE2® Foundation Certification Exam. However, it is recommended to possess basic project management knowledge.PRINCE2® Practitioner Certification: To get certified with PRINCE2® Practitioner Certification, applicants must have one of the below-mentioned certifications:PRINCE2® Foundation Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® IPMA Level A (Certified Projects Director) IPMA Level B (Certified Senior Project Manager) IPMA Level C (Certified Project Manager) IPMA Level D (Certified Project Management Associate)7. PgMP®: Program Management Professional (PgMP)® Certification Training This certification is created and administered by the PMI® and is the next step, after achieving the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certification. PgMP® is for professionals who coordinate and manage multiple projects aligned with strategic objectives. This includes directing and managing complicated activities that may extend over functions, organizations, cultures, and geographies.With the PgMP® certification, professionals will strengthen their grasp in the six prime focus areas of program management such as Governance, Prioritization, Escalation, Resource Management, Benefits Realization, and Stakeholder Management. Thus, certified PgMP® professionals will be able to encourage teams to integrate and coordinate multiple projects in a better way. Accreditation body: Project Management Institute (PMI)® Eligibility criteria: Either:A four-year degree (Bachelor's or Global equivalent), with at least four years of Project Management experience and four years of Program Management experience.OrA secondary diploma (High school or Global equivalent), with at least four years of Project Management experience and seven years of Program Management experience. Candidates not meeting the above criteria can also consider the Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification. 8. APM™: Associate in Project ManagementThe Associate in Project Management (APM)™ certificate is an entry-level certification in Project Management and is a globally recognized credential. Governed by the Global Association for Quality Management (GAQM)®, the exam covers 50 Multiple Choice Questions out of which the candidate requires to get 70% (35 out of 50 correct) to pass the 60-minute exam. Accreditation body: Global Association for Quality Management (GAQM)® Eligibility criteria:No formal education or experience required. 9. MPM®: Master Project Manager The Master Project Manager certification is issued by the American Academy of Project Management (AAPM)® and is ideal for both project managers and professionals with business and technical responsibilities. Accreditation body: American Academy of Project Management (AAPM)®Eligibility criteria: Three years of project management experience and training. 10. PPM™: Professional in Project ManagementProfessional in Project Management (PPM)™ course is organized by the Global Association for Quality Management (GAQM)®. This is a mid-level certification that consists of project management components showing how to plan, execute, control, and complete projects as well as training to perform better.  Accreditation body: Global Association for Quality Management (GAQM)® Eligibility criteria:Completion of a mandatory E-Course Candidates should have a certain project management experience. ConclusionAlong with the abovementioned project management certifications, it is recommended that professionals apply principles in their current professions, be on the lookout for newer methodologies and upskill regularly.
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Top 10 Certifications in Project Management

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Top 7 Project Management Methodologies

Foresighted managers and leaders don’t necessarily follow just one project management methodology. They learn all of them so that they have the awareness to deploy the right methodology for the right project. According to industry experts, project management methodologies are vital to project success. A recent study by PMI confirmed that about 89% of the project professionals believed that their organizations implemented some project management practice or the other.What is a project methodology? It’s a blueprint that shows how tasks and projects can be planned, managed, and executed, right from start to finish. It includes a combination of practices, techniques and procedures followed by project managers. Why choose a project management methodology? A recent survey published by the Harvard Business Review revealed that the lack of time was the major hindrance to collaboration within project teams. Since projects are fast-paced and must adhere to deadlines, collaboration is quintessential. This is where, adopting a project management methodology comes to play. Projects are incredibly fast paced with competing deadlines, hence collaboration is the best way to keep the team engaged, heighten productivity and save time in the long run. Practicing a methodology is a great way to boost collaboration as well as deliver project success. Top 7 project management methodologies Below are the top 7 methodologies in the project management landscape today: 1. Agile According to a KPMG survey, 81% of enterprises had adopted Agile in the past 3 years. The most favorite methodology, Agile is actually a set of principles involved in software development. However, it’s hailed as a project management methodology for its flexibility and capability to build processes. Agile projects have a series of tasks that are initiated, executed and adapted based on ad hoc demands, rather than a pre-planned process. Hence, Agile is apt for dynamic environments where the unpredictability factor is quite high.  2. Scrum Scrum is the project management methodology that enables a small, cross-functional, self-managing team to deliver results quickly.  It helps boost communication, teamwork and speed of the processes. Terms like sprints, scrums, backlogs and burndowns are commonly used in scrum methodology. Scrum is ideal for environments that handle complex products.  It advocates the use of a small, cross-functional teams of upto 9 people who work on items in a backlog that have been clearly defined and prioritized by a Product Owner. Work is categorized into “sprints”, a development cycle of usually 2-4 weeks. During these sprints daily “Scrums” take place where the team report on their daily progress and impediments. At the end of each sprint, work is then reviewed in a sprint review meeting to determine together with the Product Owner if it clears the Definition of Done (DoD). Scrum is further facilitated by a Scrum Master who leads the sprints, demos, reviews and ensures that the team is continually optimizing and improving. 3. LeanLean project management is the methodology that emphasizes the dictum of maximizing value while minimizing waste. In project management, it aims at creating most value with a minimum amount of resources, labour, and space. There are 3 ‘M’s in Lean: Muda refers to wasteful activities that consume resources without value generation, Muri refers to overutilization of equipment or employees and Mura which corresponds to operational inefficiency. Lean project management methodologies when practiced are capable of reducing these 3 Ms within the project process. 4. Kanban Kanban is a project management methodology that’s focused on Lean principles. Its primary focus is to increase efficiency. It’s an evolved version of Scrum. It’s flexible and not focussed on roles. It keeps the team focussed on what actually matters. It’s ideal for environments where priorities are changed frequently. The online tool Trello is based on Kanban. It gives an accurate visual depiction of the progress of work for the team and other stakeholders. It’s ideal in organizations that demand a consistent output. 5. eXtreme Programming methodology (XP)  eXtreme programming (XP) is also a software development project management methodology that focuses solely on development  while ensuring quality. It lays down the processes needed to improve software quality as well as meet customer requirements. It is quite similar to Scrum but differs in certain prescriptive processes. These processes include making compulsory user stories, Test Driven Development (TDD), Pair programming, and Continuous integration. 6. Waterfall  Waterfall methodology, also known as the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) values solid planning and doing everything in one shot unlike Agile. Planning and resource allocation are done in the beginning, work is executed in cascades. Like a waterfall. However, Waterfall is pretty rigid as it offers no scope to make changes to the plan unless absolutely necessary. Because of this approach, upon reaching the testing stage, it’s very difficult to go back and rectify mistakes. That could end up being quite risky. The many shortcomings of Waterfall approach is the reason why Agile methodologies gained acceptance worldwide. 7. PRINCE2   Created by the UK govt in 1996 for IT projects, PRINCE2 methodology is controlled project management practice which divides projects into various stages with their own set of plans and processes to follow. It’s an excellent framework that can be applied mostly in the large projects. It lays down the need for the project, identifies the target audience and whether the project is feasible.  A PRINCE2 Practitioner often oversees the team in these projects and ensures that the team has the right resources and guidelines to conduct the project as well as mitigate risks effectively. Ultimately, choosing the right project management methodology is based on the project and business environment. When chosen appropriately, these methodologies can play a major role in project success. Learn more about project management methodologies like these from our series of immersive workshops.
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Top 7 Project Management Methodologies

