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Exploring what it takes to be a project manager

Project management puts your skills, knowledge, and strategies to the ultimate test.

It’s more than just management—it’s a well-prepared process for achieving success, increasing efficiency, and driving change.

What is project management?

Project management as a skill focuses on achieving outcomes and understanding the many ways of working that help accomplish goals. The project manager (PM) is the one who guides a project from ideation all the way through to completion. They are action-oriented and drive change. They manage the processes to be followed and the skills and knowledge that are needed to best achieve the project objectives, all while remining on time and on budget. PM’s are employed in all industries, sectors, and organizations, such as construction, manufacturing, government, architecture, and information technology.

Typical responsibilities of a PM include:

  • defining the project’s scope, requirements, and objectives;
  • defining and assigning the tasks needed to achieve goals;
  • composing a communication plan;
  • writing a detailed project plan, including due dates;
  • keeping the project on track;
  • identifying risk or changes that should be implemented;
  • monitoring team members’ work; and
  • project reporting.

What does it take to become a Project Manager?

Project Management Institute (PMI)®, Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey®, January 2018
Project Management Institute (PMI)®, Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey®, January 2018

Anyone can become a PM but to be successful it helps to be highly organized, have strong time management skills, analytical skills, be an excellent communicator, and be able to handle some degree of risk management. And, while you can get a job as a PM without earning the project management professional (PMP®) certification, you can accelerate your career and career earnings by achieving it.

According to the 2018 PMI Salary Survey, “the median salary for project managers in Canada with a PMP® designation is $74,995 (USD).” This is an 18 per cent advantage over the median salary of $63,746 (USD) for those without their PMP designation.

What are the benefits of project management?

The main benefit of implementing a project management model is increased efficiency. Careful planning in one project translates to subsequent projects. Successful plans can be reused for multiple projects and be modified by implementing lessons learned from previous projects.

Project management also strengthens collaboration. There’s a reason why your favorite professional sports team has a coach. Sure, the athletes on the team are talented enough that they could probably win games without a coach, but to reach their full potential, they need someone to lead them. Similarly, a PM can improve a team’s ability to work together in a variety of ways:

  • defining roles and delegating tasks;
  • identifying and nurturing workers’ strengths;
  • making sure all team members are on the same page;
  • providing encouragement;
  • expecting the unexpected and preparing contingency plans; and
  • communicating with the client with a single voice and coherent vision.

Project managers play a crucial role in a company’s success. Having certified professionals steering deliverables from start to finish is an investment in your organization’s efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity.

Develop your project management skills or get closer to achieving your goal of earning a PMP® certification by learning more about PowerED’s four-course Project Management Certificate today.

Have questions? Contact the PowerED™ team to learn more, or to find out how you can save up to two thirds of the cost with the Canada Job Grant.

  • November 16, 2020