Personal development as a project manager
Expand knowledge and improve skills
A project manager must be able to set goals, communicate a clear vision for the project and thus motivate his team. He must avoid or resolve conflicts within the team or with stakeholders. A forward-looking project manager is able to identify and resolve conflicts before they lead to major problems. In addition to technical knowledge, this also results in important factors of his social competence. These include his team leadership skills, usually without a disciplinary superior function, his support for teamwork and, as described above, the resolution of conflicts. Overall, it is always important for the project manager to expand and improve his knowledge of motivation and communication.
Of course, it is helpful for a project manager to have a good knowledge of the industry in which he will be working on the project. Industry knowledge enables him to better recognize the requirements and needs of the clients and to align the project accordingly. Regular exposure to the latest developments and a broad network also have a competence-increasing effect. The project manager should regularly keep up with the latest trends to ensure that he has the knowledge and skills to best lead his project to its goal.
In order to expand and improve all these skills, continuous training is necessary. This can be done by reading specialist literature, by participating in basic training courses or by attending special seminars. But participation in trade fair events also offers good opportunities for personal development. Through regular further training, the project manager can ensure that he stays up to date.
Networking and exchange of experience
An important part of networking in project management is attending association events and conferences. Here, project managers have the opportunity to exchange ideas with colleagues, learn from their experiences and make valuable contacts. Membership in online communities can also be helpful in networking with other project managers.
Equally important is the exchange of experiences with colleagues in one's own company or in the project team. Through open dialogue and the exchange of feedback, new ideas can emerge and solutions can be found to make projects even more successful. It also helps to make better use of potential and resources.
Therefore, a successful project manager should not only pay attention to professional competence, but also to networking and the exchange of experience.
Mentoring and coaching
Mentoring can take place, for example, through regular meetings or telephone calls. The project manager can pick up feedback and tips, be supported in the development of his skills, in his career planning, but also in strategic decisions.
A successful mentoring programme promotes the career of the project manager, but also strengthens the project-supporting company as a whole. After all, a well-educated and trained project manager contributes significantly to the success of his project and thus also to the success of his company.
On the one hand, coaching is an instrument for qualifying experienced project managers and junior project managers. On the other hand, it is a special, holistic form of project consulting. Coaching can be used in all project processes and if it is organised to accompany a project, it represents a form of quality assurance for a project. In particular, it takes into account the psychosocial aspects of work situations. Therefore, coaching can be a far-reaching help, especially for stressful project work. Coaching can also be understood as a qualification concept. In this case, the coach advises the team or a manager in everyday project work and makes himself available as a discussion partner. He supports the team in dealing with difficult situations and helps to understand the background of certain behaviour patterns in order to recognize and break them. The aim of coaching is to help people to help themselves.
A coach must be competent in many areas. He needs
- many years of professional and team experience
- extensive coaching experience
- good project management skills
- extensive experience in project work and project management
- knowledge of relevant methods (e.g. team building)
- process competence (e.g. project processes in projects with a high degree of novelty)
- social competence (e.g. communication skills)
Qualification and certification
Today, it is generally accepted that project management is an additional way to become more successful in a traditional profession. An engineer should be able to organise his own activities and those of his team members. A computer scientist can only adapt and implement a new programme for his client if he is able to organise and manage himself, the work of his team and the input of the client's team. The more complex the project, the more management skills are needed.
A successful project manager has knowledge of applied project management, experience from completed projects and personal charisma as a person with responsibility and leadership skills (= personality).
The level of competence must increase with the degree of project responsibility.
Preparation for certification with the IAPM
Personal status determination as a project manager
The Certified Junior Project Manager (IAPM) has a solid basic knowledge of the analysis and planning fields of project management. He can apply this knowledge properly and independently under supervision, e.g.
- create and update a schedule
- monitor project documentation and
- organise reporting.
- prepare the basic calculation for a project,
- track deadlines and costs,
- monitor project documentation with independent change management,
- handle acceptance and handover of his sub-project,
- coordinate the services of all the trades, suppliers and subsystems involved and
- lead project personnel.
A Certified International Project Manager (IAPM) also has comprehensive intercultural knowledge.
Certification with the IAPM
Registration and application for certification including submission of an affidavit regarding the use of the test system.
The knowledge examination is to be taken in German or English for the targeted area (traditional, agile or international area). The scope of the knowledge examination depends on the level of certificate sought. The Certified (Agile) Project Manager and the Certified Senior (Agile) Project Manager take a knowledge examination with the same topics. If a Certified (Agile) Project Manager aspires to the Certified Senior (Agile) Project Manager level at a later date, he does not have to take the knowledge examination again.
The proof of competence is only required for the Certified Senior Project Manager (IAPM) or Certified Senior Agile Project Manager (IAPM) degree. The proof of competence comprises the data of the curriculum vitae, the listing of project-related data for a maximum of five projects and the mention of the working hours in project management functions in the last five years.
The assessment criteria are checked using a point system (scoring). In this way, the individual assessments can be evaluated and recommendations for personal development as a project manager can be made. If the candidate's achieved score is within a predefined range, the candidate is admitted to the targeted degree.
The certificates of knowledge and competence issued by IAPM are not subject to recertification, but are valid indefinitely, comparable to a school or university degree.