HOW TO GET EXPERIENCE IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT AS A BEGINNER
If you’re looking for how to gain experience in project management, you’re reading the perfect article. But before we head on to that, we need to understand the basic concepts of project management, its stages, and so on. With an understanding of these basic concepts, you’ll be well on your way to gaining experience in no time.
WHAT IS PROJECT MANAGEMENT?
Let’s first of all start with the definition of project management. Project management can be defined as the process whereby knowledge, skills, techniques, and processes are applied to achieve a goal. In other words, it is the use of resources to drive a target that gives value to the people into completion.
The project manager’s job is always to help define the goals and objectives of a project and to identify when the various project components are to be completed and by whom. Project management is often associated with fields that have a complex set of objectives that needs to be completed in a particular fashion. Fields such as Construction, Engineering, Information Technology (IT) and healthcare all make use of project management.
WHAT ARE THE STAGES OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT?
There are 5 stages of project management. These stages are linear and help a project manager to better handle complex sets of objectives like we had mentioned earlier. What exactly are these stages? Let’s head on to that:
This is basically the official start of a project and it usually entails the issuance of a Project Mandate. This describes details such as the Budget of the project and the purpose. This information serves as a guide to the project manager on how to go on with the next steps to come.
Definition and planning:
This includes setting objectives and targets. At this stage, you are expected to define the scope of the project, the project plan and the work breakdown schedule. This helps to make the team working on a project to run smoothly together and keep to a particular date of completion.
Project launch and execution:
Execution basically means putting your project into action and it always begins with a Project kickoff meeting. During this phase, every task and activity in the project plan will be carried out. You can use a range of tools to monitor things like quality, time, cost etc.
Monitoring and control:
This phase usually overlaps with execution as they occur concurrently. They require measuring project progression and performance and dealing with issues that arise during day-to-day activities. During this stage, you might need to adjust your schedule to ensure that your project remains on track.
This is the final stage and within this stage you should complete your work and dissolve the project. This necessarily doesn’t mean success but it’s simply the final point in the project. After closure, you can carry out a Post-implementation project review to Access what went right or wrong.
HOW TO GAIN PROJECT MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE
With a basic understanding of project management, let’s head on to how we can actually gain experience on it. Depending on your education level, you need to have spent between 4500 to 7500 hours leading and directing projects to call yourself an experienced project manager. I know this may seem discouraging to beginners but there’s a way to reach that level.
First of all let’s define what PMI means. PMI is defined as a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service. PMI stands for Purchasing Managers index. It is a measure of the prevailing direction of trends in manufacturing. Now that we’ve got all that established, let’s get into how to gain project management experience.
Keep a record of your work:
It is important to keep a record of your work because if you don’t do so, it might get missed from your PMP application. PMI expects details of the project work including qualifying hours, roles, dates of employment etc. This record can also include all voluntary work you had already taken or are about to take.
Networking is important in that it creates a connection with people who can be potential clients. Conferences are a great way to get advice about starting in project management and also meet new and more experienced people who will be of value to you. Networking can make it possible for you to pick up voluntary and paid projects you can use to up your experience.
We have already brushed on the idea of volunteering. Because it’s unpaid work, the less experienced can have more opportunities. Remember it takes a lot of hours of experience to qualify for PMP so use your opportunities well.
Run your own projects:
Having your own project management projects will definitely give you a lot of experience in that sector. Suggest small projects you can lead to your superiors. This is a very good avenue to gain experience.
WHAT TYPE OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT CAN YOU USE TO GAIN EXPERIENCE?
There are various types of project management and they have all been developed to meet the specific demands of the industry. You can choose to volunteer or work in any of the below project management to add to your experience. Let’s take a look at them:
Waterfall project management:
In waterfall project management, basically, every task needs to be completed before the next one starts. Progress is linear and flows in one direction. Because of this, attention to task sequences and timelines are very important. The size of the team working on the projects typically grows in size as smaller projects get wrapped up and larger projects begin. This can help boost your management skills and give you a heads-up on experience.
Agile project management:
Agile project management is basically a reiterative process focused on the continuous improvement and monitoring of deliverables. The computer software industry was one of the first to use agile project management.
Agile project management does not follow the usual stage-by-stage approach. Phases of the project are completed in parallel by the various team members. This method is able to find and fix errors quickly without having to restart the entire procedure.
Lean project management:
“Lean” is a systematic method for the elimination of waste in a manufacturing context (muda). It also accounts for waste created through overburden (Muri) and waste created via uneven workloads (mura). Collectively these are known as the 3 MU’s of lean project management.
Lean project management entails the avoidance of waste of both time and resources. The main idea behind this method is to create more value for customers with less waste and fewer resources in a project context.
Project management in essence is not easy, hence the need or demand for more experienced project managers. In this article we have gone through the ways in which one can get experience in project management like volunteering; this could be for non-profit organizations with which you can get a lot of valuable experience and add it to your CV.
Another way is to start your own personal projects and document them effectively because you’ll need to showcase every bit of experience you got. With this, we bring this article to a close, good luck with your journey in project management!