By DeVry University
June 12, 2020
6 min read
June 12, 2020
6 min read
Nearly every industry needs project management professionals to keep things running smoothly. Project managers are responsible for mastering and deploying methodologies that set team members up for success, from the planning and initiation stages through completion. Project managers tend to be:
Good team players.
Educated in general business concepts.
Fluent in widely accepted methodologies and technologies.
If you are interested in becoming a project manager, read on for a birds-eye view of relevant methodologies, tools and technologies that you may find yourself using to keep employees on task and projects running smoothly.
Working with management to develop project parameters
Project managers estimate costs and develop budgets to ensure that the job can be met within specified parameters from the outset. A project isn't a success unless it comes in on time, exceeds the client's expectations and is delivered on budget. This type of planning generally requires that PMs know how to price vendors, supplies and labor.
Selecting, hiring and managing teams
As a PM, you'll be responsible for using your judgment to select the right people for the right jobs. The point isn’t to bog the team down with unnecessarily elaborate spreadsheets or whiteboards, but rather to stimulate creative minds to do what they were hired to do, on time and within certain parameters.
Monitoring results, documenting problems and developing solutions
During the initial phases of a project, PMs and their teams must have a clear vision of what needs to be accomplished, what the timeline is for each goal and what needs to happen if certain things don't go as planned. PMs tend to monitor and analyze both expenditures and team performance to ensure that projects continue to move along the timeline as they're supposed to.
Writing performance reviews
Experienced PMs may be tasked with issuing final reports, which include proper documentation of a project from the planning stage through completion. If you strive to be a project manager, one valuable skill to cultivate would be the ability to distill data and information into bite-size reports. Taking comprehensive reports that document all project requirements, as well as the project's history, and turning it into a performance review could be an important part of your job. This includes what was done, who worked on each task and what could have been done better.
Leadership and organizational behavior.
Project management systems and methodologies.
Project cost and schedule control.
Project risk management.
Contract and procurement management.
Project communications and managing project teams.
Essential business topics like accounting, finance, economics, and statistics.
Organizational structures and business processes.
Legal, political and ethical dimensions of business.
With a foundational knowledge of top business metrics combined with key project management principles, project managers can more efficiently deploy PM methodologies to help drive company success.
Organizes projects in a downward flow, so that participants can only move to the next step once the previous one has been completed.
Emphasizes teamwork and accountability, focusing on “sprints”: iterative processes that help small teams work toward common goals. SCRUM requires that someone be anointed “Scrum Master,” who then runs short daily meetings to keep things on track.
Facilitates completion of projects in small sections so that teams can respond to unpredictability and adjust accordingly. In many circles, agile has become so synonymous with project management that many may ask, “What is Agile Project Management?” Put simply, Agile is a flexible methodology that emphasizes early delivery and helps track a project's lifecycle from inception to completion.
Uses charts to help plan projects, showing when work is due and what needs to be done on specific days.
Aims to realistically evaluate how long a project will actually take to complete by analyzing the time associated with each individual task.
Professionals in project management often leverage software that brings these types of charts and concepts online and makes them easier to manage and share. Examples of project management tools frequently used in the business world include LiquidPlanner, Trello, Wrike, Asana and Jira.
Supply chain manager
Loss prevention manager
Organizational change manager
Different roles require varying levels of education and knowledge. Leveraging your personal characteristics – like being a people person and team player – and layering on education can help you on your journey towards becoming a project manager.
Interested in learning more about degree and certificate programs offered by DeVry? Explore our Project Management programs.
PMP is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
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