Project Managers have very important roles in organisations across a whole range of industries. Their task to keep a project running within scope, on time and to budget is not confined to the job or project itself – they need to have a wide range of knowledge and skills to be successful. The success of a Project Manager is vital to any business; if they lose a client, deliver a poor quality end-product or come in way over budget, this can have major impact on a business’ reputation let alone financial situation.
As a Project Manager, it is your responsibility to have an understanding not only of your project, but of how it fits into the strategic aims of your business, as well as the objectives of any client or stakeholders involved. You need to understand the high-level considerations before your project work can be truly successful.
A Project Manager must be:
- A good leader and motivator
- A skilled manager of people and teams
- Able to communicate across all levels
- Understanding and mindful of wider business objectives
- Able to manage conflict
- Competent with budget sheets and management
- Able to incorporate change to a project successfully
How can APMP teach these skills?
Although you can acquire some skills and a level of understanding through experience, the best way to learn how to be a good Project Manager is through professional training; by attending project management courses you can consolidate your knowledge and earn a qualification. Qualifications such as PRINCE2 and Agile teach you how to work to a specific method and framework (which may be important dependent on the industry you work in), but the APMP qualification is a comprehensive course that will teach you about every element of project management – focussing not just on methodology but all of the skills and considerations that will help you progress your career.
The introductory level APM Project Fundamentals Qualification and the APMP qualification are provided by the APM (Association of Project Management), and are taught using their ‘Body of Knowledge’. The Body of Knowledge covers 52 knowledge areas applicable across all aspects of project management. For example, you will be taught about business and commercial considerations including building a business case, marketing and sales, project financing and funding, procurement, and legal awareness. Understanding and awareness of just one of these areas will improve your project management greatly; by taking the APMP course, you will acquire knowledge from across all aspects – meaning you will become an excellent asset to any company as an employee.
How will this knowledge be applied in practice?
Lets say, for example, that you have been asked to manage a project won by your sales team via the procurement process. The product sold is a web portal which handles business contracts.. First of all, knowledge of procurement will allow you to understand the conditions under which the project was won by your company, and therefore any restrictions or considerations this may put in place throughout the project lifecycle. Secondly, as the project is handling sensitive information in the form of contracts, you will need to be aware of any legal considerations and security implications, enabling you to take an executive oversight of the project and how it develops. If any tasks contravene the legal or security measures you know should be in place, you can show good project management skills by flagging these and taking appropriate action.