“I want to get off the tools and into the office”. We probably hear that 4-5 times a week. So we’ll share with you 3 essential tips on how to get into project management.
There’s a big difference between working for a business and actually running and managing a business.
It can look simple but it’s not.
It requires a whole new skill set and the language that goes with it.
Getting work in (marketing), doing the books (accounting), dealing with the bank (finance), costing (budgeting and estimation), giving instructions and organising people (employee relations, supervision, human resource management), dealing with clients, planning and managing (governance) and dealing with local government and even nosey neighbours (managing stakeholders) all have their own knowledge and skills sets.
Then there’s project management tools you have to get used to – things like work breakdown structures, Gantt charts, RACIs and RAMS, cap ex and op ex. Yep, there is a big list.
The question is: Is it doable? And the answer is: Of course it is!
So if it is doable then what have I got to do? How to get into project management?
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Following these basic tips will get you going down the right path (not to be confused with the critical path method!):
1. Get yourself trained in Project Management
Treat the course as a project itself – it is after all “a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result”[i] – it usually takes about 12-14 months to complete (temporary endeavour) and gives you your qualification (unique result).
Certainly doing the course takes you through the usual 5 phases of a project
- Initiating – getting started with the course and working with your coach
- Planning – your study schedule and Individual Work Plan
- Implementing – doing the course work
- Monitoring and Controlling your progress, and
- Finalising – completing your Diploma, Graduating and CELEBRATING
2. Planning and Scheduling the work
In real life a project without a plan and schedule is just a wish-list shambles. We help you set up a timetable and schedule to meet your circumstances.
3. Get your habits right
Here you have to practice all the good behavioural characteristics of a good project manager – disciplined, organised, prepared, thorough, initiative and clear thing, persistent, time-management , understanding people (particularly yourself) and supervision (supervising yourself)
Of course there are more keys to successfully completing the course but working with these 3 crucial success factors really will get you started successfully and keep you on your critical path.
There is another really important factor that goes into the success recipe. It’s about adult learning. Adults have already got knowledge, skills and experience. The key in adult learning is to confirm what people already know and build upon their experience and then help them learn the new stuff.
Adults want to be treated as adults. They learn when it’s convenient for them, not trying to fit into some rigid semester or term timetable. They want work in their language and in digestible chunks. Most of all they want to learn by doing. That’s what being competent is – it’s the ability to know and do.
[i] PMBOK Guide Project Management Institute Global Standard 5th edition 2013 p553