Whenever we attend interview for project manager position, we tend to present all of our qualifications and extra certifications on top of our degrees, don’t we?
What do we understand from certification? We attended courses to improve our skills and knowledge, sat for the examination and get recognized. But a point to ponder, how many of us really practice what we learned? Project management certification is a common certification that most IT candidates have for example PMP and SCRUM. However, they often wondered why weren’t they successful in their dream job.
- No experience in project management but took certification to enhance their knowledge and search for job opportunity
- No certification but have project management experience
Why did the candidates fail? They had either the certification or experience. If you think further what does project managers do? Candidates fail to see the non-task side of project management, no doubt they know all the technical aspect of project management requirements.
- Soft skills: A project manager requires skills to manage stakeholders from all levels using different approaches. My recommended is the ‘fishing’ method where the project manager needs to know when you should drop, jig and troll.
- Creativity: I am not referring to a designer skill but a project manager needs to have the creativity to improvise project plans and to change the direction of the project should timeline fails, workaround risks, resource management by delegating and changing roles, if required. It may sound to risky in the project duration to do this but it will be a good approach if the project heads a dead end.
- Communication: I can say most project managers do have this skills but how many project managers will have face to face communication with stakeholders giving them project information, I do not mean project status updates, but relationship building. Yes this related to soft skills but project management is not about work but relationship to understand how business operations and how we add value to the business.
- Business knowledge: This is the area where I often observe project managers fail to get their hands dirty or would like to know-how. This is an important knowledge which could stir the project to the direction together with the business objective for both company growth and success, my advice is do not let IT functional with IT technical personnel to understand business knowledge but as a project manager we should also learn the processes so that business and IT can succeed together
- Common Sense: Project management is not about methodology, it does play a contribution factor here, but common sense as well. If waterfall method or agile method does not work for a project, I often suggest to my team ‘hybrid’ the process through experience what may work for our environment.
- Methodology: We may implement projects using the traditional waterfall method or agile methodology. We maybe certified in SCRUM or PMP, but do evaluate under project environment circumstances, can you have a working system over documentation? Therefore methodology relates to common sense and creativity to ‘hybrid’ the project methodology to succeed.
These are my personal experiences in managing IT projects locally and regionally. I participated in global project management with other project managers and my personal experience due to different time zones, what we learned in our books is absent and where employers really look for is our additional project management skills.
Hope you enjoy the tips of project management and feel free to add comments to share your personal experiences too!