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Kick Starting Your Project Management Career

March 26 2010

Kick Starting Your Project Management Career

Maybe you’re looking for a change or maybe you’ve just determined that Online Project Management is the right area for you.  If that’s the case, then you’ve chosen a very interesting, visible, and rewarding career.  You just need to be aware of the fundamentals of project management templates and some of the criteria behind being a successful project manager.  Then evaluate whether or not it’s the right career choice for you.

Some of the key areas of focus for the project manager are:

– Leadership
– Communication
– Connections within the organization
– Customer focus
– Decision-making
– Organization

Let’s look at each of these in more depth:


No matter what industry you’re in, the project manager must be a leader.  If you’re seeking out this type of position, then you’re deeming yourself ready to lead a diverse team of skilled resources on a project planning and guide them toward critical project goals.  Remember, they’ll be relying on you for direction weekly, if not daily.  You must be focused on the end goal and keep your team on track to reach it.  And don’t forget the customer angle.  Projects usually come with a customer – either an internal customer or an external customer.  But you must be ready to guide them as well – they’re part of the overall team, too.


The project manager must be an effective communicator.  You must be consistent and frequent in your communication.  Throughout the project, your team and your customer will continually look to you for project status information and feedback on issues that arise.  It’s your job to keep them apprised of the status at all times and keep them aware of what’s expected of them and how they’re doing in regards to expectations on the project.  Updating everyone on project progress is the project manager’s job.

Connections within the organization

While this one is not absolutely critical, it certainly helps.  The squeaky wheel gets the grease and it’s a lot easier to get that grease if you have the right connections in the organization.  Customer service, tech support, accounting are all departments that you as a project manager may need assistance from.  It’s helpful if you know people in those departments – it will help your project move along when you need things from them.

Customer focus

This is perhaps the most critical area of responsibility for the project manager – depending on your company and your project management methodology.  The customer is key…they’re probably paying for the project and you need to keep them happy.  Stay focused on the customer throughout and keep them up-to-date and engaged on the project.


The project manager must be a strong decision maker and stand behind what is decided.  Make good, responsible decisions and be stubborn about them.  You can lose your team – and your customer – quickly if you’re too wishy-washy.


And finally, the project manager must be an organized individual.  The team and the customer rely on you for regular updates, weekly status calls, weekly status reports, revised project schedules and budget management.  If you let these things slip you’ll give the perception to your team and your customer that the project is slipping and confidence will be lost.


The project management profession can be very rewarding.  It requires a confident person and you’ll enjoy the visibility – just be ready to take the reigns when that high-level project is handed to you.  That’s your opportunity to shine and show them what you’re made of.