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How to Develop Project Management Skills

A Lesson in Project Management

Last year, I discovered I had to take an IT Project Management class in order to graduate. I was a little hesitant, since I thought it’d be a waste of my time, but I enrolled and thought, this should be an easy class. It’s just allocating times of when to do the work and then actually doing the work. How hard can it be? Wrong. It wasn’t all about time management.

Handle Clients with Care

Whether you’re working with small-scale or large-scale projects in a corporation or whether you’re running your own business, it is handy to know how to handle clients, manage tasks efficiently and monitor processes so that milestones are met. Luckily, some of these project management skills are somewhat common sense. With experience, you’ll start to develop your project management skills, making each project easier to manage. There are other various aspects of the project that need to looked at like calculating profit margins and project cost and creating risk management plans, but get started with the basics by looking at some of the advice from this PM Hut article by Jan Koch.

●       Give your client the feeling that you understand him. Make sure you and your client are on the same page. Understand what the client wants and what is required of you. There’s nothing like creating a product and then having the client completely shoot it down because it was nothing he or she asked for.

●       Gather all the requirements in the beginning of the project and have your client sign them.

●       Prioritize your tasks in a way that allows for a smooth project flow. Like Jan Koch mentions:

Don’t respond to every question, feature request or change request from your client immediately. It’s tough to reject those and to put them on hold until you’ve prioritized them, but it will save your project! Explain to your client why you’re putting his requests on hold and how you will properly respond later. This is where you really can challenge your project management skills.

●       Define a deadline that is before your own project deadline, so that you have time to react to changes. Make room for some cushion time. Clients can suddenly change their mind and request changes anytime during the project, so you’ll want to make sure you have the time to make those changes.

Like it was said before, you’ll develop project management skills with every project you go through. Everyone starts somewhere. You’ll be glad you started now.

Read the full article here:

About Gavin Martin

Information systems architect / technical design authority with over 20 years experience delivering small-scale through enterprise systems to commercial, finance and government customers.

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