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How to Become A Project Manager?

July 5, 2021

By Simpliaxis

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With times evolving, the jobs which were relevant a few years ago do not exist anymore. With digitization, there are more demands for jobs that did not exist a few years ago. One of these jobs is that of a Project Manager, who plays a key role in leading the team in the right direction and making the project successful. Every organization handles many projects whether they manufacture products or offer services. A project could be constructing a new application or website which focuses on what the client requires. A Project Manager is crucial for teams who develop and deliver complex products as they require a more skillful person and understanding so that effective communication takes place and the team runs smoothly. The primary job of the Project Manager is to glue everyone and keep the processes together. They have to possess great interpersonal skills, public speaking, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, etc. In this article, we talk about the various ways of how one could become a Project Manager. 
 

What is a Project Manager?
 

Project Managers are professionals that plan and organize different projects so that all the tasks of the projects are coordinated by meeting deadlines, staying within budget, and maintaining a proper scope. Project Managers should have the ability to walk through a project and envision it from beginning till the end. They have to reduce the costs of the project, maximize efficiency, and increase revenue for the organization. Project Managers are required in all types of industries, and their daily responsibilities vary depending on the company and sector in which they work. The Project Managers take the responsibility of maintaining the specific project life cycle which comprises five processes. These are Initiating, planning, executing, controlling or monitoring, and closing. All the processes through the project life cycle require attention so that project goes according to the plan and generates as much revenue as anticipated. 
 

Roles and Responsibilities of a Project Manager
 

When a new project begins, the Project Manager discusses the requirements of the project to the internal and external stakeholders and defines the primary objectives of the project. The project is moved according to the priorities of the stakeholders. After listing out the objectives and understanding the vision of the project, the Project Manager moves forward to planning the project. They create project plans by outlining the goals for the team and discussing the ways to move forward with the project. Integrated project plans are created, so that Project Managers oversee risk, cost, timelines, and scope of the project. After planning on the tools and techniques required to complete the plans, the team has to execute the project. Project Managers assign various tasks to different team members according to their skills and make sure that the work is completed by the deadlines which are fixed during the planning process. 

The team members employ various tools and techniques to complete the project during the execution of the plans, and the Project Manager has to monitor them during their work. This phase is called the monitoring phase where the Project Manager looks over the budget, the quality of work, and the punctuality of the project. The main role of the Project Manager is to make sure that work done by the team brings value to the customers and is finished in time. A project is completed when all the tasks of the project are finished. The Project Manager has to officially close the project by getting formal sign-offs, reviewing work, and releasing unnecessary resources, and archiving the project files. These are the roles and responsibilities of a Project Manager, and if you are interested in taking up this role of leadership and achieving great heights in your career, read on to understand the ways of becoming a successful Project Manager. 
 

How to Become a Project Manager?
 

There are two types of Project Managers and both are equally respected by the organization. These are the traditional Project Manager and the non-Project Project Manager. Most of them know the traditional one who becomes the manager by completing certification courses and having a degree in Project Management. The other one, which is also known as the accidental Project Manager, is a professional who never set out to become a Project Manager but manages projects as a part of their job. These could be anyone who is planning a campaign, product managers collaborating to develop a new product, and web designers creating a new website. Hence, this implies that in today’s world, it does not mean that a person has to complete a degree in Project Management to become a PM; It implies that anyone interested in this field can become one. 
 

The Traditional Project Manager
 

These are the steps for any professional to become a traditional Project Manager:
 

1. Figure out your course
 

As explained, if you always want to become a Project Manager, and want to learn from the basics, you should start by deciding which certification course for Project Management would best suit you. There is a whole range of alphabets such as PMP, CAPM, and PMI-ACP, from which you can select from. 
 

  • The PMP certification is offered by the Project Management Institute, which is a global organization that teaches Project Management courses to professionals. It is one of the most popular and well-recognized qualifications in the field, which would have a major effect on your salary. This course is not for absolute beginners, but you can take this course and build on your Project Management portfolio. 
     
  • The PRINCE2 which stands for PRojects IN controlled Environments is also a great certification that teaches practical applications of the skills in Project Management environments. This course could be taken by beginners to understand the basics of Project Management. The foundation course helps beginners to know about the Project Management world, and the practitioner course helps in building more skills in present Project Managers. 
     
