PM Training and Certification Is All Too Easy – Advance Your Career In Project Management
If you want to advance your career in project management and you are looking for training options, you have come to the right place. We will provide you with an overview of training and certification in project management that will strengthen your ability to lead in your position and advance your career. Dynamic challenges arise frequently due to the nature of the market and project managers must continuously upgrade their skills to overcome them.
To remain champions in the market, project managers must work consistently to advance themselves. Project managers work more effectively with improved training and continual development. A successful PM will always be moving in the upwards direction, reaching new goals, and gaining greater achievements. Organizations value the advancement of skills in their employees. An employee who grows continuously in their career and seeks additional training is most often recognized and rewarded by their employers for their efforts and success.
Training programs are beneficial at any stage in your career as a project manager. Project managers can enhance their skill set through various certification courses. These courses are easily accessible and can be found online or attended in person. There are various programs to choose from and we recommend that you choose multiple to participate in. Your completion of multiple courses from various establishments will broaden your skills and perspectives as a project manager. As you complete these courses, we recommend that you maintain your certifications. Sustained certification is a valuable asset and a respected credential to possess as a PM.
Time management is a critical skill that project managers must master. Fortunately, time management is a muscle that can be strengthened with time and dedication. A PM can look to improve their time management by practicing recommended techniques and tools as well as attending training programs such as the Microsoft Project Training courses.
Finding Your Training Options
There are many paths to choose when acquiring certification as a PM. Everyone has a different goal, and no two careers in project management will look the same.
You’ll want to consider the requirements for each certification and compare that to your current status as well as what you’re willing to invest in time and effort. Some certifications, like the PMP, require work experience (which differs depending on your education level) and others don’t require any work experience, like the CAPM. All of them will require some degree of effort put into studying or meeting other prerequisites, but there are lots of low-cost tools available to help with that. Taking an exam prep course will frequently help you meet the exam prerequisites as well as pass the exam. Look for courses that include a pass guarantee!
Begin your research with these examples of some of the most sought-after and top-rated certifications.
- PMI PMP
- PMI CAPM
- PMI ACP
- Agile Scrum Master
- Scrum Product Owner
Any of the certifications you choose to require will demand prerequisite training before you are able to apply for the examination. Complete multiple certifications to broaden your opportunities as a PM.
Achieving Your Certification
The certifications that you receive are the foundation of your career in project management. Establishing mastery of the basics will open up new opportunities for you that were previously unattainable. Having a stable foundation and the basic certifications will allow you to build upon your career as time progresses. Achieving the pertinent certifications requires the correct training. Training options are available in various formats.
- Self-paced Online Course Training
- In-person Instructor Training
- Live Virtual Instructor Training
Whether you choose to train in-person or virtually and individually or in a classroom setting, achieving a certification is accessible and worthwhile.
Maintaining Your Status
After completing these programs and acquiring your certification you must maintain your status with Professional Development Units (PDUs). The requirements of a project management credential depend on the continued maintenance of your accreditation. Therefore as a PM, you must maintain a specific amount of PDU, which is earned by the continuation of involvement in training courses and events. The demanding environment and quick-moving curriculum require the consistently accelerated pace of a PM.
The PMI Talent Triangle identifies the core skills of project management. This is a tool that can help you understand the training requirements and standards of a successful PM. The PMI Talent Triangle will assist you in identifying the gaps in your education. This visual will help you target your goals and adjust your skill set to be on par with the global standards. By addressing the three core areas of leadership, technical project management, and strategic/business management you will be on your way to complete success in project management.
There are various critical aspects highlighted in the PMI triangle:
- Strategic and Business Management: Business Acumen
- Models and Structures
- Industry Knowledge
- Market Awareness
- Technical Project Management: Ways of Working
- Risk Management
- Schedule Management
- Time, Budget, and Cost Estimation
- Leadership: Power Skills
- Conflict Resolution
- Interpersonal Skills
Technical Project Management
The foundational technical aspects of project management are required in every project that a PM takes on. As a PM you must be adept in the execution of the projects that you oversee. The PMI Skills triangle identifies the skills that PMs must be familiar with when managing large projects:
- Data Gathering and Modeling
- Planning and Schedule Management
- Scope Management
- Design Thinking
Strategic and Business Management
There are various subsets of management:
- Project Management
- Program Management
- Portfolio Management
These identified subsets of management simplify the strategies that produce success in your projects. These simplified strategies are a tool that will map the success of a project. It is important that the project manager understands these strategies and can oversee their translation into a project.
The identified roles of management are a tool used to bring clarity to a large, daunting project or job. It is the job of a manager to use these suggested tools and find alternative and dynamic approaches to challenges that may arise in a project. A manager must devise the best plan of action while maintaining a minimal risk for error. Managers must navigate conflict, disagreement, and unforeseen problems decisively.
Skills of leadership that are required in managers include:
- Soft Skills
The methodologies of project management are important for every PM to understand. There is a vast variety of projects that PMs can be in charge of. These differing projects vary in nature and no methodology of management is a “one size fits all” solution. A complete understanding of management and its strategies is required for the work of a PM who should be able to apply a multitude of methodologies to a wide variety of projects.
Stacy’s Model of Complexity
Stacy’s Model of Complexity relays a simplified visual of the decision-making process that PMs will have to consider.
This model depicts regions of simplicity, complexity, and chaos and identifies the varying degrees of uncertainty. A PM should be able to identify the areas of uncertainty in their project and weigh the solutions against the predictability of their outcomes. PMs must navigate the complex nature of their projects and devise the most suitable, adaptive, and dynamic solutions.
Let’s discuss a few terms that will help you better understand the world of project management.
