PDF Your Successful Project Management Career

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The role of a project manager is critical for delivering a successful project. This includes managing the scope, schedule, finance, risk, quality and resources. Project managers manage a specifically selected team who are all working towards achieving the project objectives. Forgotten your password? Forgotten your Corporate Partner username? Username is required Password is required. If this is your first visit to our new website launched December please click here to set a new password and access your account. Home Jobs and careers Career. For several reasons there's a continually growing market for project management skills: Organisations are looking to improve their project success rates.

As work becomes more global and complex, this drives demand for improved project management. What does a project manager do? How to become a project manager There are many routes to becoming a project manager, from gaining a qualification, to working your way up on the job. Learning from history is a powerful skill. Historical points to explore — are there any other past projects like this? What is the project experience of the person sponsoring the project?

In most large organizations, there is ultimately a single champion, executive or manager who is accountable for the project. The project team looks to you — the project manager — for leadership. What can you get excited about on the project? Start by finding out how they want to hear from you. Do they want detailed spreadsheets by email or high touch phone calls? At the start of the project, ask how they want to hear from you. You can get better support from your peers and mentors if you ask them a few focused questions.

You can apply it to project work in all kinds of ways. Even if you have a great mentor, they have limited time and energy to help you. Low risk practice is essential to developing a skill. For instance, highly successful comedians are known for trying out new material on small audiences. That way, they will have quality material to present to large audiences.

With the right approach, this presentation has the potential to supercharge your career. For high stakes opportunities like this, ask a mentor if you can practice with them. Remember to ask them to provide feedback and suggestions. Use the Starter Feedback Model as a resource to guide the person in providing useful feedback to you.

Use these questions to better define the problems and develop solutions. You may have a vague sense that something is wrong. You need to gather examples and facts before you make a move. The wording you use to define or describe a problem matters. As Taylor Pearson recently wrote, we have a bias toward easy to understand problems and situations.

However, fixating too soon on a single cause may lead you down the wrong path. Many project problems are easy to solve when you simply spend more money on them. On the other hand, that approach sometimes encourages lazy thinking. Use this question to search for other solutions. For example, rather than hiring an external consultant, could you call 20 people at your company and ask if anyone knows a developer who can help you? Mental models describe the assumptions, ideas and related concepts we use to look at the world.

As James Clear explains, having a variety of mental models available is a key way to boost your problem solving ability. Good questions are what open people up, open new doors, and create opportunities. I love long form podcast interviews because they represent a special opportunity to explore a topic in depth. Here are some podcasts, articles and other resources to help you sharpen your question abilities.

A powerful article from Tim Ferriss one of my favorite authors. Business writer and consultant Ed Gandia uses a list of questions to reflect on his business and plan next steps. This long running podcast features in-depth interviews with authors and economists. This HBR article focuses on questions from the perspective of managing people. The Quest to Ask Better Questions. E limination is an underrated productivity strategy we all need to practice. How do we overcome this scenario? Becoming more productive through elimination is rewarding once you get started.

Before you start the elimination process, you need a positive aim. What are you making room for with elimination? To get started, identify your number one goal. You may have multiple goals for the year I have 10 for Tip: Do several of your other goals require money e. In that case, your 1 goal will likely involve earning more money. Now that you have a clear goal in mind, it is time to come up with elimination ideas. The focus is on volume, rather than quality. Here are examples that I recently came up with:. Unsubscribe from email lists that no longer interest me use Unroll.

Throw away 5 items of old clothing that is worn out makes it easier to assess clothing options. Review current subscriptions: are there magazine subscriptions to eliminate I find per month goes a long way. Automate one bill payment for monthly payment e. Review recurring meetings on my professional calendar: are there any to eliminate or consolidate? This method has been a major time saver for me in the corporate world.

Review volunteer commitments for value and meaning. Volunteering is worthwhile… However, you need to keep such activities in the context of the rest of your life. For example, if want to deliver a project or program directly then serving on a committee may not be fulfilling. Reduce digital clutter. Earlier this week, I cleaned up my office computer so that there is only one row of icons.

