Whether you are working in a business, non-profit organization, or for the government, project management likely plays a key role in the success of your work. The point at which you start managing projects depends on the type of work your organization does. For example, research and development spend more time on projects compared to other organizations. But whatever industry you’re in, you probably use project management every day without realizing it.
We all need a strategy, but project management is more than just a formula. The field of project management is evolving with time, and there are a few things that may surprise you while working on a project. Let’s look!
What is Project Management?
Project management is defined as the application of methods, processes, knowledge, experience, and skills to achieve a set target and objectives of a project. Project management is comprised of formal processes and people’s processes. Formal processes are the procedures that define the roles, responsibilities, and desired results for projects. On the other hand, people’s processes are the soft skills that professionals use to collaborate. They are two very different things, but both are critical for executing a successful project and meeting the goals established for it.
Companies usually prefer hiring project managers to ensure the deadlines are met and the acceptance criteria are reached. However, many small businesses opt to hire services from agencies with the right experience and expertise in project management. If you are looking for one, you should consider NetSuite Services that have received numerous awards and recognition from Oracle and other reputable names.
Many people don’t fully understand project management and have a few misconceptions that project managers are mostly responsible for ensuring the schedule goes on track. It is a vast field and is much more than just time management. Let’s discuss some of the things many people aren’t aware of.
1. It would always be different
Project management is a dynamic field that will always evolve as new challenges and opportunities arise. You can use many tools, techniques, and methodologies to manage your projects. However, it would always be different. Every project would demand different approaches and techniques to be effective. Every project would demand different skills and knowledge sets. You will never have the same experience twice.
2. It’s not just about organizing tasks
Project managers often get caught up in managing their team’s time and tasks. But this isn’t enough for you to be successful as a project manager — you also need to focus on the bigger picture: how your team’s efforts fit into your company’s larger strategy.
Communicate this strategy clearly, so everyone knows what they’re working towards and how their work fits into it all. This helps ensure that everyone is working towards a common goal.
3. You need a good handle on communication skills
Project managers need to communicate clearly. When you’re working on a project as part of a team, everyone must know what needs doing, when it needs doing, and how long each task will take. If there are any problems along the way, everyone needs to know about them as soon as possible so that they can adjust their plans accordingly. You need to be able to communicate with your team members and also with your clients or customers. Project management is all about working well with others, so communication skills are important.
4. You don’t necessarily need a degree
You don’t need to have a degree in project management to become a successful project manager, but you need some experience in the field.
Although there are no specific educational requirements for becoming a project manager, many employers prefer hiring candidates with bachelor’s degrees in business administration or computer science. Some companies also require their project managers to obtain certification through the Project Management Institute (PMI).
5. Technology keeps changing
Project management is not a static field. It has evolved, and it will continue to change. Project management tools also change along with the technology that supports them.
One example is Microsoft Project, which was first introduced in 1987 with version 2.0 for DOS, followed by version 3 for Windows in 1991 and version 4 for Windows in 1996. Version 5 was released in 2002 as a web-based application and then ported to the .NET platform in 2006. It has been redesigned several times over its lifespan and continues to be improved today by Project Online by Microsoft Office 365 (MO365).
Project management software is being used by more and more companies daily—small businesses included. It helps large teams manage and distribute their work more efficiently.
6. Understand the jargon
Project managers have their language. You need to know terms like “scope creep,” “burn down chart,” and “work breakdown structure.” If you don’t know what these words mean, you won’t be able to use them properly in your business or communicate with your colleagues effectively. Some other examples include:
- Risk Mitigation
- Contingency Plan
- Case Study
7. It is a multidisciplinary field
A project manager needs to know various areas, including business, finance, operations, human resources, IT, and marketing. A project manager should also understand how all these different areas work together on a project. This basic knowledge is important to know how long every task will take to be completed to finalize the entire timeline of the project.
One example of this cross-functional knowledge is budgeting. A budget can be broken down into many components, such as labor, equipment, materials, and travel expenses. Project managers may need to know what each item costs and how much it should cost for their project.
To be a successful project manager, it is important to understand the key concepts of your job. You need to know what you are getting yourself into and how the different aspects of project management depend on each other. By keeping all of this in mind, you will be able to be a successful project manager. You know that with each project, there will always be challenges that will arise, and knowing these challenges ahead of time can help you prepare for them so that they do not bother or overwhelm you. Plus, there’s always something new to discover about what it takes to manage projects effectively, but the tips we outlined above should get you off to a good start.