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Advantages of Having PMP Certification

Project Management Professionals Certification is the highest standard of project management certification in the world. So, if you are a project manager it makes sense for you to get PMP certified. In the last 20 years, over 600,000 project managers across the world have become PMP certified. Project Management Professional certification is the most respected project management certification in the world.
The question that comes to mind is: Why should I go for the PMP certification? The answer to the question is looking at the benefits which comes with the PMP certification:

  • You become more attractive to employers– A PMP certified project manager is more attractive to prospective employers as you demonstrate an ongoing commitment to learning and understanding.
  • Higher Salary – PMP certified professionals command higher salary as you are considered more knowledgeable and since worth more value to the organisation. On an average PMP certified project managers draw at least 20% higher salary than other non PMP certified managers.
  • Increase Revenue for organisation– PMP certification will result in increased revenue for your organisation. Clients would actually have more confidence in your abilities and would be ready to pay more for the products or services offered.
  • Competitive Advantage – PMP certification puts you at a competitive advantage over others. PMP certification mentioned in your CV will allow you to shine and command attention.
  • Improves your communication skills– PMP certification means that you speak the same language as any other PMP certified project manager in the world. This gives you a upper hand when it comes to communication skill in the project management field.
  • Global Networking Opportunities – PMP certification opens up Global Networking opportunities with fellow Project manager professionals.
  • Helps you in becoming Leader– PMP certification makes you a better leader. You can use your credentials to educate your peers. PMP certification will help you act as a mentor or coach which will in turn help you gain leadership experience.

iACT Global is a reputed online Training and Certification organisation. iACT Global will help you excel in the project management field. They offer certification in PMP. This certification will help you move ahead in your career. PMP certification will put you in demand as an established project management professional. There could not be a better time to get PMP certified and there could not be a better place than iACT Global to do so.

Benefits of CAPM Certification

Benefits of CAPM CertificationBefore I answer the question on how useful is CAPM certification we need to understand what does CAPM certification mean. CAPM (Certified Associate in project Management) is an entry-level certification by PMI (Project Management Institute) for professionals who are serious about Project Management. The certification implies understanding of fundamental knowledge, terminology and processes of effective project management. The certification is beneficial for prospective practitioners who are interested in getting a globally recognized certification. The certification shows to the prospective employers on your keenness to master Project Management.

How useful is CAPM Certification

  1. CAPM certification would provide you with all the skill set to enable you to manage any project.
  2. It will provide you with the knowledge to prepare and execute projects effectively.
  3. Skillset that will help you with planning, execution, monitoring, controlling and completing a project successfully.
  4. CAPM certification would help you take your career to the next level by giving you an edge over your competitors in the field of project management.
  5. Provide you with the ability to manage and handle larger projects and stand out to potential employers.
  6. CAPM is especially beneficial for individual who do not possess a lot of experience in project management. It gives you the knowledge to start off your journey in the field of project management.

CAPM certification offers recognition to practitioners who are keen on starting off their career in project management or individuals who already have some experience in project management but would like to get better at mastering their ability for handling complex and larger projects.

CAPM is useful for aspiring project managers as student who are presently enrolled in college or university and want to have project management certification before they graduate so that they can start applying for jobs can get CAPM certification to apply for entry level project management work just after graduation.

CAPM certification is solely based on the PMI framework as explained in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and is a relatively easier test compared to PMP (Project Management Professional) and doesn’t require thousand hours of project management experience as required by PMP. So if you are serious about a career in project management and do not want to spend thousand hours in acquiring project management experience than I believe CAPM Certification is your calling. So what are you waiting for?? Go ahead with CAPM certification.

Do we really plan well?

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Planning makes or breaks your project. If you still manage to make it without a good plan, you have certainly created a stress in the system through long working hours and that doesn’t make you a good project manager. You will certainly not be promised the same level of commitment next time by your team! Most of us create plans in 2 hours – Really? That’s not a plan, that’s a ‘zombie certificate’ for people who are involved in execution.

