Why Managers Should Learn the Fundamentals of Project Management
Learning Project Management Skills has a Variety of Benefits
In some industries, a manager may at times be required to step in and perform the duties of a project manager. This could occur if the project is small enough that hiring a project manager would not be cost effective, or if the company doesn’t work on separate projects often enough to need the services of dedicated project managers. In such cases, understanding the basics of project management can prove valuable in successfully bringing a project to completion.
Learning project management skills has a variety of benefits for you as a manager. In addition to improving project outcomes, doing so can pay dividends by improving your ability to manage teamwork, make you more valuable to your company by expanding the scope of your abilities, and give you a competitive skills advantage that can benefit your career.
These benefits are covered in detail below.
Better Project Outcomes
While the duties of a project manager may initially seem to be relatively straightforward, on closer examination it becomes clear that the discipline involves a great deal of complexity, as even relatively simple projects often have multiple moving parts. Mastering this complexity enables a project manager to navigate the numerous challenges that can arise during the planning and implementation of a project. Learning these skills as a manager puts you in a position to manage projects on your own when necessary, and to better understand the process when supervising project managers. In either case, your knowledge of project management fundamentals is likely to lead to improved project outcomes.
To successfully manage a project, a project manager needs to be adept at making strategic decisions, overseeing team members, tracking progress, and implementing changes when necessary. By learning how to perform these tasks in the most efficient way, projects you manage or supervise will benefit as you:
- Acquire the know-how to bring a project to fruition on time and within budget
- Improve your ability to manage both small and large projects
- Boost your ability to perform strategic planning
- Learn tactics useful in plan implementation
- Learn how to proactively monitor your team’s progress
These same skills can prove beneficial to you in other ways as well, as many of the tasks performed by a project manager have similarities to those encountered in a manager’s day-to-day duties.
Improved Ability to Manage Employees
Project managers must communicate effectively to ensure that team members understand their roles in bringing a project to a successful conclusion. Taking such an approach enhances collaboration and enables a team to respond in a timely manner to changing circumstances, for instance when alterations to client deliverables occur. In addition, project managers must monitor employee performance closely to keep a project on track.
As a manager, using project management criteria for managing teamwork can be helpful if you encounter a situation where the employees you manage are not performing well, or where communication issues have arisen. Putting such policies into effect can enable enhanced collaboration among you and your team members, thereby improving productivity and making your job as a manager easier.
Another benefit of this approach is that it allows you to more effectively manage individual employees by encouraging them to let you know when they feel overwhelmed by a task, allowing you to reassign responsibilities when necessary and helping you earn the trust of your team.
Productively Expands Your Skillset
Managing projects requires mastering a skillset that enables you to deal with a wide variety of circumstances. It is no secret that projects often do not proceed as expected, with any of the following reasons (among others) necessitating changes:
- Project deadlines can change
- Client expectations may require alteration of a project’s scope
- Resource scarcity may require alternate plans to be drawn up
- Equipment malfunction can occur due to a natural or man-made disaster
Managers with project management training will understand that such issues are par for the course when dealing with projects and learn to accept and adapt to such situations. Learning these skills gives you a competitive advantage by making you better able than other managers to adapt to changing conditions.
These skills also enhance your ability to perform risk assessments and to identify warning signs when planning or implementing a project. This gives you a better chance of reducing or eliminating the costs associated with failing to see such signs. As a result, you become more valuable to your employer and gain an advantage over the competition. Even if you have not acquired the production-level skills necessary to implement a project, learning how to oversee such projects provides you with an opportunity to learn the language of project management.
As you work on different types of projects in a project manager role you will gain enhanced insight into the various aspects of your company’s business, both from a customer and employee perspective. This, in turn, will make you a more effective manager as you apply the insights you have gained.
Provides a Skills Advantage Offering Greater Career Opportunities
The acquisition of basic project management abilities offers both short- and long-term benefits. Learning the fundamentals of project management can provide you with greater opportunities within your company to manage projects of all sizes. As your skill improves, you may be given the opportunity to work on projects requiring various types of expertise. You may also get the chance to work as a consultant to other companies or to design and manage a project from start to finish.
Whatever industry you work in, gaining project management skills can be a boon for your career. It can enable you to offer increased contributions to your company’s success, increasing your value to the company. Such skills can set you apart from other managers at your company and the industry as a whole. Because of this, learning project management basics can help you move up the corporate ladder at your company, as well as making you more attractive as a manager to other companies.
Once you have acquired these skills, other companies seeking managers with the ability to also manage projects when necessary may find your skillset attractive enough to offer you employment. In many cases, a company trying to lure a manager away from another firm will offer an increased salary and benefits package to make the offer more attractive. If you receive an offer such as this, even if you don’t accept it, the mere fact that other companies are willing to bid for your services can increase advancement opportunities at your current employer.
Nuvro is a robust online project management tool that helps with overseeing team members and tracking progress. With Nuvro you can gain control and peace of mind over all of your projects, tasks, team members, workload and everything else important to your company. In addition to the project, task and collaboration features found in most PM tools, Nuvro also provides a company dashboard, a team dashboard, team member performance reviews, secure document management, an internal alternative to email and more. Nuvro is perfect for busy teams looking to accomplish more. Learn More…