Believe it or not, most project managers have no training whatsoever, and that explains why most projects are considered to be failures. With a lot of companies what they do is they will appoint a manager as a project manager on a particular project whether or not that person has either the skills or the expertise to drive the project to a successful completion. Generally, in the case of most managers, they do not have the skills necessary to complete a project successfully.
What kind of training can you get?
Project management training courses will generally be specific to the industry in which you’re involved. And depending on that industry and what is required will also decide how long the training will go for. Professional trainers will also tell candidates very quickly if they think they have the aptitude necessary to complete the training successfully. Specialised project managers have to go in with the basic instincts already installed, it is the old story again about leadership, you’re either born with it, or you are not, some skills can be trained but not all of them.
Project management put simply is the art and science of getting something done. Improving your project management skills means you can get things done even faster and probably more importantly, correctly document the results. In most careers you are only going to be as good as your last effort, as a project manager cannot be a one-hit wonder, project managers are in for the long haul, they have hit after hit after hit and all of them are successful.
Successful project managers tend to run their whole life the same way. Whether it’s personal life, work life or just life in general, the whole thing is run like one big project. One of the greatest assets excellent project managers have is their communication skills. Having good communication skills has nothing to do with your vocabulary, it is all about how you manage your communications, the frequency at which you communicate and clarity you use when communicating are paramount. Good project managers always let everyone know when they have a hit, without appearing to beat their own drum.
Teamwork is critical
It is not just enough to say that you’re a team player, the really big question senior managers ask themselves is, does this person play well with others? By that they mean, as the project manager, to others want to be on their team, are you a respected team leader, do other team members know they have a voice with you. One of the oldest qualities in the world that any good manager or project manager is knowing when to lead from the front, and went to get out of the way. When a new project team is being organised the first thing everyone else is going to ask themselves about you as the leader is, can I work with them? Can I fit into this team?
There is one factor that all project managers also need and that is confidence, you all know that most of the people in a room will gravitate towards the most confident person in the room. As a leader, you should be that person. Having professional training will help raise your confidence level in all walks of life, successfully completing a project will also help raise your confidence level. Having raised confidence levels makes a person feel more competent to complete the task at hand.
Having attitude works
Being a successful project manager is one of the few positions where having a serious attitude is almost a requirement. If you make a commitment, you need to keep it. If you missed deadlines and allow small projects to slip through the cracks your career as a project manager is over. Make sure your deadlines are achievable and then achieve them. Never, ever, freak out. Stay cool calm and collected. That is what a successful project manager is, always. Part of a project managers mystique is that they can always stay calm and bring stability to absolute chaos.
An important part of a project manager’s attitude is they always know their own strengths and weaknesses. They also know the strengths and weaknesses of all the members of the team, there is no hiding that you don’t know what you’re doing from a professional project manager. Project managers are people who continue to learn throughout their whole lives. Always remember that people love to follow successful leaders who know what they are doing, that is the very essence of project management.