Improving Project Management Skills
October 31, 2012
Top 5 Considerations
How can I expand my project management knowledge? What options do I have? Project managers, who’re eager to learn more, look for answers to these questions. For those people PM is the focal point of their career. If you are one of those people and want to improve your project management skills, you need to be ready to devote much of your energy to the improvement process. Here are top 6 considerations to help you develop your skills and abilities.
Know and Foster the Skills of a Successful Project Leader
Do you know what skills make a project leader really successful? One of the surveys undertaken by PMI to explore and review leadership styles of project managers has revealed that there are seven traits of a successful project leader, as follows below:
- Ability to identify, define and solve problems
- Being oriented to results managed under right goals
- Enthusiasm and energy
- Ability to establish and maintain stakeholder communications
- Ability to reveal and resolve conflicts
Learn as Much as You Can
Self-education is one of the greatest opportunities to develop and improve project management skills. There are hundreds of books, magazines, guides, manuals, tutorials, dictionaries, and other literature about general PM and specific subsets. Of course you can’t read them all but what you really can is to look for and sort out material that could help you solve your current issues and improve your skills in management.
Gain Real-World Experience
Nobody can be successful without months and years of actual practice. As many projects you participate in as greater and practical knowledge you gain and thus as greater chances for success you earn. Of course, there is always a likelihood that you can do things right away without any preparation and practicing, but that’s just likelihood and even if you win now next time you may fail… Experience and real practice is the basic requirement for improving project management skills.
Prior Experience for Improving Current Skills
This rule works because when managing your projects you have to deal with a portion of unpredictability caused by people and changes. Much of what you have learned and remembered in previous projects will be helpful in predicting events in current and new projects. Your prior experience will be the key to your success in future.
Improve Project management Responsibility
Your responsibility covers a range of projects in which you need to participate from day to day. Probably, those projects are typical for you so they do not let you gain new experience or knowledge. However, change is the driver of success that helps you develop and improve your project management skills.
By changing your PM responsibility you gain an opportunity to learn something new. Managing larger projects or multiple small parallel projects will stretch your limits and strengthen your skills in management.
Join Professional and Educational Institutions in Management
PM is a dynamically growing discipline, and today more and more individuals and companies look for opportunities of learning this discipline deeper. One of the opportunities refers to professional institutions that provide certified training and special education. Those who are interested in project management might consider coursework from Saint Joseph University Online.
One of the leading associations is the Project management Institute (PMI), which has divisions all over the world. PMI provides various training courses and programs that can help you improve your project management skills. Besides, you can network with other project managers, mentors, and professionals.
Think like a Winner
Thinking like a winner means having a clearly stated goal and being passionate about it regardless of any circumstances. This statement is also about the ability to never give up. So, to improve project management skills, first you need to think about what you want to achieve (your goal is to develop your PM skills) and whether you are ready to spend much of your time and effort on achieving the goal.