Project Management Back to Basics: Understanding the Process and the Career

Project manager is a person who leads a team of group members to achieve set goals within the stipulated time.

Project management is the act of guiding a team of experts to accomplish goals and meet a set target within a particular time.

The main aim of a venture or project is to accomplish the set goals within the given conditions. The experts who manage projects are known as Project managers (PMs).

Handling projects is not all about creative flow; it is also about considering every detail, risk-taking, and learning throughout the project cycle.

 The Critical Role of Project Management.

Project management is a necessary tool for nearly all fields. It offers a step by step approach to get work done and help achieve desired goals within the specified time.

The critical roles of project management is to:

  1. Lead teamwork & coordinate communication. This project cycle ensures a team works in unison and communicate effectively.
  2. Creating order. Without guidelines, a project can easily lose focus. This subject offers specific ways to make teams work efficiently.
  3. Schedule arrangement and planning. This has to do with allocating resources, creating roadmaps, as well as initial activities to keep costs in check and ensure timely completion.
  4. Dealing with change. This discipline tries to spot changes and adjust the plan accordingly to increase the likelihood of a positive outcome.
  5. Handling risks. A project identifies any would-be risks upfront eliminating possible friction and keeping costs in check.
  6. Quality assurance. Project management skills prioritize customer satisfaction by setting aside enough time and resources for quality control.
  7. A project manager learns from mistakes. Mistakes happen, but the most important thing about to learn from our shortcomings and turn a failure into success.

The Basics & Methodologies of Managing a Project

  1. The Basics. 

So what happens during this complicated process? Here’s everything involved in a project cycle:

  • Initiation stage
  • Planning & Scheduling
  • Implementation
  • Monitoring and Quality Control
  • Winding up

Each step in the project cycle is important in ensuring a positive outcome. Each stage has a set of specific task by particular experts all who aim at successful project delivery—in compliance with the predetermined project goals.

Project manager’s project management basics.

Here are the most important factors in ensuring a project ends in a win.

  • Time: the full duration it would take to complete the project.
  • Cost: the total amount of money allotted to fund and finish the project work.
  • Scope: this describes how the activities project should accomplished and gives guidelines on how to execute each task.
  • Quality control: this happens throughout the project to ensure a desirable project result.

All these factors are vital and must work together for the well-being and outcome of the project.

A project manager must balance the above factors to ensure a smooth project.

For instance, allotting too little time can affect the scope, skyrocket costs or lead to poor quality results.

  1.  Project Management Methodologies. 

These are a system of practices, techniques, procedures, and rules used by project managers. Learn more about each process below;

  • Agile: Agile is a list of principles, meant to help mostly in software development. It encourages collaboration, team management, and on-the-go delivery of remedies.
  • Kanban is an approach built to streamline the work process, split it into small steps, boost up efficiency and increase its flexibility.
  • Lean is a tactic targeted at boosting process efficiency. It is about finding techniques to offer more value by doing away with everything dysfunctional and non-essential.
  • Scrum ban is a tactic in project management that blends Scrum and Kanban techniques. It blends the flexibility in Kanban and the structure in Scrum to offer a crystal clear work process.
  • Extreme programming methodology seeks mainly to satisfy the client. It builds on teamwork and togetherness and recommends the mandatory technical practices to accomplish the best result in a jiffy.
  • The waterfall methodology involves planning and scheduling a venture before any activities kick off start and then implementing the processes through pre-defined project cycle.
  • Projects in Controlled Environments is a process-based approach that suggests a thorough and controlled approach to project management. It splits projects into several steps, each with its  processes and procedures. This arrangement ensures everything is tackled leading to a positive outcome. It also makes the whole process predictable.
  • Scrum is borrows a little from the Agile method. This tactic it suggests tricks to better by defining a set of roles and responsibilities within the team. Scrum is best for small teams and highlights procedures to improve self-organization and process improvement via day-to-day meetings, sprints, and retrospectives.

Picking the right approach is not the key to winning in project management. Identifying, defining, and focusing on the right problem is is useful in a project because priority number one in this job is to find the remedy to a specific problem.

Must-have Skills for a Project Manager

All professions require skills. Project management is one of the tactical fields; both theoretical skills and experience are necessary to be a successful project leader. The following are some of the essential skill needed to be a PM;

  1.  Subject expertise

The past old saying that a manager only needs tthe knowhow on how to manage a venture is now a thing of the past. To succeed in project management, one needs to have skills in the field you are going to lead. Having theoretical literature on the field of management, and some experience will give you confidence in dealing with your clients. It will also help you find better ways to configure the work process and even help you communicate with customers and stakeholders as an expert.

  1.  Planning

Without the right planning skills, it’s almost possible to work as a project manager. It helps to pay attention to proper planning because it’s the core part of a leader’s job.

In this job, you have to plan the time as well as resources and budgets. Planning isn’t about organizing the order of activities. It also involves setting sensible timelines and staying on the right path.

