How to be a good project manager

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Paul Naybour
Paul is a project management consultant and account manager with particular expertise in the analysis, process development, and implementation of change program management, risk management, earned value management, and bespoke project management training development and delivery. Paul is the Business Development Director of the company Parallel Project Training

Good project management is fundamental to the success of any project. Without it, a project can fall behind quickly and end up significantly overbudget. Businesses have often been destroyed by just one poorly managed project. The person in charge of managing a project needs to be very qualified and smart. He or she must also possess a strong attention to detail and strong analytical skills. To manage a project, a project manager must first thoroughly understand the scope, time, and budget requirements of the project. The manager must then make a detailed plan and a schedule for the project.

No two projects are exactly alike. A good project manager is able to adapt his or her skills to each specific project. Flexible thinking is the key to good project management. Once the person managing a project receives the project specifications, he or she can start to construct the detailed project plan. To complete this task, the manager needs to have the ability to see both the big picture and the small parts of a project. This skill is difficult to learn, but with patience people can improve this ability. A good manager will analyze each piece that goes together to make the whole project. If the project is building a mall, for example, the manager must identify each of the steps involved from start to finish.

Creative thinking is often required to ensure that a project’s requirements can be achieved within the given budget. Some small things might need to be sacrificed in order to maintain the overall project concept. Project managers are experts at suggesting workarounds to achieve the best results with the most minimal expenditures possible.

Software programs exist that can support the project management process. These programs are pre-populated with standard task categories to give project managers a good place to start from. These programs also make it easy to estimate the costs of each part of a project. A project’s schedule can be immensely complex, with hundreds, if not thousands of tasks that must be completed by specific times in order for the project to move forward. By using software programs for project management, project managers can more easily keep track of such complex project elements. They can also quickly produce different schedules for comparison. Most project managers need to know these software programs very well in order to succeed in the field of project management.

Experienced project managers understand Murphy’s law. The real world is not perfect like a computer model is. Unpredictable factors like sick workers or bad weather can unexpectedly arise and influence a project that is already in progress. Something is bound to go wrong at some point even in the most meticulously planned project. Therefore, the best project managers allow for sufficient wiggle room in their project schedules. They include reasonable buffers at various points in each project schedule, especially around the most difficult or complex tasks. Without these buffers, projects can quickly fall behind, often with disastrous results.

Project management does not usually end with the initial planning stage. As a project gets started, project managers often oversee the progress. They make adjustments as needed and make sure that everything is moving forward as planned. They may be required to think on their feet and motivate others to excel. Project management is an incredibly exciting field. Project managers are unlikely to get bored in their careers, since each project is a unique challenge. At the successful conclusion of each project, a project manager feels an immense sense of satisfaction. It is a wonderful feeling to achieve true greatness in business.

To learn more about courses for project management visit Parallel Project Training.

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