That's why we need project management - and will always need it!
Project management is probably one of the most ambiguously defined disciplines in today's professional world. One of the reasons for this is that a project can actually be anything - from the development of a smartphone app to the construction of an airport. So doesn't it make sense to use project management everywhere and all the time? After all, what is project management actually? It's about collecting, controlling and bringing together processes, methods, skills, knowledge and practical experience to bring projects to a happy conclusion. This is the topic that the editors of the London School of Business & Finance blog have been exploring. In the following, we summarize the authors' theses for you.
Project management is always different
Project management is as widespread as it is versatile, but it is also highly complex and often complicated. Project management encompasses all tasks from the design of a project to its execution and monitoring. As a rule, project managers are expected to familiarize themselves with each new project at lightning speed and to find a strategy again and again under completely different conditions in order to lead the next project to success. Many project managers have actually acquired this adaptability to ever new projects and challenges over time and this is exactly what makes a successful person in this field.
Why is PM so important?
Why do companies need project managers? If you want, you can divide the entire working world into projects. In many industries, this is done as a matter of course: in architecture, in software development and in the advertising industry. But basically the skills of PM can be applied everywhere. Project management supports team building because it brings people from different fields together. So if you want to be a good project manager, you need to know about leading and motivating multidisciplinary teams. Project management means controlling costs. The person in charge is expected to keep an eye on costs and always monitor budget and risk. In the end, many PMs are judged only by how they handled the issue of costs. Numbers don't lie. But project management can also mean integrating PM know-how into existing processes and procedures within the company. The introduction of a new system can also be a project - optimization and change management are the keywords here. Finally, it also involves resources in the form of personnel and materials. And last but not least, the areas of knowledge transfer and quality management are also of enormous importance in project management. All of these are among the key characteristics of successful project managers, regardless of the industry.
Communication is everything!
A good project manager is primarily made up of soft skills - among other things, of course. It is said again and again that it is even more important to have excellent communication in the project and to show certain leadership qualities than to have a firm command of all technical terms and methods. This is only partly true, because of course all project managers should know what they are doing - but certainly soft skills can be mentioned as a second important success criterion behind technical knowledge. As far as communication is concerned, good PMs must not only communicate as transparently and effectively as possible within their team and within their company, but above all they must also communicate with other stakeholders and they must always be open and honest with customers. Transparency and communication go hand in hand and not only build trust. As is well known, communication always runs in two directions and those who communicate a lot also receive a lot of information, which in project management is virtually the unofficial "currency" and an important key to success.
Learned is learned
There is no denying that project management can be learned. However, it is not a discipline like any other, as it is interdisciplinary and highly adaptable: multidisciplinary all-rounders with a high degree of flexibility and adaptability are needed here. But most of this exciting and versatile discipline can be acquired. Leadership skills, communication techniques and motivation management can be learned in seminars, as can risk management techniques, change management methods and agile project management with its many facets and approaches. Project personnel certification is about all these skills, about time management itself and the project in general, about creating realistic schedules, about budget and resource management, but also about team leading - i.e. setting priorities, and about conflict resolution.
While there are always those naturals in PM who just manage to rock their projects almost playfully, most managers have to learn their art the old-fashioned way. There is no harm in looking at the old-fashioned project management methods as well as learning the modern agile methods. These can be used in different ways in different industries. One of the things that makes a good PM is to choose the right methods for the project at hand. We would be happy to advise you on this! Please contact us.
Author: IAPM internal
Key words: Project management, Tip, Guide