The Waterfall Method is a linear approach and methodology to an organized project. In this approach, each phase of the process will come one at a time and no two phases will overlap. Each phase will be completed before you move on to the next.
The advantages of the Waterfall Method are abundant. One can begin the Waterfall Method by scheduling deadlines with each stage of development that is completed. This sets the project on a direct path with clear points and a defined finish line. This organized method is valuable for someone who needs a clear, simplified direction to follow. Someone following the Waterfall Method will be able to hone in on a smaller piece of the project without becoming overwhelmed by the bigger picture. As one follows the waterfall method, each phase should be closed before the next is opened. This continued simplicity is required for this method to be executed properly.
The linear Waterfall Method and its divided phases are typically depicted as a multi-layered waterfall.
The downwards direction of the water, moving through each step represents the sequential phases that the project should follow. This flow of process defines each step clearly. The job of the project manager is to translate the project into steps broken down as so. The success of the Waterfall Method is dependent on the PM’s ability to define clear stages with high regard for the success of the end goal of the project. The PM must recognize that each stage drawn out is a critical milestone in the execution of the project.
A project manager must be able to relay the direction of the project to the people who are completing the various stages. There are many small tasks within each stage and those not made aware of the big picture may lose direction. A PM is accountable for every aspect of the project from the planning to the execution. The purpose of the broken down stages is to align everyone involved including the team working on the project to the project stakeholders.
The waterfall method focuses on:
- Detailed Analysis
- Monitoring and Control
- Risk Management
- Team Management
- Goal Setting
- Detailed Scheduling
- Breakdown Structures
The Agile Approach
The complex and multi-layered nature of projects requires adaptive and flexible approaches. The Agile Approach falls under the umbrella of “adaptive methodologies.” This is the second training option we would like you to familiarize yourself with.
The Agile Approach has been popularized due to the growing demand for a flexible approach to project management. The requirements and challenges of projects do not remain static. The nature of project management is ever-changing.
Values and Advantages
The core principle of the Agile Approach is to deliver the work of the project in small iterations or sprints. A short sprint rather than a long marathon maintains the stamina of the given project. The dedicated sprints are chosen on the basis of prioritization for a high requirement of functionality. The quick and continuous patterns keep the project paced in an upward direction.
In this method, stakeholders are fed constant updates on productivity and do not have to wait long periods to be let in on the progress of the project. Incremental delivery of progress decreases the amount of time to market and produces a competitive and high revenue. Short sprints of progress allow for sudden changes to be made without the risk of having a large setback in the project. The biggest value of the Agile Approach is the quick streamlining between customer feedback and the team of developers. Access to continuous and incremental feedback allows the PM to readjust their future sprints to align better with a changed direction in the project.
These days, adaptive approaches, mainly agile, are included in almost all of the project management certifications learning material (e.g. PMP, CAPM, ACP).
Soft Skill Training
We have covered technical methodologies to project management but a PM must also possess a high regard for soft skills. Soft skills are useful in the application of any methodology or technology that a PM is involved with. Soft skills are tools that create a great and versatile project manager.
Project managers working on larger projects are required to manage a larger team of people. PMs must develop effective soft skills that enable them to interact harmoniously with team members. Creating personal relationships and developing professional trust builds stronger teams and a better-executed project. Soft skills are a foundational requirement for a manager that leads a large group of people.
Soft skills are a universal ability that is relevant in many areas of work. You can access training for soft skills sessions at any point in your career. Training options that focus on soft skills often do not have many prerequisites and will not require you to already be a PM. If you choose to enlist in soft skill training at the beginning of your career you will have a great foundation to build upon with future learned skills and strategies. You may also choose to take explicit soft skills training in the middle of your career as a PM to maintain your PDU and continue your professional development as a project manager.
Project managers must navigate both hard skills and soft skills.
Hard skills include:
Soft Skills include:
Training options that offer work on soft skills will focus on the following:
- Time Management
- Negotiation Management
- Problem Solving
- Communication Skills
- Conflict Management skills
- Team Management
- Decision Making
These skills are versatile but essential to every aspect of management. Taking on a managerial role is dynamic and requires a multitude of skills. From conflict resolution to critical decision-making, project management is a diverse job. Every project that you work on will carry its separate challenges. As you continue to lead as a PM you will gain experience under your belt that will advance your skills in management. Training programs in soft skills offer acceleration of progression in your development of vital soft skills.
A Readiness for Digital Age
The previous training options give a well-rounded foundation to project management. However, there are many other training options to be considered that fall under the umbrella of project management. In an age of digital innovation, PMs must evolve with the growing market. Disruptive technologies will infiltrate the market persistently and continuously. Forward-thinking organizations will sustain themselves by increasing market share and maintaining aggressive progress. Leading a team through uncharted times and unprecedented markets is a job requirement of a project manager. The most important role of a PM that exists in an unstable market is the certainty that you bring to your team. Employees must see confidence in their leader. A reliable and certain leader will encourage and protect your team through unforeseen circumstances.
Focus on the following skills to not only lead but thrive in a developing digital age:
- Innovative Mindset
- Security and Privacy Knowledge
- Compliance Knowledge
- Ability to make data-driven decisions
- Collaboration Leadership Skills
These skills will advance your career in an ever-changing market. Prepare for any circumstance as a project manager.
This article provides a brief overview of the training options for a career in project management. We have provided you with the tools to identify gaps in your skill set and how you can upgrade your skills to global standards. With a very brief overview of methodologies and strategies that the most successful Project Managers keep in their toolbox and integrate into their projects, you too can grow in the field of project management. At any stage of your career, you should consider ongoing development of your skills as a project manager.