  • The CAPM or the Certified Associate in Project Management certification is an entry-level Project Management course which is offered by the PMI which can be used as a prerequisite for getting a PMP certification. This course aims to give foundational knowledge about Project Management. 
     
  • Agile Certifications: Depending on which Agile Methods your company is using you can take up that specific course and become a better Project Manager in your organization. You should ask the company about the various Agile methods they use and accordingly choose the certification course. For example, a more generalized course in Project Management is PMI-ACP, for Scrum-related courses, it could be the Certified Scrum Master course, etc. 
     

2. Get and Maintain your Qualification
 

Getting the certification is one of the toughest steps in becoming a Project Manager. Certification courses such as PMI-ACP and PMP require a lot of dedication and hard work, and you have to put in the hours. You have to log in to more practical hours and make time to learn from various books. You can take up several prep courses which occur online which will help you to study and prepare for the exam. After you clear your exam and receive your certification, you also have to maintain it by renewing it as per their instructions. Few certifications such as PMP expire after a few years, which means you have to stay updated with the recent practices and standards for the Project Management world. 
 

3. Become the Master of trade tools
 

You have to look for ways to become more efficient after being a Project Manager. The correct Project Management tool will help you master the process of handling team members and overseeing your projects with utmost clarity. The right tool will help you to forecast and manage resources more accurately and manage reports more precisely. You have to master the tools which would amplify the work of the project and will help you take care of the details of the projects. Using the correct tool will help you save lots of time, money, and effort in the long run. Your workflow and work will be supported by teamwork no matter which methodology you use, hence, you have to work on maintaining proper communication and division of work among the team members. 
 

The Accidental Project Manager
 

Also called the non-project Project Manager, the accidental Project Manager is any person who carries out the work of a PM without being certified for it. If you are looking for the answer to how to become a Project Manager without experience, you are looking at the right place. Most of the project involves work such as research, planning, budgeting, coordinating, and managing much more things so that the project stays on track always. 
 

1. What are your gaps in Project Management Knowledge?
 

If you are a designer, developer, or marketer, you already have many Project Management skills. Management areas such as integration, quality, scope, schedule, cost, quality, resource, risk, procurement, and communication, and stakeholder management are all involved in many projects. You may have already acquired some of these skills in your jobs. If you have been involved in a project plan or timeline or scope, you have already mastered a few skills recruiters are looking for in Project Managers. These skills are managing the budget and allocating the resources which any Project Manager has to acquire. Always focus on the skills which you do not have and improve them so that you are familiar with all the skills. 
 

2. Get More Experience
 

It is time to put more effort and action into areas where you have to grow. Get projects which will help you to acquire the required knowledge. If you are a Project Manager without experience, it is always better to start with smaller projects and gain as much experience as possible. Do not be afraid to make mistakes and always learn from them. You can volunteer in various organizations and take up more responsibilities and develop your organizational skills. Develop process and people management skills in these small-scale projects and become better and ready to handle bigger projects. 
 

3. Learn about Project Management
 

Opportunities are always out there for people who seek them. Always find opportunities where you learn about skills and knowledge of Project Management. Learning from your mistakes and other Project Managers are few important things you have to be doing to become a better Project Manager. Find a mentor who will teach you about Project Management tips, and work on your skills to make yourself better. Take up online classes and learn about various courses on Project Management. Most of these classes are available for everyone and there are no prerequisites for taking up these courses. 
 

4. Use the right Project Management tool
 

You have to know about the best Project Management tools, and use them for maintaining high efficiency. The right Project Management software would help you to automate your work, and assign tasks to your groups of teams, and view the projects. You should learn to manage the project resources from one place to manage your time effectively. 
 

Conclusion
 

The Project Manager is a lucrative career where professionals get an attractive salary and a high designation in the company. Whether you become a Project Manager accidentally or by the traditional method, it all depends on how you manage your time and what type of skills you possess. Your ability to think and act quickly and make correct decisions and the way of conveying and persuading are key skills that will make you a better Project Manager. The traditional Project Manager would have to work and study to get their certification, during which they acquire more knowledge. Hence, they may have an upper hand as compared to the accidental Project Manager, however, it all depends on the hard work and effort a person puts in whether they are a traditional or accidental professional, which makes the best Project Manager.

 

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