7 habits of highly effective project managers

The project management job opportunities as well as the scope of the project manager’s job description are on the rise. Project manager’s job description goes beyond the triple constraints of time, cost and scope. The new project manager’s job description covers the achievement of the business case of the project as well. This makes the new project manager’s role more strategic. In this changed scenario, Have you ever wondered why some really climb up the professional ladder where as many do not, despite having the same credentials and opportunities? When we studied the careers of very successful project professionals, we could identify the following 7 habits common across the achievers.

  1. Good foundation – Most of them had good grades in their academics and they pursued their project career in the areas related to their field of study.
  2. Application of Project Management – They had clarity on their academic and professional goals and they applied project management to achieve them.
  3. Focus on long term rewards – Their focus is on long term rewards than on the short term benefits.
  4. Continuous on the job learning – The first ten years of their career was dedicated to gaining hands on experience and learning new things.
  5. Strategic Credential enhancement – They continuously improved their knowledge and authenticity through globally accepted qualifications.
  6. Networking – They are good in networking with others in the profession.
  7. Pro-activeness – They are pro-active in sensing opportunities ahead and pursued them before others.

What is the Opportunity awaiting Capable Project Professionals?

By 2027, employers will need 87.7 million individuals working in project management oriented roles. The talent gap could result in a potential loss of some US$207.9 billion in GDP through 2027 for the 11 countries analyzed (China, India, USA, Japan, Brazil, Germany, UK, Canada, Australia and the Middle East region). PMI (2017). Project Management Job Growth and Talent Gap 2017–2027. Even though the pandemic might have negatively impacted these projections, this is good time to get ready to leverage the opportunities ahead.

How to leverage these 7 habits to advance your profession?

If you want to understand how to systematically plan your project management career goals proactively, and to achieve them at the appropriate time, then read ahead;

What is PMg-CMM?. How will it help career progression?

The objective of the Project Manager’s Capability Maturity Model is to provide a professional ecosystem comprising of aspiring professionals, mentors, trainers, organizations and recruiters collaborating around a structured road map for meticulous planning and progression of project management as a profession.

The diagram below depicts the five levels of project management professional maturity.

Level#1 – Beginner

At Level#1

  • Because you are technically good, you are asked to manage teams
  • You are not aware of the basic project management tools and techniques and their application
  • You think project management is about just getting things done at any cost
  • Success is inconsistent and short lived
  • In the longer run, You and the team members fail to perform as a single unit due to internal conflicts
  • Though you have technology mentors, you do not have mentors to guide you on the management side to the right degree

Level#2 – Professionally qualified

At Level#2

  • You get certified in one of the popular project management certifications, hoping to improve your job prospects.
  • You are aware of the globally accepted project management best practices.
  • You would have realized how the application of these best practices would have helped you to prevent some of the challenges you faced before.
  • You start applying and leveraging some of the project management core practices
  • As and when challenges arise, you leverage the models, methods & artifacts recommended by global standards
  • You have good mentors who can guide you professionally

Level#3 – Professionally proven

At Level#3

  • You have proven yourself as a dependable project manager who can manage small to medium complexity projects
  • You are highly respected within the project organization
  • You are considered to manage prestigious projects
  • You become a role model for other budding project managers within the organization
  • You are good at nurturing your professional networks
  • You have good mentors and you start mentoring others

Level#4 Strategic Role

At Level#4

  • You are invited to strategic project portfolio meetings
  • In some cases your expert advise is sought to improve the project management capability of the organization (PMO)
  • You will be asked to manage programs or very large projects
  • You leverage your professional networks to great advantage
  • You have mentors and you yourself is a highly sought after mentor

Level#5 Leadership Role

At Level#5

  • You are considered as an expert authority in project management
  • You contribute to the project management community by way of research and knowledge sharing
  • Great deal of you time is spent in mentoring individuals, teams, organizations and communities

How quickly one traverse through these levels depends on their ambition, commitment, mentoring and the ability to pivot according to the market trends. Instead of growing vertically through the five maturity levels, one has the opportunity to grow horizontally as ‘T’ skilled professionals who have in-depth domain expertise in a particular trade supported by good project management capability as well.

