Six ways project managers can build a competitive advantage – Be unstoppable in your career progression
No matter what, how big and what products or services an organisation offers, a project manager is always an asset to it. This is simply because the job role of a project manager is directly in line with the strategic objectives of the company. Without a project manager, no company can possibly survive in this fast-paced business environment, and this is a fact!
What does a project manager do?
Every business organisation needs a skilled and experienced project manager to get things done right. Without a project manager, a company may experience a lot of failed projects and this can lead to increased costs and losses.
Basically, a project manager is expected to perform the following tasks in an organisation:
Aligning company projects (new and existing) with the business vision, mission, and objectives
Closely dealing with the different stakeholders of the company to understand the issues, challenges, and opportunities
Adding value to business processes and measuring key performance indicators to ensure quality and standards
Understanding organisational priorities and making sure that the investments the company does will lead to its well-being
Ensuring that the company resources are well utilised and they give out the expected outcome
Communicating the setup standards and schedules to the company stakeholders
So, you see… project managers, since they add a lot of value to any company, possess a particular competitive advantage when compared with the other job roles. For the same reason, their salary scales are higher compared with the rest, and this is the same scenario in every company regardless of the industry or the business scale.
If you aspire to become a project manager and develop your competitive advantages, here are some tips you should be following in this modern world:
1. Have precise problem-solving skills
A project manager has to deal with multiple problems and conflicts while performing his/her job role in any organisation. Since a project manager has to manage a team consisting of different individuals, he/she inevitably faces conflicts within the team. To manage these conflicts, a great understanding of the team is vital, and other factors such as patience and empathy are also crucial.
On the other hand, project managers have to face issues when resource constraints do occur –be it time, budget, or even manpower. Through careful analytical processes, the project manager should be able to foresee what’s about to happen that may affect the project negatively.
2. Be aware of the ultimate technologies
For a project manager, good interpersonal skills are not just enough. He/she should also possess a good and updated knowledge about technologies that are used in the industry. This is why people who aspire to become successful project managers should definitely follow the online PRINCE2 Agile foundation course where a lot of new techniques and tools are taught during the course period.
*Important point – Make sure you choose the right institute or the service provider to take the PRINCE2 Agile® Complete Training & Exam Package because that’s an important investment you do in your life. Since several institutes are offering the same course, go through the recommendations and see if they are good and trustworthy
Further, project managers need to keep track of novel innovations happening in the industry, and always be vigilant as to how to utilise the scarce resources in the best way possible. Increased productivity brings out increased profits, and this is one KPI of every project manager.
3. Gain more and more experiences
Experience is of utmost importance for a project manager! Having obtained the PRINCE2 Agile Foundation and Practitioner Certification, the next best thing someone who aspires to become a project manager could do is to gain experience in the corporate sector. First, you will have to work under a project management specialist doing various sub-activities, and that’s how you lay your foundation.
Knowledge, skills, and competencies get sharper with experience, and then it becomes a competitive advantage that no one can easily beat. A project manager generally has to plan, implement and monitor various tasks, and none of these would be possible if he/she does not have enough experience.
Yes, you got it right. The more experiences you have, the greater the competitive advantage you build!
4. Be a great communicator
Did you know that project managers need to be great communicators as well? The main reason for this is that they deal with multiple stakeholders of a company, and engages in regular communication with them. If the project manager is an effective communicator, conflicts are sure to be less as the project goes on.
For example, if the project manager does not communicate the timelines and the budget requirements to the external clients or if he/she overpromises, the company at large faces a bigger issue later on. This can tarnish the image of the project manager and that of the whole company in the long run.
*Important point – project managers, in this modern world, can gain a lot of competitive advantage by showcasing confidence. If you are a project manager and if you are smart with your gestures, words, and work, you are sure to be a star among the rest. For this, you will also have to be attentive to your body language.
5. Be smart with time management
No matter who you are, time is important and you know that. A manager is nothing if he/she can’t manage time, and this is the same case with project managers as well. A project manager has to manage time, giving more time to those tasks that have more weight, and this should be taught to the fellow teammates as well.
While you, as the project manager enjoy a work-life balance, let your teammates also do the same. If unnecessary stress is present, no individual can work properly, and stressed working environments ruin all competitive advantages.
6. Plan, plan, and plan!
No project manager will be successful if he/she can’t plan things appropriately. For this, project managers will have to assess priorities first and then plan the whole project (with the team) effectively.
Yes, plans can sometimes go wrong, but then… project managers can plan again and make sure the competitive advantage always be with them.