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Project Management - to take responsibility

Planning a Career – The Way to Success

According to Wikipedia Project management is the discipline of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria. It is a great advantage if you have already gained experience in working in projects. Profit from opportunities that arise and be initiative. If you have the demanded skills talk to your manager or your Human Resources Manager in a review meeting, about your career planning. During the discussion you should state your skills clearly and explain what your plans for your career are.

Planning Goals realistically – Think about Steps to be taken

First you should define what your goal is. Is there a project or a particular field that would be fitting and that would bring you closer to your goal? Start with small steps. Volunteer if there is the possibility of being in charge of a subproject lead. Try to see behind the project. Which organisations are behind the project? How do the business processes work? Try to understand the overall plan. Also the outer field of the project is important.

Softskills – Be convincing by using Social Skills

Softskills comprise all competences which make working in a team possible and which increase the success of teamwork. To name just a few: communication competence, networking, organisational skills,motivation and  time management. One of the basic skills needed for working in a team is a good communicative competence. It is important to recognise problems early and to be able to solve them by discussing them. Listening actively to what your discussion partner is saying and trying to see his/her perspective is essential. Do not break a discussion off, be responsive. Clear answers will prevent misunderstandings, but do not let yourself be pushed into giving rash answers. You would have to change your answers later and this would lead to a loss of credibility. In a discussion it is wise to chose ones words carefully. It does not harm to be assertive but one should always respect the other person. During the discussion you should recognise critical situations adapt your tone of voice respectively. 

Networking Competences

To have networking competences means that you know the right people for the job to be done and that you are able to gain them over for projects. Be perceptive at training courses, at clubs, at associations and business meetings. Information exchange with other professionals is important and will help to find out more about their skills.

Organisation and Motivation

When working in a team it is important that everybody knows who is responsible for which tasks. For this reason every project manager must have good organisational skills and have the ability to delegate. To be well organised starts with your own desktop. You must have all information at your hand, when needed. Make folders (dated) and to-do lists. Enter important information in database systems and enter milestones in flowcharts. Important ideas must be recorded in writing. Checklists which are accessible to all team members are good for operational procedures. The project leader is the central figure. S/he therefore becomes the motivation coach of the team in difficult phases. The project leader should give every member of the team the feeling of being and important part of the project. Regular feedback rounds are important in order to be able to solve problems together and in order not to lose sight of the projects goals. You should praise good ideas, give constructive criticism when mistakes have been made and have possible solutions ready. For, unobjective criticism without the mentioning of possible solutions will lead to confusion.

Further Education – Also in the Field of Project Management

Besides of technical training further education is also necessary concerning project management skills. You can attend project management and project leadership courses at universities, technical colleges and Business Schools. In these courses you learn to how to apply important methods of project management and project controlling in complex projects. One of the main topics of these courses are softskills. Especially in the context of team formation and the organisation, presentation and planning of projects. Whoever prefers to have an internationally recognized certificate in the field of project management, can pass an exam and obtain a certificate according to the IPMA (International Project Management Association, www.ipma.ch) and Prince 2 standards or in agile Project Management methodologies as Scrum and Kanban.