How to proceed?

If you are interested to have a mentor who can guide you, please provide us some details about your present career position

Watch the mentor talk videos

Project trends 2021

World over the way people work have changed. Organizations are forced to re-think their business strategies to survive first and then to grow in a new world order characterized by;
  • Organizations sparing no opportunity to maintain / improve bottom lines
  • Organizations trying to go-global looking for new markets for existing products and services
  • Organizations rapidly innovating new products and services for their current markets and beyond
  • Organizations leveraging the gig economy

In a nutshell, everything in the corporate environment have become dynamically agile, where business owners are trying their best to maximize return on their investments. As a timely coincidence, leading organizations like the Project Management Institute (PMI) started their initiatives long back to converge the Predictive and Agile Project Management best practices, as if they could foresee the forthcoming new world order well in advance. All these have major impact on how we collaborate and work on projects. The concept of permanent employment have already become a matter of the past, as organizations are actively seeking flexibility in resourcing to optimize costs.

People with proven skill sets and the ability to learn fast with good work ethics will be sought after. Professionals with the ability to deliver value at the right time, with almost zero supervision, working remotely will be in demand globally. The geographical constraints of employment will become almost zero for the right people who can proactively identify the new opportunities and gear up. In this new world order, our professional profiles matters a lot to market ourselves. You are a brand, and that brand has to be continuously nourished to be in demand. This is the right time to equip yourself with new in demand skills supported by globally acknowledged credentials. Project Management 2021, is all about highly skilled, motivated individuals, working on their projects of choice as self organizing teams, demonstrating high degree of work ethics.

Get ready and embrace the Change !

PMdistilled PMP fastrack program

Scholarship for PMP Certification

We are announcing scholarships for PMP certification, especially for those whose jobs are affected due to the pandemic, and their qualification and experience satisfies all the criteria prescribed by the Project Management Institute (PMI) for PMP certification.

To start with, every month we offer free education to two professionals, who are the most deserving based on their professional track record and the present professional status.

If you really feel that a PMP certification will improve your career prospects , and if you are committed to put in the required effort to complete the PMP preparation course, then apply. It will take approximately 40 hours to complete the course. Upon successful completion of the course you will awarded 40 hours course completion certificate by PMRI.

You can apply by contacting us with a link to your linkedin profile.

We thank our sponsors for supporting us.

Best Wishes

team @ PMRI

Note : This Scholarship covers the 35 contact hours training. The PMP exam fees is not covered as of now. Hopefully we will be able to cover that as well in the future, as we get more sponsors for scholarships.

If you are interested to sponsor a Scholarship, Contact us

Get Scrum (Agile) certification in 1 hour

SCRUM is the most popular framework among the agile family of frameworks like XP, Crystal, SAFE, Disciplined Agile, TDD etc. Scrum is simple and domain independent. With PMI promoting Hybrid project management which allows the combination of predictive and agile project management, knowledge of agile is becoming mandatory for all project managers irrespective of their domain.

We are offering this free one hour on demand scrum training to help all those who want to understand agile. The best method to master Agile is to master SCRUM completely before trying to learn all the jargon and best practices available in the agile world. Instead of remaining as a jack of all agile frameworks and master of none, this training will help you to be master of scrum before getting into everything out there.

Upon successful completion of this course, you will learn;

  • Roles and responsibilities of;
    • Scrum master
    • Product owner
    • Development team
  • Scrum ceremonies like;
  • Sprint planning meeting
    • Daily Scrum
    • Sprint review
    • Sprint retrospective
  • Scrum artifacts like;
    • Product backlog
    • Sprint backlog
    • Definition of done
    • Product increment

Start your agile journey now… Click here

Which project management certification?

Which project management career / certification to pursue?..that is a million dollar question which every professional face, at some point in time of their career.  The social media is quite misleading as new certifications are popping up every other day. This discussion is to clear the clutter while deciding on which project management certification to pursue for those who wants to advance their project management career.

