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Project Manager - An Ultimate Guide

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

Project Manager - An Ultimate Guide

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Project Manager - An Ultimate Guide

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

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

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

Table of Content 

1.0 What is a Project Manager?

    1.1 What does a Project Manager do?

    1.2 Direct responsibility of the Project Manager

2.0 Why do you want to be a Project Manager?

3.0 How to become a Project Manager

    3.1 How to become a certified Project Manager

4.0 How much does a Project Manager make?

5.0  Types of Project Manager

       5.1.1 Construction Project Manager

       5.1.2 How to become a construction Project Manager

       5.1.3 What does a construction Project Manager do?

       5.1.4 How much does a construction Project Manager make?

5.2 IT Project Managers

       5.2.1 How to become an IT Project Manager

       5.2.2 What does an IT Project Manager do?

5.3 Technical Project Manager

    5.3.1 What does a technical Project Manager do?

    5.3.2 How much does a technical Project Manager make?

5.4 Digital Project Manager:

    5.4.1 How to become a digital Project Manager

    5.4.2 What does a digital Project Manager do?

6.0 How to become a good Project Manager

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

    6.2 How to be a successful Project Manager

7.0 How to get a Project Manager job

Conclusion

1.0 Who is a Project Manager?

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

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

The following statistics show the importance of Project Managers.

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

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

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

1.1 What does a Project Manager do?

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

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

1.2 Direct responsibility of the Project Manager

Duties of Project Manager

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

2.0 Why do you want to be a Project Manager?

Reasons to become a Project Manager

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

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

3.0 How to become a Project Manager

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

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

3.1 How to become a certified Project Manager

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

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

4.0 How much does a Project Manager make?

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

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

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

5.0  Types of Project Manager

5.1.1 Construction Project Manager

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

5.1.2 How to become a construction Project Manager

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

5.1.3 What does a construction Project Manager do?

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

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

5.1.4 How much does a construction Project Manager make?

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

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

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

Source: Payscale & Glassdoor (October 2018)

5.2 IT Project Managers

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

5.2.1 How to become an IT Project Manager

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

5.2.2 What does an IT Project Manager do?

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

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

5.2.3How much does an IT Project Manager make?

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

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

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

Source: Payscale & Glassdoor (October 2018)

5.3 Technical Project Manager

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

5.3.1 How to become a technical Project Manager

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

5.3.2 What does a technical Project Manager do?

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

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

5.3.3 How much does a technical Project Manager make?

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

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

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

Source: Payscale & Glassdoor (October 2018)

5.4 Digital Project Manager: 

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

5.4.1 How to become a digital Project Manager

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

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

5.4.2 What does a digital Project Manager do?

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

5.4.3 How much does a digital Project Manager make?

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

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

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

Source: Payscale & Glassdoor (October 2018) 

6.0 How to become a good Project Manager

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

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

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

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

a) Program manager: 

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

b) Project Manager:

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

6.2 How to be a successful Project Manager

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

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

7.0 How to get a Project Manager job

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

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

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

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

KnowledgeHut

KnowledgeHut

Author

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

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There is a wide range of project management methodologies available in the market, but PRINCE2® is one of the most widely used project management methods that has been used by the enterprises and businesses in more than 150 countries. One of the sheer benefits of the PRINCE2® method is that it can be applied to different projects, irrespective of their sizes and business verticals. It is noticeable that the PRINCE2® project management method can be used in IT as well as non-IT projects too. It is a comprehensive project management method that can be applied to any project irrespective of their geographical location, industry sector and project size.  The PRINCE2® courses cover basic four elements: themes, processes, principles and project management. There are some impeccable benefits of a PRINCE2® certification for candidates. There are two major types of certification available in the PRINCE2® project method: PRINCE2® Foundation Qualification PRINCE2® Practitioner Qualification The foundation program is a basic course that covers basic principles and themes for supporting individuals who work in a project environment supported by PRINCE2®. Candidates who belong to engineering and technology can go for this Foundation qualification course.  The PRINCE2® Practitioner qualification course is an advanced course that covers all the aspects of the PRINCE2® method including themes, processes, principles and project management. You will get a comprehensive introduction to the PRINCE2® project management method. There are some institutes that also train candidates for PRINCE2® management roles that are essential when the project is very big and complex. Here, the managers will be able to complete the project by assigning roles and responsibilities to the team members effectively and will be able to complete the project in a coordinated, consistent and superior manner. These courses are designed by experienced trainers who have years of experience and expertise in the domain and have a proven track record in the PRINCE2® project management. All you need to do is hire the best institute that offers the best PRINCE2® course and also helps in the placement activities too. There are businesses and enterprises that ask for candidates with a PRINCE2® certification; either foundation or practitioner certification. If you have this credential in your resume, it will improve your chance to get a job. All you need to do is to search for the right institute on the internet or your local business directory and that is all.  What is PRINCE2® and why it is so popular amongst businesses? Projects in Controlled Environments, PRINCE2® is a high-quality project management method that has carved a niche for itself by offering superior project management processes, no matter how big or small your project is. It adds streamlined, controlled project management principles and themes that help managers to manage and control projects easily and effectively.  You might still wonder whether PRINCE2® is the right tool for project management. What are the benefits of it? Why should you implement it on your current project management tools? To make things easier, we will discuss 7 principles of PRINCE2® method in details here. It is a process-based method that helps businesses to manage the project from start to finish. As we all know, before starting a project, it is important to plan it to avoid last-minute hurdles and hindrances. With the help of the PRINCE2® method, all the stages of the project are clearly described, roles and responsibilities are assigned to the teams and control and management of the project are easier to track. 7 principles of the PRINCE2® 1. Continued business justification: No matter which project you are working on, your project must have a clear justification including a clear requirement, a defined customer, feasible and scalable benefits and a complete cost assessment. This is the primary principle of the PRINCE2®. It helps you to stay focused on the project and you will be able to drive all your efforts to the common goal of the project- the desired goals and outcomes. 2. Learn from experience: Also, it is important that all the experiences are recorded for the future course of actions. Furthermore, it will help teams to learn from their mistakes and they will be able to finish projects with more dedication and expertise as they have learned lessons. All the stages and their outcomes are recorded in the PRINCE2® environment to make consistent and reliable learning.  3. Defined roles and responsibilities: When the team members have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities, it becomes easy for them to work with dedication and it also improves their productivity and performance too. With a PRINCE2® management method implementation, you would be able to define the roles and responsibilities of each team member to work more efficiently and effectively with unparalleled outcomes. 4. Manage by stages: Also, projects are completely broken in different sections and stages to manage them more effectively and accurately. Once the stage is over, it is reviewed by the superiors and learning will be recorded for the future course. This further helps management to ensure that the project is on its track and there are no loopholes involved in it. 5. Manage by exception: Board members are senior executives who have major roles and responsibilities in the organization and they cannot allocate time for the project on a daily basis. What they will be able to do is to define baseline requirements and assign them to the project manager. Some of the measurable elements of the project are time, cost, risk assessment, scopes, and others. If there are any issues such as project running late or is not on the track or goes out of budget, the project manager will take appropriate actions. However, there are some issues that might impact the establishment. Such issues are exceptions and here, board members intervene and make decisions. 6. Focus on the product: Also, teams are there to ensure that the deliverables are measured accurately and precisely and meet the project objectives. Superior quality control is the main thing that is always checked and compared with the requirements. 7. Tailor to suit the project: Different projects have different tailored requirements and with the PRINCE2® environment, tailored approach for each project is possible. The PRINCE2® method will be able to cater to your custom needs by adjusting different aspects of the method such as a number of team members, the amount of oversight and stage planning. Why PRINCE2®? What 2 stands for? There are chances that you might wonder what 2 stands for the PRINCE2® method. Well, the original PRINCE version was developed and introduced in the late 1980s specifically to manage IT projects. However, in 1996, the approach was reviewed and updated as per the latest issues and hindrances faced by the project management teams across the globe. A team of experienced project management specialists of more than 150 public and private organisations worked and updated the version and developed a new version that is more effective, efficient and accurate. The latest version is more improved and precise that addresses almost all the issues in a very defining manner. This latest version is called PRINCE2®. The number of roles in PRINCE2® PRINCE2® There are a total of three core roles: the project board, the project manager and the team. However, there are additional supplemental roles defined to make the project management more streamlined and linear.  We will discuss the total of 7 roles in PRINCE2® The customer The customer is the one who owns the project and is paying the organization for the project to be completed.  The user The user is one who will use the deliverables of the project or one who will be impacted by the outcome of the project. Sometimes, the user and the customer are the same people. The supplier A supplier is a person who possesses the expertise to complete the project and is responsible for delivering the best outcomes decided by the customer. He offers the knowledge and skills to complete the project. The project manager A project manager is a person who will monitor and control the complete project. The project manager is a very special person who is responsible for completing the project successfully. From planning, organizing and controlling the work, everything will be done by the project manager. Also, the project manager will be responsible for forming the team and assigning roles and responsibilities to the team members and overseeing the work assigned to them. The project manager will also ensure that the project gets completed in the required timeframe and the outcomes are measurable and accurate as per the customer’s requirements. The project team and team managers The project teams are the ones who will perform the duties and tasks assigned to them effectively and efficiently. There might be one team or multiple teams to perform various tasks and actions. Teams might have a separate team leader who is responsible to ensure that the given tasks are completed in time. The administrator If the project size is small, the project manager will take responsibility of the administrator. However, in big and complex projects, the administrator is required. The administrator will be responsible for the setting up of meetings, tracking of the daily deliverables, updating everyone involved with the projects about important instructions and specifications about the project. A separate project support office is established to ensure that the project runs smoothly and completes in a given timeframe. The project board includes multiple people such as the customer, the end user and the supplier. There are three perspectives that are checked by the project board: The viability of the project is defined and checked by the customer to ensure that the project is important and should continue. The user ensures that all the needs are being met to complete the project on time. The supplier has a major responsibility. They will ensure that the project is running in the right direction and is offering a practical solution to the issue. The 7 phase process for the PRINCE2® project management method. Here, we will break the complete project management process in 7 parts to understand it more clearly.  1.Starting up a project Here, a customer submits a project requirement called the project mandate. It is a brief introduction to the needs and objectives of the project. The organization will access the project requirements and will make sure whether the company is able to complete the project or not. Once the project is approved, the customer will give a more detailed brief including actions, resources and other crucial information to complete the project.  2. Project direction Now the organization managers will check out the viability and justification of the project by reviewing and evaluating the project brief. They will assign a project manager and other necessities to complete the project. 3. Project initiation The project initiation document will be prepared by the project manager. The document will cover a comprehensive plan and six different factors including cost, quality, scope, time, risk and advantages.  The documents will be sent to the project board for approval and once the board approves the plan, the project will start.  4. Stage controlling The whole project will be broken into different stages and to complete these, teams will be formed and assigned responsibilities.  The project manager will map the process for each project stage and will take actions when any hindrances and loopholes arise.  5. Product delivery management The main responsibility of the project manager is to compare the deliverables and expectations from the project board. They will ensure that the deliverables meet the expectations.  Once the project is completed, the board will review it and ask for revisions and changes if needed.  6. Stage boundaries management The manager and the board will evaluate and review the deliverables at each project stage to ensure that the project is going in the right direction. 7. Project closing Once the project is completed, the project manager will close threads such as documentation, outcomes and reporting. The PRINCE2® is a very effective and superior project management method as it offers impeccable opportunities to the project board and the project manager to track the success of the project at each stage of the project.
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The 7 Principles of PRINCE2®

