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Monday
Jul232012

7 Key Skills You Need to Succeed in a Project Management Career

Be Skilled at the Key Concepts of Project Management

Project leaders and team members alike must understand the fundamental concepts of project management and have the ability to apply those concepts to real work scenarios. The key concepts include the Project Triangle and methods for effectively communicating project scope, objectives and schedule to team members and business leaders.

Organize the Project Charter Correctly

The ability to structure and document the project charter correctly is crucial to the success of any project. This includes the creations of a solid foundation based on real business requirements and the identification of key players in the project. Additionally, you will need to be capable of understanding and meeting the expectations of all parties, including executives, stakeholders and customers.

Identify the Work

Once the charter is complete, you're ready to identify work tasks and requirements. An accurate breakdown of project requirements, assignment of specific tasks to project teams and individual team members, and an accurate assessment of the Level of Effort (LOE) required for the completion of milestones and the overall project is critical to success.

Create an Accurate Budget

The management of time, money and resources is central to project management. You must estimate as accurately as possible all aspects of the project budget, including personnel expenses, out-of-pocket costs, resources and supplies necessary, and any other expenses associated with the project.

Schedule the Work

Effective scheduling of any project is a complex step and one that is crucial to the overall success of the project and its individual contributors. Utilize proven scheduling tools and methods to meet project demands in terms of budget and workload distribution, including Network Logic Diagrams, task dependency charting, and Critical Path and Float calculations. While Gantt Charts certainly have their place, understand their limitations and use them sparingly and with caution.

Guide the Work Process like a Jedi Master

Keeping a close eye on project team progress, providing regular updates to executives, customers and other stakeholders, and ensuring the smooth flow of communications between project teams are only a few of responsibilities required of project managers. Set up a consistent schedule for communications and follow it. Use the Agile Scrum method for quick communications, and ensure your project teams don't silo themselves.

Be a Post-Project Management Expert

How you manage post-project initiatives and processes is as important to solidifying your place as a project management expert as is the way you handle the projects on which you work. Ensure that product delivery is coordinated as well as the project development process. Be sure quality assurance processes run smoothly and efficiently. Communicate the delivery of products to all stakeholders, and don't forget the Post-Mortem Assessment, as the findings from that assessment can be of benefit to future projects and teams.

Train to become a Professional Project Manager

These skills can be learned through practical on the job experience, but that is risky as you're in the arena and mistakes can be costly to your career. The best option is to consider career education extension programs and/or get your Project Management Certification at a credentialed training and testing center.

For more information on Professional Project Manager Certification options, please visit: http://www.projectmanagercertifications.com. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=John_A_Brackett

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