Broadly speaking there are two major streams in project management;

  • The Agile project management
  • Traditional project management

Both streams are valuable, and complementary.  Which one will give you the fastest return on investment depends on;

  • The industry to which you belong to
  • The industry where you want to spend your future
  • The country where you will be working

Decision#1 – Choosing between Agile stream and the Traditional Project Management stream

Before choosing the streams, it will be better to understand what is agile or adaptive project management and the traditional project management. Agile comprises of a family of frameworks like Scrum, XP, SAFe etc. The similarity across all these frameworks is the iteration spanning not more than 30 days. The total road map of the product is split into multiple iterations (sprints) not exceeding 30 days. Every sprint starts with a sprint planning meeting and ends with a sprint review. All these frameworks recommend a daily stand up meeting to quickly review the status of the project. Though it is much more complicated than this, as an introduction this much knowledge is sufficient. Agile frameworks are ideal for projects where requirements are continuously evolving and the technology is also new to the team. Hence, they are best fit for new product development.

If you want to know more about agile using scrum, click here

The traditional project management frameworks like (PMBOK, PRINCE) revolve around the famous Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) life cycle. They are ideal for projects where the requirements are frozen and are very difficult to change. For example, in construction projects, the engineering discipline does not allow for change hence requirements must be frozen upfront.

If you want to learn more about traditional project management, click here

So, unlike many, I am not interested to discuss which one is better. It depends on the nature of the projects you are handling. While for some projects agile is the best fit, for certain others traditional project management is best.

  • If you are working on EPC (Engineering, Procurement & Construction) intensive projects, then select the traditional project management stream.  Most of the construction projects falls into this stream.
  • If you are working on new product development projects where requirements are evolving and the technology is also new, then select Agile stream. Most of the I.T projects falls into this stream.
  • If you are from the construction project back ground, or intend to build your project management career in the construction industry, then choose the traditional project management stream.
  • If you are from I.T projects, or R&D projects or intend to build your project management career in I.T or R&D then choose the agile project management stream.

The globally well known certifications for project managers

Traditional project management certifications 

Agile project management certifications 

  • Certified Scrum Master (CSM), by Scrumalliance
  • Professional Scrum Master (PSM) by Scrum.org
  • Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP) by PMI-USA
  • Scaled Agile Frameworks (Safe)

If you are from the information technology domain, it is better to with any one of the agile certifications straightaway. The certified Scrum Master (CSM) by Scrumalliance is expensive and has the early starter advantage, where as PSM is not that expensive, and at the same time it is very authentic, because it is coming from Ken Schwaber’s Scrum.org. For those of you who do not know Ken Schwaber, he founded scrum along with Jeff Sutherland, and both of them together developed the scrum guide, which is the most authentic documentation on scrum, becuase it is coming from the founders. The syllabus for these two certifications (CSM and PSM) are the ScrumGuide, and upon completion of the certification process, one will have the proficiency to play the role of a scrum master (project manager, in the traditional forms).

Then we have the PMI-ACP certification. The syllabus for this certification is a cocktail of all the frameworks available out there and calls for;

  • Complete understanding of  SCRUM
  • A very good understanding of Extreme Programming
  • Some key concepts like earned value management, risk management, communications management from the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK)
  • Complete understanding of Agile body of knowledge

After getting anyone of the agile certifications, then try for PMP credential. Without a proper understanding of the ten knowledge areas of PMBOK;

  • Integration management
  • Scope management
  • Time management
  • Cost management
  • Quality management
  • Communications management
  • Human resource management
  • Risk management
  • Procurement management
  • Stakeholder management

one will fail, when it comes to real life project management. More than that, while the future holds good for the Agile, many customers insist on PMP’s to manage their projects. If you are from the I.T background, these two certifications are mandatory. Start with agile, and then graduate into PMBOK. Both complements.

If you are from any other domain, other than I.T, then the options are either PMP or PRINCE2 or the AACE certifications.

Since the origins of PRINCE2 are from U.K, it is appreciated there, and the rest of the world is with PMP. So, based on where you are, and where your customers are, you have to decide.

AACE Certifications

Please post all your additional queries as comments to this page, and I will reply.