Friday, 7 February 2014

So you want to be a Project Manager? Just don't expect to learn it all by just going on a PRINCE2 course!

I've heard the story a number of times at client sites ... "My training for taking the role as Project Manager was going on a PRINCE2 course". This is wide of the mark. PRINCE2 is a project management methodology. It is good at what it does but it is far from the whole story in terms of being a Project Manager.

What does PRINCE2 give a Project Manager?

PRINCE2 defines a common terminology to be used in the project, key principles (e.g. management by exception), processes (e.g. initiating a project), "components" (e.g. management of risk) and some techniques (e.g. product based planning).

So it represents good training in many of the "technical" aspects of managing a project.

What is missing in PRINCE2 for a Project Manager?

What's missing then? Well a few things....

The Human side!

I like to remember things by pictures, proverbs and phrases as you will learn through this blog. One such phrase which I use is "Always remember the Human side" - see this post for more on this topic. As a Project Manager who need to deliver an objective through a team you need to be able to get the most out of them. Here is another picture to illustrate the point.....

The "P" in PM is as much about People Management as it is Project Management

People / Team Management is a big topic but this is often given the label "soft skills" such as:
  • Communication
  • Motivation
  • Exhibiting a number of leadership styles


Also, before embarking on a career in Project Management, you need to assess yourself (or be assessed) for some behaviour characteristics / traits. Here are a few to consider:
  • Self motivated / Resilient to setbacks?
  • Effective under pressure?
  • Prepared to take ownership?
Again, a proverb cartoon to illustrate..... 
Project Manager - If you don't stand for something - you'll fall for anything


Experience also improves your performance. Think about learning to drive, you took lessons and passed the test but improved much more from real world experience.

You should always look to learn lessons from Projects, have a read of this post

Good luck....

So good luck with your career in Project Management. Just consider a few more things than a PRINCE2 training course to get you started.....


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