The digital world has significantly changed the way, and the world does business today. Giant sized businesses employing 10,000 or more people under one roof has become commonplace in many developed and developing nations. Consider companies like Amazon and it should not take much time to comprehend the paradigm shift in doing business. Amazon is just about 22 years young. In just about two decades, Amazon has notched up a net worth of $72 billion plus while GE (General Electric) with a 134 years history has a net worth of about $50 billion. Let us now understand why project management expertise is essential to every budding professional in today’s fiercely competitive world.
Employers have significant expectations
Employers today have a basket of expectations from their employees. If you have a mere Masters in Engineering, Finance or Information Technology, you could well be trailing behind other lesser qualified people because you lack project management expertise. To be efficient and add value to the business, you need a comprehensive knowledge of the multiple facets of business. Your Masters may not adequately cover areas like supply chain management, logistics, cost control, time management, interpersonal skills, communication skills, integrity, team building, working under pressure, initiative/motivation, work ethics, and problem-solving.
You can now appreciate how project management skills work as a career accelerator for you. The following are among the core skills that you can expect to acquire from Prince2 project management courses.
Becoming a visionary
Effective project leaders defined as those with a clear vision of their goal and those who articulate the vision comprehensively.
Change drives visionaries, and they never hesitate to create new boundaries. Leaders can lift their team, provide the vision and spirit to bring about the change. Visionary leaders can make people feel wanted and inject a sense of belonging in them. They empower followers to experience the vision independently or rather carve out their vision and explore how the idea will impact their lives as well as jobs and integrate themselves into the vision of the organisation itself.
Communicating responsibilities, expectations, performance and feedback across different levels of hierarchy is an essential skill expected of project managers. In fact, many employers consider this at par with other top skills for the project manager’s job.
Project management courses also place great importance to this segment imparting the art of effective communication across levels. Project managers are also called upon bring out all their skills in actually negotiating and persuasion where necessary to achieve the success of the project and the team. Effective communication is an indispensable tool in the hands of project managers to support achievements of individuals as well as the team by drawing up clear guidelines for achieving the goals and career advancement for members of the team.
Every project manager ought to remember that his/her actions speak louder than words. Therefore it is essential that he/she sets an ideal modus operandi that the team can follow. A good leader is also expected to be committed to and demonstrate ethical practices of the highest order. While setting standards of ethical behaviour for others to follow care should be taken to ensure that the project manager can lead by example. Project leaders are also responsible for rewarding followers who exemplify in the ethical practices set for the team. If the project manager is motivated more by his interests, rather than the collective benefit of the team, the results could be catastrophic. Project management course will help you learn these traits and integrate them into your career.
Body language is an important attribute that many employers look for at all levels. Project managers brimming with enthusiasm in their task will invigorate their environment and motivate members of the team to go that extra mile. By creating a ‘can-do’ environment, project managers can nip out any negativity and guide the team towards the common goal. The confidence of a project manager converts to enthusiasm for the whole team and active managers are aware that the trait is contagious.
A leader obviously must have followers, else what does the leader lead? In the corporate world, a project manager should be able to delegate tasks to his supporters efficiently. It is not just distribution of work, but on the contrary, you are demonstrating the trust in your followers to carry out one or more segments of a task. Assessing the abilities of your followers and delegating tasks will also mean that you get more time to gain control over the overall work and monitor all associated functions more efficiently.
Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of members of the team of a project manager can be simple or complex depending on how the leader approaches the subject. More often than not, the task involves bringing together a group of strangers into a cohesive unit for a common purpose. The project leader/manager’s skills and abilities will reflect the performance of the team. A project management course will take you through the different aspects of team building, man-management, cultural integration, managing geographical and linguistic barriers, etc.
Another critical function of project management and project leaders are expected to excel in this segment. Every problem has a solution and this solution often have to come from the project manager rather than copying from others. Individual circumstances need to consider and the solution tailored to answer the particular problem on hand. While lessons from the past can be helpful, most solutions are unique and cannot apply to another set of circumstances. The ability to critically analyse the problem itself and evolve the most appropriate solution is the task of a project leader.
Most project management courses are designed to walk the potential leaders through real-life situations to give them adequate exposure to simple as well as complex aspects of project management. As you progress through the course, you will also notice that case studies and practical exposure are emphasised to cement the academic learning.