The same can be said of smart phone apps. Job Responsibility Creep. Now is the time to look at those and ask yourself if they make sense with your review. For example, maybe you are asked to serve as a subject matter expert on call to other departments but that distracts you from creating code. In that case, use the same process as point 6 above to pursue elimination.

Reduce social media time. Social media can be wonderful! However, these services make it easy to lose a whole afternoon or more in mindless clicking that does little but add anxiety to your life. If this scenario rings true for you, consider setting schedule boundaries e. Note: Ask yourself if you can eliminate a task or activity entirely first. If that is not feasible, consider reducing frequency or automation options. Now the rubber meets the road. Review the list of elimination options you identified in the previous step.

To get started with the process, choose the easiest one to eliminate i. If all you need to do is log into a website, this step will be easy. If your elimination idea is more complex — killing a corporate report — you can still act. In 15 minutes, write up what why you want to eliminate the report, who receives it and send a calendar invitation to propose eliminating it.

Before you finish this article, take action to put maker time on your calendar. Why those times? I like to have long stretches of uninterrupted time and the weekends are best for that. To continue your productivity journey of elimination, explore these books and articles.

Remember to keep the focus on your purpose. What will you do with the extra time and energy?

Apply it to your One Thing goal! Do you want a book length treatment on focusing on what matters to the exclusion of all else? This is the book for you. I appreciate the care and attention the authors took with research and tactical advice. I hope that a future addition will illustrate the One Thing principle with additional examples and case studies. Read the article for the details and what led to the decision.

Stop Doing Low-Value Work.

Anjanette Dawes Takes Us On Her Journey - A Career In Project Management - Black Heights

This Harvard Business Review article by Priscilla Claman defines several circumstances where you have a great opportunity to cut low value work from your plate such as during job transitions. Things to Stop Doing in Stop sitting so much is one of the tips! A news screen at the gym informed me that there are less than 30 hours left to go in ! All of these articles attracted over 2, readers this calendar year.

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This is my most popular blog post of all time. It lays out exactly how to get the most out of meetings as an attendee and as the chair person. I was inspired to write the article as I reflected on a terrible corporate meeting I had one Friday afternoon that just kept going and going! Many readers are interested in earning more money as a project manager. Well, read the article to find out more! What comes to mind when you think about conflict?

For me, the first mental image is war. In this article, I explain the fundamental techniques for managing conflicts. That will upset some people! As a project manager, you will end up working with vendors many times over the course of your career. Do you know how to work with vendors effectively? Once you read this article, you will be better equipped to avoid common vendor management mistakes like getting surprised by the use of sub-contractors. When it comes to tools and techniques, most of us think about buying a new app or some other piece of technology.

The simple checklist is one of the best ways to improve quality and reduce errors. But what will you learn? What resources are available? Read this resource to discover the wealth of resources available on the Internet. Glad to see you. What do you read next to keep growing? Dive into this list to expand your skills and horizons in the new year. Drucker is a gem — you can read it multiple times and profit from the effort each time.

Tip: Your public library especially if you live in great city like Toronto is a great way to explore books like these for free. If you have ever worked at a large company, you have probably encountered standard operating procedures. I have created several over the years to improve the quality of financial reports. Reading biographies of successful people offers unique insights on the world. His thought process and determination to achieve incredible goals like settling Mars are inspiring.

Learn more about the methods and mental models Musk uses to achieve his success. Tip: Musk recommend thinking from first principles, rather than by analogy, to solve complex problems. That means millions of people have yet to discover this incredible medium.

For details on which podcasts are best to develop your career and get you promoted, check out the article. If you came up through the ranks in a technical or corporate area technology, engineering, human resources etc , then your business acumen probably has some gaps. In order to make understand the business decisions being made around you, use this article to develop business acumen.