Imagine the stress during execution if a good plan doesn’t exist. We as project managers quite often miss out contingencies, scope change impact, cost and schedule estimation thru resource availability etc. How many times do we check the holiday list of project stakeholders and project teams while planning? How many of us create a proactive risk mitigation plan? Or apply learning’s from previous projects? We always work with tight timelines and forget that we as project managers have the onus of good planning and setting up (or at least facilitating) better client management processes. 70% of our time goes into issue resolution. Only if we planned better we wouldn’t be spending more than 10% of our time in fire fighting. There are various tools that can be used for planning; I favour MS Project as it’s a great monitoring tool once the plan is firmed up. There are more simpler tools as well that can be of great help.

I am not here to promote PMP but there’s a reason it mandates prior project management experience. PMP doesn’t teach everything new, we know a lot of it. However it certainly fills the gaps (huge gaps I would say) making us better project managers and asset for our organization. Remember, being PMP certified isn’t just enough. It’s the learning’s that you apply at work that enhances your profile and makes you grow as a leader. And good leaders PLAN well!!! :)

Project Management: Some ways to address the challenges & problems

Project-management-image-final An effective project manager is one who is able to deal with the problems and challenges that arise during the course of a project. Effective project managers are also able to prevent many problems from occurring in the first place. They clearly set the responsibility and accountability of each team member.This gives a clear idea to team members about what is expected from them.

 

A clear idea about expectations improves the performance of team members.

 

Many project managers, especially those working in the field of Information Technology, use the RACI(Responsibility, Accountability, Consulted and Informed) tool for delegating responsibility and accountability among team members.

  • The R in RACI is responsibility of an individual team member with regard to the work to be performed in the project.
  • A is for accountability of a team member with regard to outcomes of the project;
  • C is for aspects of the project regarding which an individual team member should be consulted;
  • I is for aspects of the project about which an individual team member needs to be informed about.

 

An effective project manager ensures that the key team members are available for the project throughout the course of the project. Such a project manager keeps a close watch on the resource availability of the project during the course of its implementation. Many times the scope of the project is changed midway due to changes in demand of the client. By scope it is meant the key deliverables of a project. The project manager should ascertain whether it is possible to deliver the changes in scope within the schedule and budget. If it is possible to do so the project manager should ensure that the changed scope is accomplished.

 

However, if it is not possible to deliver the changed scope then he or she should immediately inform this to the client and other stakeholders of the project.By being transparent in communication with the stakeholders of the project, an effective project manager can resolve a large number of problems and obstacles that come up during the course of a project. Continuous communication with team members keeps the morale of team members up. It also ensures that friction and conflicts between team members are minimized and if any such conflict arises the project manager is aware about it from an early stage.

 

Developments in Information and Communications Technology have made continuous collaboration, with team members located in different countries and team zones, possible. Project managers should use these technological developments to handle problem situations more effectively. Much of project management is after all, about dealing with challenges and obstacles.

 

Tips for International Projects!

images (5) In this age of globalization, international projects have become extremely common. Almost all Indian software and Information Technology (IT) companies have international projects. These projects have people or teams from different nations working together on the same project.A project manager needs to be careful about certain things while managing international projects.

 

The project manager should be cognizant of Time Zone differences. Different countries are located in different time zones. Online meetings and video-conferencing between team members located in different countries should be held at such a time when it is working time in all the countries in which the project team members are located. Websites like TimeAndDate.com can be used by a project manager to manage time zone differences while scheduling online meetings, video-conferencing or telephone calls.

 

Technologies like video-conferencing and e-mail have made it much easier to manage international projects. The cost of these projects has come down because the need for international travel has been cut down by tools like real-time video-conferencing, Skype and other instant messaging sites. Mind mapping software enables companies to even conduct brainstorming sessions online.Success in international projects is heavily dependent on continuous communication and collaboration between team members present in different countries.

 

A number of meetings are held regularly in a virtual environment created by internet and other telecommunications tools like video-conferencing. It is important that the project manager clearly sets the agenda of each meeting. These meetings should begin punctually. International communication through virtual, online tools is not face-to-face. Therefore it is necessary to keep such communication precise and lucid.When the project team has members from different nationalities and cultures then language problems may arise because of the different mother tongues of the team members. It is the responsibility of the project manager to take care of these problems.

 

The project manager should ensure that miscommunication doesn’t take place because of these language differences. If services of a language interpreter are required then the project manager should not hesitate in taking it.The national holidays in the different countries should be factored in while scheduling the work of an international project. For instance a team member present in US will not be able to work on 4th of July because it is a national holiday there on account of the country’s Independence Day.International projects offer great opportunities of learning for the project managers and team members. They just need to be managed more carefully.

