What Does a Project Manager Do
The explanation of a project manager’s job description can be both short and long. The short answer, that they manage projects with a project team. But as any PM will tell you, it is far more than that.
Project management professionals have to be elite organisers who can delegate tasks, continuously motivate team members and adjust accordingly.
Projects always rely on teams to get the job done, but the project manager is essentially the captain that steers the ship.
PM’s have to define the specific project and establish objectives of the project, long term goals, and design a project plan to reach those goals within a set budget.
Once the framework is in place, PM’s have to regularly communicate with co-workers and update stakeholders to ensure that deadlines are met.
Also, ensure that the team is happy and that obstacles are met and dealt with as efficiently as possible.
Therefore, time management skills are a must. Project Managers need to have good people skills because communication can make or break a project if instructions are not received and followed correctly.
What Makes a Good Project Manager?
A successful project manager will be someone who displays exceptional leadership skills, is agile in their approach to work, can work under pressure with many responsibilities and has the vision and know-how to set and achieve business goals.
Good project managers also know that there is no such thing as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach and that lessons can be taken from each past project. They must approach each task as a new beginning because every project will vary in size, time, employees and purpose.
The ‘Project Management Institute’ advises that the best project managers will have ‘a broad and flexible toolkit of techniques’ that they can apply to every new project.
Seeing as they will most likely be working with new organisations and different people in order to achieve their new set goals. Risk management on the site of the project is also another critical task for project managers, as they need to do all they can so that no harm comes to an employee, or the project itself.
Education and Courses
Being a Project Manager is a great career option for people who are interested in management and achieving deliverables.
If the idea of starting a career in a project manager role interests you, there are many opportunities out there for you to discover.
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There are many courses available, online and face-to-face, to get you to the place you want to be.
In general, being a project manager requires a full time or part time bachelor’s degree and a skill set outside of technical requirements including communication skills, teamwork and problem solving skills.
Construction Project Management
You can undertake and complete a Bachelor of Construction Project Management, which would give you the skills required to work in a range of well-paid construction projects.
Master of Project Management
Most in-depth course that results in the highest qualification, ensuring you are up-to-date with all the most relevant Project Management theory and concepts.
Graduate Certificate in Project Management
Heavily workshop focused and takes a year to complete.
Graduate Diploma in Project Management
Only 8 months long, designed to be a compact course to help you learn all the skills necessary to get out into the world of Project Management.
You can also complete smaller short courses or online training that aren’t directly related to Project Management, such as courses in Leadership and Management, Improvement and Innovation, Effective Networking and Self-management and professional development.
These shorter courses will add to your qualifications and will help in the workplace when it comes to adapting to different scenarios that a Project Manager has to deal with.
Careers in Project Management
Completing a course in Project Management will help you propel yourself into the career of your choice. Projects across all sectors of work need managing, so your career has the potential to be quite diverse.
You could manage Government projects, which could be large scale or small, such as working with the council to plan and build new parks or recreational areas.
Industries such as IT, architecture, civil engineering and mining are all accessible if you have the knowledge and skills.
Project Management qualifications can take you anywhere where a project needs controlling, as long as you have the relevant industry information.
Once you have chosen what area/industry you would like to work in, you can then decide what type of role you would like to have.
Project manager, project analyst or project contract manager are all possible roles for you to undertake once you have the relevant qualifications.
- Project managers are essentially dynamic delegators who oversee everything and keep the project on track.
- Project analysts act as assistants to the project manager and are in charge of closely watching the progress of the project to ensure internal and external stakeholders are happy.
- Contract managers are extremely important on small or large-scale projects because they are in charge of organising and negotiating contracts with builders so that work gets done on time and within budget.
Project management experience can range from large scale projects to even small project tasks, the crucial project management skills you need to be successful in this field include communication, leadership skills, risk management, organisation and management of project team members; many of these skills you will find in most other careers.
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