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The certified project manager is ready to work in a new company and lead the projects with confidence. However, having a document as a certificate or diploma in project management is not the only thing needed. You need skills and adaptation.
The article is narrated from the perspective of a beginner certified project manager.
Skills that will help the certified project manager in a small software company
The Certified Project Manager is a liaison, not just an employee of the company. As it is the most important element for projects that must be completed successfully. That is why BVOP project management practices (Reference: CIO.com), for example, include many disciplines. In addition to standard project management practices, BVOP also includes product and program management.
Attention to detail – If everywhere else they say “do not go into details” then in Project Management this rule does not apply. Even for a smaller project, even the smallest detail and decomposition of the parts forming the platform will help make the project easier and more structured.
Organizational skills – whether you can do it or not, it can be a skill developed over time. Even if it is an upcoming meeting with the whole team and the client, it requires organization and the ability to organize!
Planning – linked to processes, it is very important that the approach to work is aimed at facilitating employees and processes, and not just on the technical elements and deadlines.
Management skills – management involves dealing with complex and different types of parameters – including such elements as setting goals and budgets, establishing detailed steps, allocating resources, solving problems, and monitoring results. Effective management brings order and consistency. A very important condition for the project to succeed is that the Project Manager and its leader are leaders, able to adapt and accept management as something that is constantly changing, which may relate to the social affiliation of the teams, their development, and alignment with customers, stakeholders, etc.
Teamwork skills – The project manager leads his team, his manager manages his subordinates. This means many people with different demographics work together. A very important condition in projects is the ability to work with other people. Because a group of people is not accepted
Adaptability – even without significant experience in Project Management, the ability to adapt is extremely important, as the environment is constantly changing, each project is individual and for itself.
Listening skills – another basic skill, without which the team can not work, to have a productive relationship between manager and subordinate, between team members, etc.
Communication skills – tied to people, not just focusing on tasks
Problem-solving – a very important skill, when a problem arises, to be first aware of the existence, to have sufficient ground on which to step for the analysis and, accordingly, its solution, and in a short time.
What if the project manager doesn’t have additional software skills?
Lack of previous experience in similar projects and environments
Lack of knowledge in the field of programming – before the start of each project it is mandatory to make a study of the client’s company, the type of their work. Perhaps a basic course in SQL or other software would be helpful as this area enters the market more and more.
Critical thinking – sometimes emotionality prevails over reason, which for such a project can be disastrous. I have to learn to think abstractly and rely on facts so that we can achieve our goal – to be able to complete the project in two months.
Creativity – not that I don’t have it, but to implement a project in a very short period in an unfamiliar field requires a lot of research and creative thinking, which I certainly need to develop. For this purpose, I bought a book to help me develop “outside of the box” thinking.
Confidence in your skills – every new beginning is difficult and believing in yourself is not always so easy. I may be afraid at first, but over time this will disappear.
The necessary classic project management skills
How to plan – perhaps from everything learned so far, how to plan and all the sub-topics involved give me the clearest idea of what will be expected of me and how to proceed in a particular situation. Organizing is one thing at hand, but being able to plan your time, expenses, teams, and individuals is the most important lesson, and accordingly, it would work best for me, whatever I do from now on.
How to manage project costs – this is the eternal topic, which, no matter how much knowledge I have, something can always be missed.
The breakdown of one-time and multiple expenses – within a month/week, would make it easier to see the whole picture, and if there is an additional cost, it would be easy to describe.
How to manage human resources – it is not enough to know the names of colleagues in the team, you need to know who does what, what is within their powers, and how they should be encouraged. For all this, the topic of Human Resources Management helped me a lot, with the RACI Matrix leaving the biggest mark.
Way of communication with clients, stakeholders, team, etc. – what I have learned so far and what would help me most in this project is when you need to behave formally and when you need to set boundaries between customers and stakeholders. In this particular case, it is assumed that most of the stakeholders will be around or a little over 30 years old, which does not mean at all that I should communicate with them as if I were a friend from school. Distinguishing relationships and describing each conversation with customers will facilitate the work process.
Methodology for building the scope of the project – this is probably one of the most significant and most difficult lessons so far. However, the first time I did not understand the topic, but the next I already got a clear idea – a scientific lesson (nodding)! You always have to know what the scope of the project is, what exactly will be expected to be done by the contractor, and what is outside the scope – otherwise, there will be constant ambiguities, the focus will shift, and without traceability – we will produce nothing but mess. A very important question to the customer “Will this new platform be included in our previous application or will it be brand new”? The scope must be clearly outlined before it is launched.
More on the topic: The Best Project Management Courses for 2021 and 2022, author: Marta Cooper, PolicyMatters ISSN: 1941-8280, 1941-8272, ISSN National Centre for the USA, United States, https://www.policymatters.net/best-project-management-courses/
Unfortunately, it is impossible without them, and compared to everything so far – my ideal idea that it will take a maximum of a week and that it will not affect the project is quite distorted and I am increasingly convinced that it can not happen.
It is very important that with each approved change, we know exactly where it should be placed, that it be implemented and implemented accordingly. In short, everything that needs to be done on the project, even a needle if it needs to be moved, needs to be described in detail, so decomposition could help with almost any breakdown of the plan into dormant sub-ones.
Risk is another leading topic in project management practices. As they say, even if everything goes great, something can go wrong at any moment. That is why I am learning to look at things from every possible side so that we are not boiled unprepared in the event of a “crisis”.
Monitoring and control – all of the above, if not constantly monitored and controlled, can go beyond the norm – whether it is overspending, delays in the schedule, conflicts among the team, low motivation, etc. The project manager is the guardian of the project.