Categories: Project Management
What does a Project Manager need to know about Project Management?
Don't worry, this isn't a job interview; it's okay to say "It depends."
It seems like, once you get past a core set of skills, there is a lot of variation, between companies, when it comes to what is expected of a Project Manager. I've also noticed a lot of variation in what is expected of a Project Manager from different employees within the same company. A starting point might include the following:
- Communicating effectively across all levels of an organization
- Facilitating meetings
- Documenting and managing project tasks/schedule (often using software that displays a WBS and Gantt chart)
- Identifying/managing risks and issues
- Managing project scope changes
- Creating status reports/dashboards
- Various "soft" skills
The longer you work as a Project Manager, the more important it becomes that you understand the nature of work and how it can be accomplished. You also need to understand the culture and structure of the organization you work in to choose the best approach to successfully accomplish the work to be performed. Here are some areas to study:
- Scaling Agile
- Waterfall (in its various forms)
- Six Sigma
- Organizational Change Management
- Project Portfolio Management
- Benefits Realization Management
As a PMP, I feel a little obligated to say that you need to know the PMBOK, but I also feel the need to point out that it is the PMBOK Guide, emphasis on 'Guide.' There are also other approaches, such as Prince2, that may be more relevant to your career. Knowing what is relevant to your career is more important than using the topics I've mentioned as a checklist for things you need to know.
The point of having a tool belt is to be able to know how to use the tools you need based on the situation you are in, not to use every tool you have. So, here's a question for the rest of you - reply in the comments section - what else, in your experience, do Project Managers need to know?