Monday, 17 July 2017

5 Reasons You Need Project Management Skills

Everyone irrespective of field of study or level in career needs a basic knowledge of Project Management and I would tell you why in a minute.

Note the caption. I'm not saying you should be PMP certified. No that is not the point. Its about acquiring skills, not acquiring certification. They are two different things, as we would discuss in another article.

For me, I spend months working on projects(as a Software Engineer) until a year ago in 2016, i decided to take on a formal study of Project Managment and of course, I got PMP certified.

So the question is: Why would an accountant need Project Management Skills? Why would an engineer need PM? Why can we say every professional needs this skills? Here are 5 reasons

My Home Office Where I Study Project Management
My Office at Home Where I Study Project Managment


1. Its Part of Everyday Life
Picture two scenarios: 
Scenario 1: You need to go for shopping. The you pick up your debit card and then drive to your favorite shop. You spend some time going through the items and picking the items you think you need.  After about 1hour, you are done. You pay and then drive back home with the items

Scenario 2: You need to go for shopping. You decide how much you want to spend on this shopping. You look for the shopping list of the last shopping you did. Then you visit our kitchen, room, sitting room wardrobe etc to check what needs to be bought/replaced. Then you sit down and draft a list of what you need to buy in line with the amount you have decided to spend. The you present a copy of this list to your spouse(if you are married) and hear from him, and adjust your list. Maybe talk to your kid(s) if any to know what they would like mum/dad to buy for them and adjust your list. Then following this list you go to the shop and buy the necessary things in the list. After shopping you drive back home.

Which of the two scenarios mentioned above frankly describes you? I can guess! The first one 😀😀😀.
This is just one of the dozens of aspects of everyday life where the someone with PM skills towers over someone without. Lets move on.

2. It Helps You Manage Your Finances
One area distinguishing skill of someone with PM skills is the use of a budget for each period of time. Maybe monthly, maybe weekly or even daily. May of us don't. For me i have to put so much effort to maintain a budget myself. I can tell you, this requires some commitment, but its worth the effort. 

Benefits include: 
  • You'll be able to know how much you earn compared to how much you spend.
  • It will enable you to save. Don't ever believe the flawed notion that you can't save because your earnings are not enough!
  • You will be able to predict on when you could do certain funds-intensive projects(buy a car, real-estate, travel abroad, surprise your spouse or even quit the job and move on to something better!).

The concept of budgeting  is treated under the Cost Management Knowledge Area of Project Managment Body of Knowledge(PMBOK).

3. Helps You Make Good Use of Your Time
Have you heard people make comments like: "I don't have time". This statement I could say is one of  most incorrect and ironical statement that commonly used. Come to think of it. Everyday, you are handed 24hours free. So the question is how productive is this 24hours? How many of this hours do you put work? Always about a quarter of it(6 hours!). What of the remaining 18 hours. Take some time to digest this fact. PM skill would enlighten you an how valuable an asset time is and how you can utilize it in the most efficient way.
This concept is discussed under Time Management Knowledge Area. 

4. Helps You Relate Well With People(Manage People)
Do you need to be a Manage to be able to exhibit people-skills? The answer is no. But unfortunately, some persons who become manager in organizations don't even know that the most important asset to manage is people. Some get so much absorbed into managing funds and other assets and eventually fail in their role as manager as they don't have much skills in managing people. 
So when you see projects fail or abandoned, or even when plans don't work out, the problem oftentimes maybe lack of people management skills. Do you know that you can manage both persons above you as well as persons under you? This is so interesting because you could use this skills to get things done, get what you want from persons on authority and so on. Ability to manage people takes the power from these persons and put then in your palms.

5. Gives You an Edge in Your Workplace
Yes, this applies to every workplace. You actually earn respect of colleagues. For companies that are organized or have some measure of standards, you would also earn recognition in the exceptional way you handle matters, and even promotion and other benefits. Yes, I could tell you from my own experience that Project Managment Skills is indispensable to everyone.

Final Notes - How to Acquire PM Skills
If you are like me, that is if you could schedule some time to learn every day and understand, and be committed to the schedule, then you could get a Project Management textbook and read the relevant topic. Topics like Time Managment, Cost Management and Stakeholder management.
I have prepared some easy learning materials here.
Outside that you could also enroll for a few weeks customized classes on project management. The key to success is that as you learn, you apply what you learn, and you'll come to appreciate the power of Project Management in your professional life.