A project manager is one who must successfully implement the full project cycle, which includes initiation, planning, implementation, completion. He must monitor and control the execution of tasks and report on it. This is a high-level professional who is at the same time a strong expert in his functional area and competent manager and can carry out comprehensive planning and inspire people to feats.
To master project management, you can take a special training program. But personally, I have no special education in this area. Of course, it was necessary to master the theory – for this, there are online courses and video tutorials on the Web. My experience has shown that attending workshops and round tables brings the greatest benefit – communication with experts who have experience in solving real problems, examining case studies from practice, and the opportunity to be inspired by successful examples.
In addition, I received many trainings on topics such as negotiation, effective communication, team management, risk and change – all of these skills are very important in project management.
I use classical tools in my work: the Gantt chart, with which it is convenient to illustrate the project schedule. As well as a kanban board, which helps to break up the project into small tasks and indicate their status (what should be done, is done and has already been done), and also mark those responsible for implementation. So it is convenient to track the progress of the project, as well as monitor deadlines.
Knowledge of special software is not always required, for example, I need a CRM system and a platform where you can fix team tasks.
The main thing in the work of the project manager is to assemble a team of people interested in the implementation of this project. And this is not always the case. The difficulty is that the team must fulfill the tasks of the head of the department by definition. In project management, people do not always understand why they need it, why they should spend time on something else besides their operations, especially if they are not paid for it. Therefore, it is important to find motivation for them, something to involve. For example, you can perceive participation in a project as an opportunity to express yourself in a company and gain new perspectives for development and improvement, to go beyond the usual responsibilities. In addition, there may be a need for a specialist with special skills that is not yet in the company, and needs to be found – for example, with knowledge of a foreign language to enter the market in another country.
The project manager should not be an expert in all areas that are needed for the project. There are simply no such universal experts who know and are able to do everything in the world. However, it is important for him to be able to find the right people and delve into the topic in order to speak the same language with the team.
The project manager communicates with all stakeholders, that is, stakeholders, including the team and customers. Among important personal qualities, one can note organizational skills, interpersonal skills, the ability to go beyond the usual framework, look for new ideas and, of course, manage conflicts that are quite possible, especially if people barely know and represent different functions.
Project Manager – link management chain. At PM, all the production processes of the project are closed. And in an actively scalable market, their number only grows. From the point of view of management, it is easier to have one person, who would have all the project management skills and would be responsible for the quality of the project, and not ask the result from several.
A project manager should be able to work within the framework of the so-called “project triangle”: tasks – deadlines – resources.
He should also think about all the possible risks in advance and determine how to work with them. After that, he distributes tasks among team members and provides employees with everything they need to solve these tasks.
He keeps a hand on the pulse and makes sure that everything goes according to plan, works with the team, suppliers, if they are involved, reports on the progress of the project and resolves problem situations. He is always in good shape, because, on the one hand, the whole team is doing the project, but on the other hand, it’s his head that will fall on the block if the product is of poor quality or the timeframe and budget are critically failed (whatever they say about the notorious “The right to make a mistake”).
At the planning stage, the project management skills should help to predict all possible overlays and immediately, think over alternative methods for solving the problem. It is based on this that the project plan is drawn up, according to which the team works, and its effectiveness is determined.
Obviously, it is impossible to 100% predict all the risks – you will learn about many of them only in practice. Moreover, each industry has its own specific moments. That is why the market is appreciated by PM with extensive experience in narrow areas, for example, event organization or web development.
Successful work in this field requires the ability to conduct complex high-level negotiations, excellent people management skills (and, what is especially difficult, people who are not direct subordinates of the project manager), organizational skills, excellent time management, high-stress tolerance, and orientation. on the result, not to mention a large amount of operational, technical, financial and other knowledge. Project managers are needed in a wide variety of industries — in information technology and banking, in pharmaceuticals, construction, finance, insurance, and in many other areas.
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