What can I do today to make me a better PM tomorrow?

Have you ever reached a frustrating point in your PM career where you wonder this very question? Sometimes you wish you may wish you had more experience, or possibly a certification or maybe belonged to a networking group online or in person that could help you work through project issues that are beyond your level of experience or expertise and seem to be threatening your project.

Here are a few things you can to expand your ability to respond to the needs of your project, your team, and your customer when you are feel you need to improve…

Read, read, read

There is so much available to new and struggling project managers today that simply wasn’t accessible before or not available soon enough to do you any good on a current project.

Now we have access to literally hundreds of thousands of online expert PM articles on everything from managing project customers to how to implement a virtual desktop infrastructure to maximize performance across the enterprise. Everything from very general and very useful management ‚Äòadvice’ to extremely detailed implementation and technology specific processes – and everything in between. Use this information to solve problems, avoid issues and make yourselves better project managers.

Network online

No longer are we tied down to networking with 4-5 other project managers in our organization or a few dozen individuals in our local PMI chapter. Now we have everything online that can help us to get advice almost immediately. By strategically using social media avenues like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ and forums offered on various project management discussion sites, we can access over a million potential colleagues instantly for help in just a out any project situation you can dream up. And there is certainly no shortage of well-qualified and outspoken project professionals willing to share thoughts, experiences and potential solutions to your issues worldwide and 24/7.

Utilize podcasts, webinars, and online video tutorials

Just like networking and reading articles, we also now have thousands of:

Podcasts focused on specific areas of project management issues and areas of learning. Many even help teach us specific knowledge areas that can prepare the up and coming PM for various certifications.

Webinars that – while are often thinly veiled sales tools – do offer good insight to project management software options and best practices.

Demos and videos through YouTube, vendor sites and individual PM consulting sites designed to help us productively use the many PM software tools available and deal with every day issues that are encountered by project managers everywhere.

Gain certification

Finally, an experienced or aspiring project manager can go the certification route to legitimize themselves even more in the role of project manager. Certification doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be a better project manager and it is sadly often overemphasized as a weed-out practice by hiring organizations with lazy HR departments. However, there is no question that acquiring certification shows dedication, accomplishment, and professionalism. It can definitely help educate project managers and it can give them standard language and processes which improve how they as individuals manage projects and how groups of project managers communicate together as colleagues and help an organization maintain or acquire project excellence in delivering on project engagements for their valued clients.

Summary

Whatever you’re going through or struggling with – believe me, you’re probably not alone and you can definitely gain insight from those around you and from the trusted and expert connections you’ve made online. Information and help that was miles away and traveled at a snail’s pace 20 years ago is now available at the speed of light – or at least at the speed of your ISP or 3G/4G wireless connection. We can end the day frustrated with a major issue on a project and wake up to hundreds of potential solutions if we wisely use many of the resources that are available to us now to better equip us to manage our projects better and more efficiently tomorrow.

Recommended Project Management Software

If you’re interested in learning more about top rated project management software, the editors at Project-Management.com actively recommend the following:


Brad Egeland

Brad Egeland is a Business Solution Designer and IT/PM author with over 25 years experience as a developer, manager, project manager and consultant. Brad is married, a father of 9, and living in sunny Las Vegas, NV.