 

Leadership Qualities of a Project Manager:

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Project managers today need  to demonstrate many leadership qualities. The leadership aspect becomes more important in large, complicated projects. Here is a list of top leadership qualities of a good project manager:

 

1. Project managers who are good at leadership have a vision with regard to the project. They are able to communicate this vision to team members. They are able to explain to team members how that vision could be achieved.

 

2. Good leadership in project management is often underpinned on the communication ability of the project manager. The manager should be able to clearly express himself or herself. He or she should be a good listener. Being a good listener enables the manager to explain things clearly to team members.

 

3. Effective leadership on the part of project managers requires integrity in approach. Integrity implies ethical behavior. Team members are inspired to behave ethically when they see integrity in the project manager.

 

4. Project managers who are good leaders tend to be enthusiastic in their behavior. They have a positive approach to things. Their enthusiasm and positivity spreads to the team members and results in better implementation.

 

5. In order to be an effective leader, project managers need to be competent. They should be competent enough to understand the requirements of a project. Competent managers are more successful in motivating subordinates and team members.

 

6. Project managers who prove to be good leaders are often those who delegate responsibilities to team members. Such managers are not just hands-on in their approach but also put faith in the ability of others. They believe in empowering their team members.

 

7. Leadership on the part of project manager requires the ability to handle pressure situations. Good leaders are able to maintain their calm and poise in unforeseen, contingency situations. They possess the ability to steer the ship in stormy weather.

 

8. Leadership in project management is more effective when the project manager has good interpersonal skills. The interpersonal skills of the project manager enable team building and forging of good relationships between team members.

 

9. And last but not the least, project managers who are good leaders have excellent problem solving skills. They have the ability to look at a problem from different perspectives. They are able to think creatively and come out with innovative solutions. They do not shy away from problems but face them.

 

To sum it up, in order to be a good leader a project manager should have vision, good communication skills, integrity of character, enthusiasm in behavior, competency, ability to delegate responsibility, good interpersonal skills and problem solving skills. All of these traits can be nurtured through right education, right training and the desire to evolve on the part of the project manager.

 

 

Bad Project Manager: How (not) to become a bad Project Manager

Project-Management1Project management is a critical skill. Many projects fail because of poor project management skill on the part of project managers. There are certain characteristics common to all bad and ineffective project managers.

 

One common trait observed in ineffective project managers is that they have poor communication skills. They are not open in their communication with team members. They practice what can be termed as communication-discrimination. They play favoritism when it comes to communicating. They share knowledge and information only with team members whom they prefer and like and close communication channels with other team members. This hampers effective collaboration in the project and results in its ultimate failure.

 

Ineffective project managers tend to suffer from tunnel-vision. This means they tend to focus too much on the interests of one stakeholder at the cost of excluding the interests of other stakeholders. The interests of all the stakeholders should be balanced so that project is able to achieve its goals and objectives.

 

Ineffective project managers tend to have out-of-date project control books. The project control book contains up-to-date data and information about the present status of the project. Without an up-to-date project control book, the project manager fails in effectively monitoring and controlling the project. Nowadays sophisticated project management softwares have replaced project-control books.

 

A project involves coordination and collaboration between team members. During this process inter-personal conflicts often arise. It is the project manager’s job to take pro-active steps to resolve these inter-personal conflicts. Ineffective and bad project managers ignore such inter-personal conflicts and do not take steps to resolve them in a timely manner.

 

Ineffective project managers tend to be poor at risk management. They are unable to identify the potential risks to the project and do not have plans to meet the risks and contingencies when they materialize. They are often bad at managing risks.

 

Such project managers also tend to not focus on the business value that the project is intended to create. They focus only on the delivering the project within the scope, schedule and costs. Focus on the business value that a project is intended to create results in better project implementation.

 

Bad project managers tend to make too many assumptions. Their assumptions are based not on the available data and information but on personal biases and gut feeling. They are also not flexible with their assumptions and are not ready to change them when the reality turns out otherwise. Good project managers make minimal assumptions and move with an open mind and flexible approach.