For example, do you want somebody to approve a request? Project Management Hacks Menu Skip to content. Follow me on Twitter. About As Seen On. What advantages does a Gantt chart have? Process organization In most cases, projects lack efficient organization as they consist of dozens of tasks and involve multiple team members. Time management and planning As projects very often consist of dependent tasks, it gets difficult to realize how much time each assignment will take.

Focus on current tasks and progress It is crucial not to lose the project pace. Identification of critical points and risk management Gantt charts help to identify possible obstacles and critical points beforehand. Communication and collaboration Projects do not exist in the vacuum. Resource management Resources are inherent subjects in project management. Milestones Milestones are significant events in a project that have no duration.

Milestones can be: Start and end dates of tasks. Critical points. Other moments that are worth paying attention to. If you took the practice test to see how you would perform in the exam, congratulations! You have used the practice test to detect gaps in your knowledge, and you can prepare accordingly.

If you scored higher than that level on the practice test, you could consider a more aggressive schedule. Just remember to keep in mind your other responsibilities as you plan your exam study schedule. If you are still scoring before that level, you have two options. You can either double your study efforts or reschedule the exam to a later date so that you have more time to study. In some cases, you may want to consider taking a vacation day off from work to further your studies.

At this point, you have probably been studying for some weeks or months already. For the areas where you have weakest scores, some targeted memorization work may be your best bet. If you are not a natural numbers person, you may find it helpful to memorize the formulas and other numeric data points. As the PMP becomes a standard requirement, you may hit the ceiling on your career goals unless you earn the PMP certification. Increase Your Confidence. You probably have a few techniques you use to stay organized on your projects.

However, personal organization tips and tricks are not enough to manage large projects. To operate at that scale, the tools and methods covered in the PMP certification will help. Maintain Competitiveness. If you skip investing in your career, you put yourself at a disadvantage. As the PMP becomes more popular in project management, it may not be optional.

Work Experience. The amount of work experience required for the PMP depends on whether you have a degree.

Take note that the application will ask for a detailed breakdown of your experience hours hours and contact information for references. Remember that PMI can audit your application and request proof from your references. Project Management Training. You must complete an accepted project management training course. Fortunately, there are many options available including intense weekend courses and online self-study courses.

You need to complete the PMP application. Once it is approved, you will have the option to schedule your PMP exam date. The good news? Most major cities have several testing centers so you can choose a time that suits your schedule. Reading PMP exam books is helpful. How do you know if you are truly learning what you read? The only way to tell is to take a practice exam. The best PMP certification training providers include practice questions so you can evaluate your knowledge.

Contact Hours. Make sure the resource you choose fulfills this requirement. Case Studies. Registered Education Provider R. This special status quickly tells you whether or not a training provider has registered with PMI. If a PMP certification training has this status, it is a good sign you are working with a reliable provider.

Training Format. In essence, you have two ways to take PMP training: online or in a classroom. I used both methods when I earned my PMP certification. If I had to do it all over again with limited resources, I would focus on an online course option.

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Here is a sample three month study schedule that assumes you have about hours per week to study: Month 1. Complete your contact hours course. Month 2. Complete two or more practice exams. Focus your studies on areas where you have low scores. Attend one study group session. Month 3. Write up your notes using The Feynman Technique for areas where you need to sharpen your understanding.

Take more practice questions. Visit the exam location a few days in advance to confirm you know how to get there. What projects were you most proud of in this role and why? How did you feel about the job on Sunday nights? Look At Promotion Notices. Does your company post promotion announcements to an internal website? If so, take the time to read through those notices. Specifically, look for patterns on who is promoted. You can then model those patterns in your career. Check In With Your Network. The majority of the best, highly paid jobs and business opportunities come through your network.

Unfortunately, you are probably neglecting your contacts. To gain insight from your network, set up coffee meetings with two to four people you already know. The purpose is simple: ask them for their perspective on what skills and capabilities are in demand. You will receive the best insights if you focus your efforts on managers who have made or participated in a hiring decision in the past twelve months. If you want to earn a certification, use the following steps to get started. Choose Your Certification.

