Should I Study Project Management Courses?
Yes, you definitely should study Project Management Courses. While you might have a natural talent for organisation and management, there are many skills that you need to learn and sharpen before you can become a Project Manager.
The Importance of Project Management
You’ve heard the words Project Management thrown around but, like many other people, you might find yourself wondering “Is Project Management really that important?” The answer to that question is simply: Yes. In truth, there are many different reasons why it is important, however, it is important to understand why this is the case.
Order out of Chaos
The first reason is simple. If you want a project to work, you need to have a clear plan. If you don’t have a plan, it will simply be chaos. A lot of people will be trying to do too many things at once. With a clear plan, you can make sure that not only are there goals set but that everyone and everything is working on the right thing at the right time.
Timing is Everything
With your plan, there will be a schedule. This schedule will help to make sure that things don’t take too long. The longer a project takes, the more expensive it gets which is why it is important to set realistic goals and to make sure that everything is on time.
There are many different resources needed to do a project. People, money, raw materials, and even time are resources that you will need. Resources cost money so you want to make sure that you get the best out of your resources and that you don’t waste your resources. Wasting resources of any kind will cost you a lot of money.
A Well-oiled Machine
Project Management also makes sure that everything and everyone is working together as effectively as possible. While there are many different parts to a project, if they aren’t all working together the project will fail.
As we mentioned before, projects are expensive, and so are resources. A Project Manager helps to make sure that money isn’t wasted and that the project stays within budget.
Managing Quality and Change
During the course of any project, this will change. That is a fact that no one can get away from. When things change it is quite common for the quality of what you are doing to change as well. A Project Manager makes sure that changes go smoothly without disrupting things too much. The Project Manager also makes sure that the quality of the project is the same from the very beginning of the project, right up until the end, no matter what changes might happen.
Remember and Learn
Each project you do will have it’s own challenges and problems. This is why each project will teach you something new and it is important to remember these lessons. You also need to accept that you will make mistakes and there will be failures along the way. It is important to learn from these failures. Your successes and failures teach you equally important lessons.
What is the Project Management Life Cycle?
The life cycle of a project is the same for every project you work on. While there are many different things that happen during this life cycle, it can be broken down into four main stages, namely the Initiation, Planning, Execution, and Closure stages.
This is the first stage of any project. In this stage, the first thing you will do is a feasibility study. A feasibility study is there to make sure what is possible. Without this, a project might simply be an impossible waste of money and time. Other things that happen in this stage include figuring out the scope of the project, what the project will be delivering, figuring out who will be involved, and comparing the costs and the benefits of the projects.
Once you have finished the initiation stage, you will start planning the project. This means taking the project and breaking it down into different parts and lots of separate goals. You will create a project plan to keep track of all these tasks and goals and you will also start collecting the resources you need.
Once all the planning, risk analysis, and everything else have been done, you will move into the Execution stage. In this stage, the project is actively happening. This is the time when everyone is working on their part of the project.
This stage happens after the project is completed. In this stage, you will look back over the project, you’ll identify where the problems were, what lessons you can learn from it, what can be applied to future projects, and accounting for any money that was left over.
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Project Management?
There are many advantages to Project Management which are very valuable for any company.
One of the biggest advantages is that it improves communication. This is because of constant contact and communication between all the departments in the company.
Project Management also helps to improve customer satisfaction. This is because of the fact that Project Management focuses on quality and features that customers want. The better the final product is the happier the customer the better it is for the business and everyone involved in the project.
Project Managers are usually hired in from outside of the company and this means that the company gets to benefit from the high level of expertise that the Project Manager will bring with them. Another advantage of this is that it helps your staff to see things in a different way and helps them to grow both personally and professionally.
Experienced Project Managers are also able to do better risk assessments than a company usually can by itself. Most companies underestimate the chance of success a project has but a professional Project Manager is able to more accurately determine the possible success of a project.
It might sound strange that project management could have disadvantages but like everything else, it does.
Probably the biggest disadvantage to Project Management is the high cost that is usually involved in hiring a Project Manager. One of the reasons for this is that the Project Manager may need or request specialised software which can be very expensive.
Along with implementing new systems and software comes the problem of things becoming very complicated and a company’s staff may feel confused or overwhelmed. The bigger a project, the more complicated is gets and if there isn’t a team working only on the project, they might fall behind with their normal day-to-day work.
Another problem is that sometimes a Project Manager doesn’t allow much room for creativity. This could be because of the nature of the project or simply how they decide to run the project.
