As the business world continues to innovate and develop, project management has risen as an universally appreciated field of expertise – with businesses of all sizes recognising the potential in working with a dedicated project manager. Despite being only one person, the support a project manager lends to the operations of a business is priceless.
Keep reading to find out more about the integral role of project managers in businesses, what it takes to become one, and their typical career paths.
At Pacific Training Group, we’ve recognised the ever increasing demand for project management professionals, and provide educational courses to all individuals interested in the field.
You can view our project management courses here.
What is project management?
Project management involves the process of leading a team to complete business tasks and achieve goals within a certain time frame. The challenge of project management is keeping all team members working collaboratively towards one common goal and to deliver high-quality services or products before a deadline.
Project Management Stats
According to a report published by KPMG and the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) in 2020, 37% of employees rate their project managers’ ability to support and effect change in their business as very or extremely effective.
Currently, only 57% of companies have dedicated project management offices. As the value of project managers continues to rise and this percentage only increases, it will be extremely rewarding for graduates to develop their project management skill sets to widen their scope of opportunity.
At Pacific Training Group, our project management educational courses strive to do just that for the benefit of our students.
What does a project manager do?
A project manager is responsible for directing and organising team members to complete tasks and duties on time and within the project scope (such as within the budget).
What are the five stages of project management?
Most project managers use the Project Management Institute (PMI)’s five stages of project management as a guide to organise their own timelines for business projects. TProhe five stages of project management are a must-know for anyone aspiring to become a project manager.
- Conception and Initiation: the process of evaluating the feasibility of a project (usually involving stakeholders and relevant team members) and working out the goals for the project.
- Planning: the process of determining a project’s timeline, the resources and costs required, and what needs to be done to achieve the business’ goals.
- Execution: the process of completing the project.
- Performance and Monitoring: while team members are working on and completing a project, a project manager is expected to gauge their collective performance and keep all team members on the same page.
- Closing: the official closure of a project, involving reporting the final results and storing records and data created and used during the project in a safe place.
What does it take to become a project manager?
Becoming a project manager is no easy feat. To become a successful project manager, students need to develop certain skills for the professional setting.
A few helpful skills to increase your chances of becoming a successful project manager include:
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- Communication skills: whether it is through face-to-face meetings, calls, emails or instant messaging via social media applications, project managers need to be comfortable and well-versed in communicating between both relevant team members and key stakeholders. Reason-being, project managers are required to keep up to date the progress of projects, as well as reinforce collaboration and communication lines between clients, stakeholders and employees.
- Problem-solving: oftentimes, a project manager will be faced with problems regarding miscommunication between team members, wrong budget allocations, inability to meet deadlines and so forth. As such, it is integral that project managers can think quickly on their feet and offer solutions to the problems they are faced with so that a project does not collapse.
- Budgeting: with the help of an accountant, a project manager is often responsible for determining the budget for a project. As such, it may be helpful to learn the basics of pricing by reviewing, processing and approving invoices from vendors the business works with.
- Teamwork: in order for a project manager to learn the responsibilities that come with leading a team, they will need to practise working as an equal part of a team as well. This is so that they can better understand the problems that team members experience and thus offer effective solutions. Being able to boost morale as a team member is also a valuable skill for project managers to have.
- Time management: similar to budgeting, project managers need to know how to work with limitations. Knowing the time it takes to complete certain tasks and setting realistic completion dates is essential to working successfully as a project manager.
What qualifications do you need to be a project manager?
There are a number of qualifications that most businesses look for when hiring for their project management team. Acquiring these qualifications can help you get a head start in the field against your competition.
The main project management qualifications businesses look for in candidates are:
- A Bachelor’s Degree in management or human resources
- A Project Management Professional (PMP) certification (requires passing an exam hosted by the PMI)
- A project management diploma (acquired by completing project management education courses at institutions like Pacific Training Group).
What is the typical career path of a project manager?
After acquiring the necessary qualifications, graduates can begin their career in project management in one of two ways. Individuals can either work as a regular team member and be promoted into the role of project manager, or be hired into project management at an entry-level point.
Project Management Entry Level Jobs
- Project Coordinator: this role is an entry-level role and functions as an important support role to a project manager. Focusing on the day-to-day tasks and reporting happenings to a project manager, working as a project coordinator gives individuals the opportunity to gain holistic skills in time management, budgeting and communication. A project coordinator enables project managers to focus on higher level strategic issues and problems within a project.
- Project Manager: a project manager is the most common role within the field of project management, and is responsible for overseeing the process of task competitions, budgeting, stakeholder engagement and project planning.
Project Management Senior Level Jobs
- Project Director: a project director is a step above a project manager, in that they are responsible for the same things – however, across multiple projects usually at once. As a senior member of project teams, a project director views projects from a broader business owner view and is not typically involved in the day-to-day tasks of running a project.
Keep in mind that most businesses – no matter their industries – require a project management team, hence it is up to you to choose your particular area of specialty.
Project Management Australia
Interested in starting a project management job but not sure how to get started? Enrol in the project management courses available at Pacific Training Group now!
At Pacific Training Group, we recognise the increasingly important role project managers play in businesses, and are committed to helping individuals learn more about the industry to increase their professional prospects. Our project management courses are designed to help students gain the necessary theoretical and practical skills so that they are industry-ready as soon as possible!