Learn to be a Project Manager

By Cormac O' Meara - Last update

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Have you ever thought you would be good at project management but not sure where to start? Do you enjoy planning how much time and resources you need to get a job done? Then you would enjoy managing projects. Learn project management  techniques, skills and background to effectively complete a project with a project management course.

The globally-recognised Project Management Institute, Inc (PMI) offers two certifications – the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) and Project Management Professional (PMP). These certifications prove your skills to prospective employers. While it is not required to earn either certificate, employers often prefer to hire certified project managers.

All major industries need project managers. Telecommunications and information technology, health and education industries want qualified project managers. Project managers are also in high demand in government, building and marketing organisations.

About project management courses

Learning to manage projects means understanding the basic components. Project managers also need soft skills. Some of these include communication, negotiation, time management and organization as well as leadership. Clear, concise communication with staff, management and customers is key in managing projects and you will learn all about this on a course.

Budgeting time and resources are also primary skills required for managing projects. These harder skills sometimes require software to estimate the amount of time needed to complete a project. Other hard skills required are calculating the amount of work completed compared to the time left in the project. This gives stakeholders a sense of the project status.

Below are focus areas for managing projects and these would form the main component of a project management course and qualification. Here we look at a few of the primary skills a successful project manager needs.

Project conception and initiation

At this point, the project is just an idea. You’ll learn the skills to get enough information about the ideal. Then, stakeholders can make a decision about moving forward with the idea, understand the basics of completing a feasibility study and how to write a business case. Learning the key points of a project initiation document is also part of the project concept and initiation.

Developing communication and leadership skills are primary skills in this phase.

Project definition and planning

Next, you learn about defining work products and planning a project. Courses teach you about creating a project plan and a project charter, understanding why defining scope is important for later successes in the project, how to guide stakeholders in prioritizing the new project and how to facilitate a budget decision and a schedule. Understanding how to estimate resources is also taught in this phase.

Learn about communication, planning and time management in project definition and planning.

Project launch or execution

You’ll learn how to kick-off a project by communicating general project information and milestones – also, understand how to assign tasks and communicate responsibilities. You’ll continue developing communication, negotiation and risk management skills in this phase.

Project performance and control

During this phase, you’ll learn how to keep a project on track by comparing actual progress to planned progress and how to adjust schedules and make necessary changes to keep the project on target, sharpening your time management, negotiation and risk management skills. They are key to project performance and control.

Project closure

You’ll learn how to close out a project. At the end of a projects, there will often be housekeeping details to complete. Learn how to check the successes and struggles of a project.

As in the other phases, communication is important in this phase.  Learning to draw out best practices and downfalls of the project is valuable for future efforts.

Project Managers are in high demand in many industries. Developing the basic skills for project management and honing your soft skills help you succeed as a project manager.

Find a project management course near you in Courses.ie’s course finder.



Cormac O' Meara

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