As a Project Manager, it is important to keep all of these disadvantages in mind and try to minimise them as far as possible.
What Project Management Careers are there?
While there are different types of project managers, it really just comes down to the industry in which you are working. For example, you could be a:
- Construction Project Manager,
- IT Project Manager,
- Energy Project Manager, or even a
- Engineering Project Manager.
The nature of the project and the industry might be different but the core of the job will remain the same no matter where you work.
What are the Salaries Like?
The salary you earn will depend mostly on the company you work for. However, as an example, a search on the PayScale website will show that the average yearly salaries for the following positions are:
- General Project Manager – R453 000
- Construction Project Manager – R445 000
- IT Project Manager R467 000
Note: These figures were accurate at the time of writing.
What are the Duties of a Project Manager?
At this stage, you might be wondering just what the duties of a Project Manager are. While the list of duties and responsibilities is quite a long list, there are eight duties which are the most important. Most of the other duties can be summed up under these duties too.
Plan all Activities and Resources
A Project Manager has to plan out the entire project from start to finish. This means that they need to plan every task that needs to be done and every goal that needs to be reached during the project. They will also have to plan for all the resources that will be needed during the project.
Organise and Motivate a Project Team
It is important that the Project Manager organises the project in such a way the the project team doesn’t get stuck dealing with too many complicated processes and documents. They make sure that the team has a clear plan and goal and encourage them as much as possible.
Deal With Time Management
Project Managers have to make sure that everything happens on time and on schedule. This is because of the fact that they need to keep the client happy. If projects and goals aren’t met on time the client will become very unhappy.
Estimating the Cost and Working out the Budget
One of the biggest and most important things a Project Manager has to do is to estimate how much the project will cost. This covers everything from the cost of the materials to the salaries of the people involved in the project. After the cost has been estimated the project manager has to work out the budget for the project.
Making Sure That the Customer is Happy
Finishing a project doesn’t mean anything if your customer isn’t happy. Making sure that all the targets and goals are reached and everything happens on time will ensure customer satisfaction.
Analysing and Managing Risk
Another part of a Project Manager’s job is to look at and analyse a project for any possible risks that might happen. Once these possible risks have been identified, a Project Manager has to plan for them. This means planning the project to avoid these risks but also planning how to deal with these risks if they should happen.
Monitor the Progress of the Project
Projects generally start off well because everyone has a clear goal and plan in mind. Unfortunately, things don’t go according to plan and there are always some unexpected problems. A Project Manager has to then address these problems and monitor the progress going forward.
Manage Reports, Paperwork and Necessary Documentation
Project Managers have to do a lot of paperwork. This includes things like financial reports, final feedback reports, and project history reports which discuss everything and everyone that was involved in the project.
There are many more responsibilities that fall on the shoulders of a Project Manager. This is part of the reason why Project Managers are paid as well as they are.
Skills Academy Project Management Courses
Skills Academy’s Project Management Courses are some of the most popular courses that they on offer. They offer three different courses namely the Short Course In Project Management, the Proficiency Certificate In Project Management, and the Comprehensive Certificate in Project Management.
These Project Management courses can be done individually. This means that you don’t need to do the previous level to study a course. For example, you can study the Proficiency Certificate without needing to first study the Short Course.
One of the best things about these courses is that you don’t need to have Matric to study them. The only requirements are having Grade 10 and being able to read and write in English.
Short Course In Project Management
This course is their most basic. It is a four-month course which consists of two subjects. These subjects are Introduction to Business English and Project Management Basics. This course will give you all the basic skills and knowledge that you need as a Project Manager.
Proficiency Certificate In Project Management
The second course on offer is the intermediate level course on offer. It is a six-month course covering four different subjects. These are Introduction to Business English, Project Management Basics, Project Management Intermediate, and Customer Satisfaction.
Comprehensive Certificate in Project Management
The final course on offer is also the most advanced course. It an eight-month-long course that covers the following six subjects:
- Introduction to Business English
- Project Management Basics
- Project Management Intermediate
- Customer Satisfaction
- Project Management Teams
- Project Management Advanced
These courses are designed to give you the highest possible level of skill in a short space of time.
Interested in Project Management Courses?
If you would like to find out more about these courses you can visit the Skills Academy website. You can fill in the form on the site and one of their consultants will call you back. You could also call them directly on their toll-free number: 0800 39 00 27. Their consultants will be able to assist you with any enquiries and even help you to register.