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Five Tips To Ace The PMP Certification Exam

A project manager plays a crucial role in a project. From planning the entire project from scratch to managing different teams involved, a project manager is always on his/her toes to ensure that the project is completed successfully. A formal certification in this domain could take you to greater heights in your career. You will be awarded the PMP certificate after you successfully pass the exam. In this article, we’re going to discuss 5 methods in which you can ace the certification exam. Tip #1: Time Management This is a very old principle that is applicable even today. Before beginning your study session, make a list of topics you want to complete at the end of your study session. You need to divide your time efficiently in order to cover all the topics for the examinations. At times, studying for 3 hours at a stretch can be very boring. Instead, divide the three hours into 6-thirty minute sessions. Take a 5-minute break after every session. This will relax your mind and help you study better in the next session. You will also be able to retain the information because you’re not stressing your brain with too much information all at once. Ensure that you devote more time to your preparations over the weekend. Tip #2: PMBOK and Study group The PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) is a vital book which contains all the guidelines that should be followed in project management. The content mentioned in the book is overseen by Project Management Institute (PMI). This book will help you clearly understand all the concepts required for the certification exam. Apart from this book, you can refer other books or study material from online sources. In order to cover more topics in a short span of time, join a study group. This motivates and also helps you gain more knowledge as the other candidates in the study group could have thorough knowledge about topics you have difficulty in. Learning from them could be faster than referring numerous books and study material. Tip #3: Take practice tests and review them To ensure that you’re completely prepared to write the exam, simulate the exam hall conditions and take practice tests. Request peers not to disturb you for that particular duration. Do not take any break in this period and keep away from distractions. This will give you a feel of how the exam will be like on the D-day. Once you’re done, review the answers you have written and cross check it. Also, practice the topics thoroughly which you didn’t get right in the practice tests. Tip #4: Take the actual exam in sequences When you first get the question paper in the examination, do not waste time by reading all the questions in the beginning. Start solving the easy questions immediately which you can complete in a short span of time. Once this is done, scan the paper once again and solve the questions which are of medium difficulty. After you complete such questions, spend time with the difficult ones. This will help you to solve maximum questions perfectly. In the conventional approach of reading the entire question paper a few times and then attempting the easy ones, you end up losing a significant amount of time in reading the question. In the conventional approach, if you encounter a difficult question which you cannot solve, you will get tensed and won’t be able to concentrate on other questions either. Tip #5: Understand the concepts accurately At times, when we find it difficult to understand the topic, we end up memorizing the topic instead of trying harder to understand it. This approach might work temporarily but, in the long run, you will fail miserably. Especially in the exam hall where tensions will be running high, there is a good chance that you will forget what you memorized. To avoid such situations, spend that extra 15 minutes while studying and understand the topic. This has two perks. Firstly, you don’t need to remember anything and secondly, you can easily apply the concept to any problem given in the paper. A formal certification in any field could boost your career because the certification is proof that you are efficient in solving problems in that particular domain. The PMP certification is a reputed certification that is recognized by organizations around the globe. Hence, this certification will give take you to greater heights in your career.
Five Tips To Ace The PMP Certification Exam

