Project management has become a critical part of business today. In this guide, we are going to provide you with some introductory information that can assist when it comes to project management at your company.
The best project management certifications
You can add value, breadth, and depth to your skills by taking a project management training course. After all, it is not only those with the title ‘project manager’ that benefits from such qualifications. In today’s business environment, knowing how to manage projects effectively is something that most professionals can benefit from. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best project management certifications...
Prince2 Practitioner – There are many project management qualifications available, yet the Prince2 Practitioner is probably the most well known overseas. Of course, it has a massive following in the UK as well. The ILX Group delivers Prince2 certifications, which focus on delivering, managing, and directing projects across all phases. This includes everything from pre-project and initiation to delivery and final delivery.
There are two primary qualifications. Aside from the Prince2 Practitioner course, there is also the foundation course. The former is advised from more advanced project managers while the latter is an entry-level credential that tests basic methodology and terminology that is used in project management.
PMP (Project Management Professional) – Next we have PMP, which is considered the gold standard in terms of certifications for project management. This is a rigorous test that covers virtually everything to do with project management.
You will need to provide your skills and knowledge in management scope, cost, and time, or in other words, the triple constraints. The parent organisation of this credential is the Project Management Institute (PMI), which works with academia and companies on a continual basis to ensure that the certification is relevant.
There are requirements for this qualification. You will need to have 35 hours of project management education, 4,500 hours of directing and leading projects, three years of project management experience, and a four-year secondary degree.
APM Project Fundamentals Qualification (PFQ) – If you are worried because you do not have the qualifications that have been mentioned in the previous paragraph, don’t be. There are plenty of courses that are aimed at entry-level students, and this is one of them.
The APM Fundamentals Course is a practical course for those working in project teams or new project managers that want to have an improved understanding of the language, tools, and processes used in project management.
This course will enable you to apply the fundamental principles of project management, including controlling change, tracking and monitoring project progress, managing and identifying risk, drawing up a plan for project delivery, establishing scope, and defining business case.
So there you have it; three of the best project management credentials. The three credentials mentioned above cover all bases, from those with no experience to those with many years of experience.
So, you should have no problem finding one that is right for you. It is also worth pointing out that all three qualifications are highly regarded, meaning they will do wonders for your CV and will be recognised by employers all over the world.
Mistakes made during project kick-off meetings
No matter what type of project management training you do, whether it is a PMP or an APM Project Fundamentals course, one thing you will learn about is the importance of holding an effective project kick-off meeting.
This meeting is of paramount importance, as it will set the tone for the rest of the project. With that being said, below we take a look at the common mistakes you need to avoid during project kick-off meetings.
• Ignoring potential problems – A lot of project managers make this costly error; instead of focusing on potential problems, they tell their team that it is better to discuss the solutions. In fact, you need to consider both.
Most projects experience hurdles and problems along the way; you have to be extremely lucky for everything to go swimmingly. Therefore, it is vital that your team is aware of what issues could arise and how to tackle them. You will only make your team fear difficulties and feel discouraged if you neglect the potential risks.
• Using clichéd buzzwords – Of course, there is nothing wrong with saying that the project is going to be revolutionary or that it will take the industry to new levels. However, you need to be clear and constructive, and, therefore, it is better to focus on the reasons your project is going to stand out and the goals you need to achieve.
• Being vague regarding what you expect from different parts your team – Being specific and clear is of paramount importance. For example, if you say to someone ‘’aside from focusing on graphic design, please keep development on your radar”, it’s unlikely that they will know what this means.
Do they need to check on every project? Or, do you expect their help with a certain task? Define what elements of the development process you want the individual to be involved in, and how you want them to be involved; for instance, you may want them to check on the progress of a certain task and to report it to you.
• Using the phrase “I want you to give 110 per cent on this project” – If you take a look at complaints left by team members over the web, you will find that this is one of the most common.
This phrase no longer has any motivational ring to it because it has been used so many times. Moreover, there are some employees that even find the phrase intimidating and scary. Of course, they are going to give everything, but does the project manager expect them to work longer hours when they say 110 per cent?
Instead, try something along the lines of let’s all give our best efforts and produce great work, like I know we can. This is encouraging, positive, and motivational, without being scary.
• Overlooking how the work is done – Finally, a lot of project managers do not care how a job is done; they just want it complete. This is a huge mistake to make. You can discourage your team with such an uncompromising approach.
Who should be invited to your next project meeting?
The kick-off meeting is one thing, but many project managers are guilty of failing to hold efficient meetings throughout the project. They invite everyone a long, which can waste a lot of time, especially for those who aren’t impacted by the vast majority of what is being said.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the steps to take to determine who should be invited to your next project management meeting.
What is the precise purpose of the meeting? This is the first question you need to ask yourself. A lot of project managers hold meetings simply for the sake of it, and this is when they become inefficient.
Do you want to have an update regarding the status of the project from all team members? Are you focusing on a specific task? Determine what you hope to get out of the meeting, and then you will be able to decide what stakeholders and team members are impacted.
Identify relevant stakeholders – Once you know the subject matter of the meeting, you will be able to identify any stakeholders who could have something important to share with attendees or are experts regarding the topic of he meeting.
These attendees could be vital, but can sometimes be overlooked. You will want to find anyone that will help you to increase your chances of reaching your goal by offering new insights or solving a problem.
Identify relevant team members – This involves including team members who will have an update that is relevant to the meeting, as well as those that are going to be impacted by what is being discussed.
For example, if you’re opening a new medical centre, and you are having a meeting about the equipment that needs to be purchased, be it an ultrasound machine and other machines like this or reception equipment, you are only going to need these involved in the buying decisions.
Remember, not every stakeholder needs to know about every update regarding the task.
Contact potential attendees – Once you have an idea regarding who is going to be attending the meeting, it is a good idea to get in touch with them. Have a chat regarding the meeting, what you aim to discuss, and what you hope to achieve by holding the meeting.
You can then ask whether they wish to attend it or if they feel their attendance isn’t necessary. Of course, this is only applicable for team members and stakeholders you’re unsure about inviting. There will be those that are a necessity to the meeting.
Ask all attendees if they know anyone else who would be potentially valuable to the meeting – Last but not least, it is a good idea to ask attendees if they know of anyone they think would be worth inviting to the meeting.
Sometimes, assistance or insights that wasn’t previously available can help to move a project or a task in the best direction.
So there you have it: the important steps to follow when determining whom you should invite to your next project meeting. If you follow the steps mentioned above, you can ensure you hold an efficient meeting that drives the project forward.