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Feasibility Study in Project Management and Its Benefits

Before giving the go ahead to launch a project, the first thing on a project manager’s agenda is the feasibility study. While project managers are not required to conduct the feasibility study themselves, they use it as a guideline to drive the project, and to get an end-to-end understanding of project parameters, business goals and risk factors.What is a Feasibility Study?A feasibility study is an analysis done to determine the viability of a project from an economical, legal and technical perspective. Simply put, it gives us an insight into whether a project is doable or worth the investment.A feasibility study that’s well-designed should offer insights on the description of the project, resource allocation, accounting statements, financial data, legal requirements, and tax obligations. It helps to determine whether the project is both possible and profitable for the company to undertake. Hence, this study is mandatorily done before technical development and project execution.Types of Feasibility Studies Basically, there are five types of feasibility studies based on the area that is examined:  1. Technical FeasibilityThis study takes stock of the technical resources available to undertake a project from an organization’s perspective. It includes ensuring that the technical resources are adequate, and the hardware and software requirements are met. 2. Economic FeasibilityThis assessment performs a cost/ benefits analysis of the project before the financial resources are allocated. This type of study gives a clear-cut idea of project credibility as well as the economic benefits to the organization from the project. 3. Legal FeasibilityIn this type of feasibility study, the legal requirements of the proposed project are analysed. A number of parameters, ranging from zonal laws to data protection acts are checked, and compliance mandates are mapped out. 4. Operational FeasibilityThis study will help analyse and determine whether the organization’s goals can be satisfied by completing the project.  5. Scheduling Feasibility This is the most important assessment for project success. It estimates the time span necessary to complete the project after considering the organization’ s capabilities, and determines whether that amount is time is available. Benefits of A Feasibility Study Below are the benefits of doing a feasibility study in project management: Get a clear-cut idea of whether the project is likely to be successful, before allocating budget, manpower and time. Enhances the project teams’ efficiency and focus  Helps detect and capitalize on new opportunities Substantiates with evidence why and how a project should be executed Streamlines the business alternatives Diagnoses errors and aid in troubleshooting them Prevents threats from occurring and helps in risk mitigation Gives valuable insights to both the team and stakeholders associated with the project Steps to conduct a feasibility study The following stages are involved while conducting any feasibility, in general: A preliminary analysis: The is like a pre-screening of the project. It helps discover the viability of the project as well as identify any roadblocks, if any. Scope definition: This step includes outlining the project’s scope as well as its potential impact on the organization. Market research: This is an essential factor, as no project is begun without adequate market research. A thorough analysis of the existing market and competition is done to manage the project accordingly. Financial assessment: In this stage, all the costs related to the project, including equipment, man-hours, the financial risks and the benefits associated with the project are scrutinized. Alternative solutions: Whenever any hiccups arise, the team should be well-prepared to come up with a solution. This is an integral yet dynamic part of a feasibility study. Go/no-go decision: The final stage of a feasibility study is the course of action, in other words whether the project is worth proceeding with or not. The feasibility study is an integral aspect of project management. Well-planned projects are less likely to fail. A detailed, well-defined feasibility study will only increase the likelihood of project success. To explore more concepts in project management like these, sign up for any one of our immersive series of project management workshops here.
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