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Four Tips To Prepare For PRINCE2 Certification Exam

PRINCE stands for PRojects IN Controlled Environments. In simpler terms, it is one of the leading project management methods in the market at present. The government of United Kingdom first used this methodology in their processes. It was later adopted by the private sector. It follows the product-based planning approach. A certification in this methodology could help you upgrade your knowledge about the domain and to seek better job opportunities. A few tips to ace the certification exam are: Tip #1: Last-minute prep Students have a habit of studying a few topics right before entering the exam hall or once they reach the exam hall. They believe that they will able to remember it clearly once they study the topic at the last minute. This is a myth and do not follow it at any cost. Last minute prep only ruins your confidence as you feel you haven’t prepared enough. It will be very difficult to recollect the topic that you had studied in the last minute. This will get you worked up and leave you confused. The end result will be that you won’t be able to perform properly in the rest of the questions as well. To avoid all these troubles, study well in advance and only revise once if you like after reaching the venue. Tip #2: Enroll for an offline/online training course The PRINCE2 Foundation certification is easier compared to the Practitioner certification. One of the best ways to prepare for the practitioner certification is to join a training institute or an online training program. The benefits of doing this are plenty. You will gain access to a tonne of study material. There will be trainers in the online as well as offline course who have taken the exam and could give you crucial tips which they have gained from their experience over the years. You might be reluctant to spend the extra money and time initially but, in the end, it will all be worth it. The institutes will also give mock tests in which you can apply the knowledge and tips you have gained in the classes. Tip #3: Practice makes a man perfect You could join an institute, you could buy a tonne of study material, and you could search for many tips and tricks. In the end, if you don’t practice these on a regular basis, it is futile. In order to ace the exam with flying colours, you need to practice the topics on a daily basis. Make sure you prepare a schedule and stick to it. A week before the exam, take a break from everything else and focus only on the exam. It is 2.5 hours that can completely change your future. The practice tests are also crucial as they give you a feel of the difficulty of questions in the actual paper. Hence, spending the extra few hours on preparation will all be worth it in the end. Tip #4: Ensure you clearly understand the different aspects During the exam prep, ensure that you know the different roles and responsibilities and also all the responsibilities of a particular role in the project management team. Understanding the sequence of all processes is also crucial. This includes figuring out who is responsible for a particular activity in a project. There are many themes included in the PRINCE2 manual. For the Foundation Exam, you need to be thorough with all the purpose statements mentioned at the beginning of each process/theme. The process by which a principle is used in a specific method should also be known to you. Another essential aspect of the Practitioner exam is product planning. You need to have a thorough idea on the diagrams and product descriptions under product planning. Though you don’t need to draw diagrams in a multiple-choice question, it will be easier to solve the problems if you can efficiently draw the diagrams. A formal certification is always necessary from a career point of view as it helps you to gain better job opportunities and improve your pay grade. It is also an indication that you have thoroughly grasped all the concepts of project management. Being proficient in a particular project management methodology is a vital addition to your skill set.
Four Tips To Prepare For PRINCE2 Certification Exa...

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