One of the most common career aspiration which perhaps most of us dream of to be is be a project manager. While becoming a project manager is not a very difficult task, but to sustain in this field by managing bigger and complex projects and delivering all of them within timeline, cost and with right quality of deliverable is a rare achievement indeed. In this article we would like to share about the basics of project management and the career progression one can make in this field.
Who can become a Project Manager?
Good news is today anyone can become a project manager. Freshers can enter this field as a Junior Project Manager. However, it always helps manage the project better if you have the necessary knowledge and experience in the specific domain of work.
What qualities do you need to become a Project Manager?
- Good Communicator
- Personal Integrity
- Ability to Delegate Tasks
- To remain cool under pressure
- Team-Building Skills
- Problem Solving Skills
- Good Logical Reasoning
- Ability to motivate and inspire teams.
Steps before start of a project
- Need for a project – Based on the business requirements , investment decisions or regulatory requirements the Senior Management of the organization decides to invest in a program. The program usually comprises a group of projects.
- Identification of Roles and Responsibilities: The Senior Management identifies a Business Sponsor and Program Manager. The Program manager identifies and gets a project manager onboard before the start of the project.
- The Business Sponsor along with the program manager defines the benefits and high level deliver-ables of the project.
Key Tasks of a Project Manager
- To identify and have a kick off meeting with teams
- To understand the high level project scope
- To define a project plan, to secure project budget
- To manage customer expectations
- To manage project risks, issues and dependencies
- To report the project progress to the customer and key stakeholders
- To agree on a High level Design and Low Level Design
- To finalize the tasks in the execution phase
- To monitor the execution plan and manage the budget and quality of deliverable of the project.
- To achieve the milestones at the start of the project.
- To document the process and all changes after the project.
- Once milestones are achieved, to list the lessons learnt and share it with the team
- To award and recognize the key performers of the project
- To adjust the budget line and close the project.
Stages of a Project
- Project Initiation
- Project Planning
- Project Execution
- Project Control and Monitoring
- Project Closure
Certifications related to project management
- PMP managed by Project Management Institute
- Prince 2 managed by OGC UK.
Typical Career Progression of a Project manager
- Junior project manager
- Project Manager
- Senior Project Manager
- Program Manager
- Head of Program
- Program Director
Click here to look at the Top 10 most expensive projects in the world.
In today’s world, for the success of a project a good project manager is a must. There have been many studies done across the world to understand on why a project fails. The industry hasn’t found an effective strategy for reducing that failure rate of projects. One of the reasons for the project failure can be the methodology used in project management – Agile, Extreme, PMI, Prince 2 etc. However, it needs to be borne in mind that at the end of the day there is no fixed solution for a particular project scenario. It all depends on how the project manager understands the situation and demonstrates his/her situational leadership using innovative tools and techniques.
India we have excellent project manager like Mr E Sreedharan, of Metro Railway fame. India needs at least half a million qualified project managers in future to finish 591 projects being carried out in the country, a research by Project Management Institute (PMI) said on . “As many as 591 projects each worth more than Rs 100 crore were being executed in the country and it required a great number of project managers in order to finish them on time “, Managing Director (MD), PMI, Raj Kalady. Who knows, you could be the next successful and most sought after project manager in the country.
Have questions or suggestions? do post us and we will be happy to answer them.
Rajat S Pal