Getting certified in your profession is a great idea. Many potential employers will look for certifications, and if you don’t have one on your resume, there’s a good chance of being overlooked regardless of your experience. Of course, to become certified, you will need to understand what project management is all about.
Some courses require you to meet particular criteria, such as having a certain amount of experience and academic qualifications before becoming certified. All project managers will need a firm grasp of the fundamentals, and here we take a look at what the fundamentals are.
1. Define the project
Easily one of the essential steps of project management is defining the project. This involves confirming exactly what the deliverables are to be. If it is a physical object, which materials are to be used? What are the exact specifications? What functions does it need to perform? When does it need to be delivered?
If the project is not clearly defined before the project starts, people working on the project can’t be expected to know exactly what needs to be done. Not having a clearly defined project also means there’s a good chance the deliverables are not required.
2. Determine project feasibility
People often have grand ideas about what they need, but sometimes those ideas aren’t feasible. They might be asking for functions that aren’t possible or for deliverables within a budget that cannot be worked with. There are countless potential ways in which what’s requested may not be realistic – and a project manager will need to determine the feasibility.
If the project is not feasible, the project manager will need to negotiate and compromise until the project is more realistic. At the same time, the project manager will need to keep customer value management in mind to ensure the deliverables still offer value regardless of any concessions made.
3. Plan and monitor tasks
Any project will consist of individual tasks that need to be performed. To become certified, a project manager will need to plan each task before the project is started. This involves determining what tasks are required and how they are to be completed. What materials and other assets are needed, and which team members are most appropriate to undertake the tasks?
A project manager will also need to monitor tasks as they are progressing. Are they moving as they should be? Are the tasks in alignment with the overall project? It’s essential to keep track of individual tasks; otherwise, the entire project may be affected.
4. Project scheduling
A project manager will need to determine if the overall deadline for a project is achievable. Not only that, but they also need to plan the scheduling of tasks within the project. In many cases, specific tasks cannot be completed until a previous job has been completed. Potential bottlenecks will need to be identified to help ensure the project as a whole runs as smoothly as possible.
Project scheduling is often made a lot easier with project management software. Tools like Gantt charts and digital signage can help visualize the schedule, making it easier for all team members to understand the schedule and spot potential issues before they arise.
5. Manage systems analysis with team members
The most important asset available to any project manager is the team they’re working with. A project manager will need to make all of their team members aware of their role in the project. Requirements will need to be shared clearly and the target set, so everybody knows exactly what is expected of them.
One of the most powerful skills a project manager can possess is the ability to motivate their team. With a team that’s entirely on board, great things can happen. If not, the project may fail to reach expectations.
If you’re hoping to get certified as a project manager, you will first need to check the course requirements you are hoping to take. Regardless of specific course requirements, there are some things any project manager will need to know. Above are some of the fundamentals that any project manager will need to master to become a certified associate.