  1.  Time management.

Time is an invaluable resource in any project, and must be spent wisely. Prioritizing work and optimizing schedules is the PM’s responsibility.

Having exact data at hand allows us to do away with time-wasters, cut off any disturbances and unstances of multitasking, and revise work distribution throughout the team if needed.

  1.  Leadership

A leader is not just one who is in charge, inspires others and gives instructions. It involves interpreting the project’s goals and vision to the workforce, establishing sprints and long-term goals, detecting and solving conflicts, and improving the general performance of the team.

  1.  Communication

To be a winner in this career, you must have communication skills. Communicating is when you pass on key information in a manner that your team can understand and implement. It is one of the most important tools in meeting the needs of a project. For a PM, the task is to keep in touch with the team members, stakeholders, customers, and company owners.

 What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a PM

To be a successful project leader involves, you must be able to manage 3 things; time, cost and quality. A good project management is agile, swift and has self-control. You also need the following;

  1. Theory knowledge such as:
  • Phases of a project
  • Methods in Project management
  • Best industry practices
  • Legal practices.
  1. Acquire practical skillsets:
  • Venture Planning;
  • Teamwork and leadership.
  • Risk analysis and management;
  • Management;
  • Time Management
  • Change management;
  1. Must acquire the ability to:
  • Speak and listen to others comfortably and in detail;
  • Work in an intense environment;
  • Multitask if necessary.

Now that you know what employers look for, it also essential to learn where to source such skills and competencies.

Signing up for a PMP certification course and passing your project management professional exams is the best way to go about it.

 Project manager’s project management methodology.

You must not have a natural talent to be an excellent PM. The push to study and the determination to know can drive you to your dream. Successful PMs are the fruits of starts from hard work, ambition and the ability to recover from mistakes.

 Career Opportunities in Project Management. 

Many fields are taking into project management these days. It is an exciting career once you get an opportunity. The following roles are possible:

  • Assistant PM: an entry-level role with easier tasks that allows working with experienced specialists and learn the basics of practical project management.
  • Associate PM: another entry-level spot that comes with basic responsibilities and enables one to gain from more experienced project leaders.
  • Project coordinator: this job involves assisting the project leader in higher areas but includes more responsibilities, such as planning and organization tasks.
  • Senior PM: the high-level position in project management requires years of relevant experience and several finished projects.
  • Product manager: this position requires focusing on the specific product and the process involved in its of production like design, manufacturing, marketing, pricing, and so on
  • Business Project manager: this post can be said to be a corporate jobspot that involves toles and responsibilities like working on internal company’s activities, contracting with clients, and overseeing enterprise-level projects.

PMs have unique career opportunities in different fields, both historical and developing. Among them, the following offers the best perspectives:

  • IT. Information technology is a competitive and everchanging field. It is one of the most secure and flexible jobs. You’ll alsoi love the the IT field, because it gives one a chance to grow their portfolio in the process.
  • Oil and gas. Energy is here forever. It is a secure job spot that comes with high salaries and stability. What’s more, it offers a chance not just to perform your work, but also to contribute positive changes for future generations in energy renewal and sustainable development.
  • Construction. There are few fields where the diversity of projects is as great as in development. This area is perfect for those who can combine creativity and conscientious work, and prefer not to always work at the desk.

Lastly, you can be a Consultant. Communication and other soft skills are important in any field, but in consultation, they are the core part of the job. This field is ideal for those who can find individual solutions and are great at interacting with people of various personality types.

 Resources to Increase your project management Knowledge.

Both newbie and experienced PMs can benefit from continuous training and development of skills.

There are many ways and places to get a rich pool of info. It can take the form of self-training or just sharing tactics, knowledge and experience. The following are some places

  1.  Project Management Institutes.

These are institutions where you study to acquire the right skills you need for this job. Most well-known institutes can help offer invaluable knowledge on how to start and run a project.


Copper Project is a capable project software. It helps a project manager plan and run ventures from start to finish. This website’s blog also shares useful insights on starting, running and managing projects.

  1. Acti TIME’s Blog. 

The ACTi TIME blogpost area is a rich pool of invaluable info for experienced PMs and wannabe specialists. You get everything from the newest software in the market, to time management tactics, to what’s hot and trending and all other relevant information to keep you on toes.

  1.  Girls Guide on Project Management.

This is an informative and interesting blog that offers tricks and clue into many components of running a project.  The site offers knowledge, you learn from true stories, get lots of project templates, and so on.

  1.  Projectmanagement.Com gives access to almost any question you have about the running projects. It features blogs, e-books, software comparisons and job postings. In a nutshell, it offers up-to-the-minute info, and training materials to get you up to speed.

  1.  Quora. 

Quora is a hub of info where people from different walks of life meet to share what they know. It the ultimate place to ask anything and get meaningful answers to your problems.