While the PMP is the most project management certification, it is not the only option on the market. Check Your Eligibility. Before you get too excited about opening new doors in your career, you need to do your research. Visit the certification organization e. You may require a specific combination of professional work experience, training and exam results to obtain a certification. Set Your Budget and Schedule. Once you find a relevant certification that you are qualified for, it is time to set your budget and schedule.

For the PMP, I recommend setting your schedule as 12 months or less. Seek Out Support. There are two places you can seek support. First, ask your manager if you can apply for funding for certification expenses and time to study. Assuming you work a schedule, here are a few ways you can add 4 hours to your program. The Morning Warrior. Set aside 1 hour in the morning on Monday-Thursday and work on your career.

This approach works well if you are studying for a certification. The Networking Strategist. Start scheduling two lunches and a few coffee meetings each week to grow your network. For the best results, include existing contacts and people you want to meet. Leverage The Weekend.

If your workweek is too chaotic, look at your weekends differently. The strategy worked well for me because it gave me uninterrupted time to do full practice exams. The test for the certification checks practical skills which may be needed to solve different IT related problems. The certification pays attention to the latest techniques and trends in risk management, intrusion detection, threat management, and risk mitigation. There are many ways through which you can prepare for the exam, and some of them have been discussed in the following sections: 1.

Assessment The first thing that you need to do after purchasing a study guide is to attempt to pass an assessment exam which is usually given at the beginning of such books. Discount voucher It is highly recommended that once you are done with the assessment test, you schedule your exam for the next 30 days. Studies You need to study hard if you want to get this certification.

Review Once you have studied the new material for four continuous days, dedicate at least one day for the review.

7 Reasons Why Project Management is a Good Career Move

Practice test At the end of your guidebook, there must be a final screening test available which should help you prepare for the final exam. Trap 1: Drowning In Project Management Process Project managers are known for their adherence to best practices — schedules, project charters, meetings and governance. Are you frustrated by jargon filled responses whenever you ask about the status of the project? To steer your project managers away from this trap, use this strategy: Ask your project managers what they would be most proud of reporting to the CEO about the project?

If your project manager has followed up on a late task more than twice, it is time for a different approach like going up the chain of command. Unexpressed frustration. If you notice your project manager becoming more frustrated in their work, ask why. They may be sitting on a problem and not bringing up for review.

Why is that cursory approach to project reports ineffective? Use these methods to challenge the overly positive project reports and presentations: What risks have changed in the past month? Have any been eliminated or grown worse? Are you receiving the support you need from other departments to succeed? Is there anyone you would highlight as a risk to the project or an especially valuable asset? I noticed that project spending significantly increased last month compared to the plan. Why did that happen? The One Thing. Here are some of the bad questions that I see come up in the working world.

But how would we pay for that? This question can be helpful but it is often used as a way to shut down discussions. Why are we doing this project now? What is the history related to this project? What can I get excited about on this project? What are the most common mistakes you see beginners make? What resource was most helpful to you in learning this skill? How can I practice this skill in a low risk fashion?

What is Project Management and how can it help your career? - Continuing Professional Development

Who can I observe in action to learn how to do this? Can you give me feedback on this small task or deliverable? Do we have the facts about this problem? What other ways could we state the problem? What other causes are at play for this problem? How could we solve this problem if we have no money available? What other mental models can we use to solve this problem? Elimination Fueled Productivity For Individuals Becoming more productive through elimination is rewarding once you get started. Identify Your 1 Goal What are you making room for with elimination? Brainstorm An Elimination List of 10 Ideas Now that you have a clear goal in mind, it is time to come up with elimination ideas.

Here are examples that I recently came up with: 1. Throw away 5 items of old clothing that is worn out makes it easier to assess clothing options 3. Review current subscriptions: are there magazine subscriptions to eliminate I find per month goes a long way 4.