In business, the role of a project manager is an important one. However, many people do not understand what the role entails. The role of a project manager can be employed across a variety of industries and is not specific to one type of business. Typically, a project manager will have specific skills in an industry and have a vast knowledge of many aspects of that business.
A project manager role can seem a little unclear if you don’t know what the person in that role does, however, anyone with a great skillset and some heavy knowledge in their field can become a project manager. The role can span different levels of industry and can involve everyone from entry-level to senior corporate management.
So, what is project management?
To first understand what ‘project management’ is, you must first be able to understand what the term ‘project’ means.
What is a Project?
Depending on the type of industry you work in, a project could range from building a new IT department in an office situation to the construction of a high-rise building or resort. There are no limitations to what type of project you could work on except by the industry itself. Projects range in size, and each business will have projects unique to its business model and industry.
Each unique project will feature some key attributes that will not be industry specific, but project specific. These include the scope, schedule, and budget; all of which are vital for project managers to be in full control. The scope is what defines the product, including the services and deliverables of the project. The schedule defines the time frame in which the project begins and ends. The basis of the budget includes every cost required to complete the project.
The combination of these three things is known as the ‘triple constraint’ of a project manager’s role. These three things rely on each other for the project to be managed effectively, and you cannot change them. So, to be put simply, the project manager’s role is to manage these three things efficiently and effectively to ensure the project runs smoothly.
These elements of the role may sound quite simple, but in each of these three categories, there could be hundreds of different processes required to make them run smoothly.
What is a Project Manager?
Now that we have reached a clear definition of the ‘project,’ it is a little easier to understand what the role of project manager necessitates. A project manager will be involved in a project from the very beginning and will be involved in the initiation, planning, execution, control, and close of the project. They will oversee the team that works to achieve the project goal and meets the budget, time and criteria specifics of the project.
The biggest challenge for a project manager is achieving all the project goals within the time and budget restraints of the project. There are usually many elements of a project that you need to achieve at specific points of the project, based on end quality, time and budget. On top of this, a project manager will also try to optimize the project results as it evolves, as well as allocate necessary inputs, like external sources and the application of them to the specific needs of the project.
The client who needs the project carried out will usually have a specific set of requirements or objectives for the project in which a project manager will need to follow. The client objectives once established should play a key role in all decisions made by anyone involved in the project.
How do you get hired as a Project Manager?
A project manager can gain employment in a range of ways. The client can directly contract a project manager to manage their project. The role could also be internal through the company who hires you. You could also be part of a project management consulting firm offering specialist project management consulting services in specific industries, or construction project management services.
Who else is involved in Project Management apart from Project Managers?
Project managers will need to be able to deal well with people on all levels of business and during a project could deal with everyone from other project managers, contractors, designers, sub-contractors, accounting departments, marketing departments, as well a range of other people in different areas of expertise. Being able to communicate well with people at all levels of business is essential for a project manager role.
Basics of Project Management
The basics of project management involve the key focus on the planning and organization of a project and its resources, which involves the identification and management of the project cycle to be used. Once identified, the project cycle will be applied to create a design process, build a project team, and guide them through the phases of the project until its completion.
The value of great project management for business is priceless. For any sized business, a project that needs completion within the earlier mentioned constraints needs the focus of a qualified project manager to ensure the project goals maintained and that quality assurance guaranteed throughout the lifespan of the project. Project managers also ensure that any risks during the project are avoided, including physical, financial and time-sensitivity risks.
One of the most important roles of the project manager is to ensure that all members of the project team, including contractors, sub-contractors, from other project managers, designers, accounting departments, marketing departments, and anyone else who is involved in the project understand their specific role. Project managers also need to make it clear that each person involved knows their responsibilities, as well as the expected project deliverables and the schedule in which the project needs to run on.
Specific Areas within Project Management
Most project management training companies teach a range of Project Management areas of expertise including the below. All the below areas are of vital importance to every project in any sized business.
- Scope Management
- Integration Management
- Human Resource Management
- Cost Management
- Communication Management
- Time Management
- Procurement Management
- Risk Management
- Quality Management
Fundamentals of Project Management
The fundamentals of project management rely on set phases for each project. The project manager should be involved in every aspect of every phase of the project process from start to finish and should know how each phase is running throughout the project. Great project managers will easily be able to see any issues that may compromise the project completion constraints, and problem solve to assure the client the project will be completed on time, and on budget. The five phases below are an integral part of every project, large or small and the process will be the same for every project, no matter the scope, budget or time constraints it features.
- Project Concept
The concept of the project will be discussed to determine whether the project is a viable option for the business, considering the benefits and whether it can complete within the constraints.
- Project Definition and Planning
The second phase will usually involve the scope or plan of the project put into writing, outlining what needs is needed. This phase usually includes initial budget and schedule creation, as well as working out what resources will be required to complete the project.
- Project Execution
This phase involves the building of teams and resources for the project.
- Project Control
Phase four is set out to establish whether the status of the project is progressing to the plan. This phase will be carried out regularly throughout the project. Project control phase is where the role of the project manager can become difficult, as problem-solving becomes a big part of the role, fixing any issues that are holding the project back.
- Project Close
Once the project is complete, a project manager will evaluate the project, and assess whether the project was successful, and note any issues that you can learn from throughout the project’s history.
How Do You Become A Project Manager?
Basic Project Management Course Outline
The best way to become a project manager is through a course. You can find courses for project management at university, online or at other registered training organizations. A basic project management course will teach you the skills required to plan, manage, control costs, reduce risks, for a project while providing clarity and value to the business during a project. Learning the fundamentals of project management are essential elements of the Basic Project Management Course Outline. Using hands-on exercises the basic courses in project management will make sure you can offer value to a business by learning to assess a project’s business case. You will also lean to capture product requirements, identify stakeholders and recognize their specific relationship to your project. Not only this but project management training online courses will help you to establish quality metrics that will allow you to control the development of your project and review business case specifics.
Courses that offer project management training online also help you to be able to define the project scope to deliver projects on time. They train you to manage the project within budget and time constraints, teach you the best methods for managing change, risk identification and management, as well as training you in the best methods of business value delivery tracking and how to close out projects successfully.
Online project management training should give you a competent understanding of the core capabilities of a successful project manager.
Trying to select the best PMP Training course can be a challenge. We have simplified this process for you so that the selection process is easy. If you are looking for the best way to train to be a project manager, contact us today.
Amit Patel is the founder and chief writer for Crush the PM Exam. A lifelong student, Patel’s desire for career growth led him to research the many different certifications and career opportunities in the world of project management. Armed with this knowledge, Patel’s new passion is for sharing what he’s learned with his fellow students so they can achieve their dream careers.