How to Land a Dream Project Manager PositionProject management is a coveted position. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to break into this career path. Irrespective of whether it is an IT, AV, or UC project, managers always have the most challenging roles to play. So how do you secure a project management job?

Get Your Basics Right

The best way to start is to learn from scratch. Learning hands-on skills from the projects you are on is always a good idea. A PM’s primary role is to manage, coordinate, and monitor the activities of resources and their use of the tools and technology. In scenarios where you are not formally the PM, there is nothing that prevents you from being proactive, and taking on the task yourself. By doing so, you get to understand the nuances of managing resources—but make sure to make copious notes of everything you’re learning—as these notes can help you determine whether or not project management is right for you. Here are some of the things a great project manager does every day:

  • Prepares requirements documents outlining the scope of work.
  • Scheduling, defining milestones, and formalizing a plan of action.
  • Arranges a kick-off meeting, and ensures the right players are invited and in attendance.
  • Prepares status reports.
  • Organizes the project closure meeting.
  • Conducts debriefings on the overall project experience, and analyses what can be learned.
  • Prepares a MOM of the debriefing session and circulates throughout the team.
  • Archives all documents and files.

Once you do this for a couple of projects, you will develop a deep understanding of a PM’s profile. This prepares you for subsequent interview sessions for your dream job.

Looking Beyond IT Project Management

Project managers are in high demand in industries like AV, UC, and video communications. But given the current AV/IT convergence/evolution, where AV/IT are beginning to meld into almost a hybrid industry, don’t assume that an AV project manager is distanced from the tasks of an IT project manager. However, an AV project manager needs to have more than just sound technical knowhow. Here are some factors non-IT schooled project managers need to consider.

Learn to deal with diverse groups of people. In AV projects, vendors and service providers are a vital component of the process. Managing these varied groups is a tough challenge which needs to be performed efficiently.

Adopt a global outlook. Thanks to collaborative technologies like videoconferencing and unified communications systems, project managers need to manage cultural and demographic factors in order to ensure effective collaboration across countries, even the globe.

Remember the end user. The success of any audio/visual integration project depends on how well the project outcome answers the users needs. AV systems and collaborative tools must be intuitive and user friendly for general users. However, they must also be sufficiently advanced for professional users. Keeping this balance depends almost entirely on the experience and understanding of the project manager.

Always strike a balance between technology and users. Project managers should be able to establish a perfect blend between technology and user needs. They should know the best way to solve clients’ problems with the help of technology in every new system development project.

Stay ahead of the curve. AV and UC project managers need to be able to grasp future trends and upgrade their systems accordingly. They must always be on top of the latest technology, and how it could benefit customers and clients.

Qualities Fundamental to Good Project Management

Most jobs tend to attract “certain personality types”, whether by accident or by design, and project management positions are no different. Some of these include:

Excellent time manager. Timeliness is a major concern on all projects, both for cost savings and for client satisfaction. The job of the project manager is to ensure that the project runs smoothly, and comes in on time.

Master negotiators. From the C-suite on down, big projects are disruptive, and a PM must be able to solve problems and sooth upsets like a pro.

Be extremely process focused. Essentially, all projects are process-based. While IT projects are based on the strength of well-defined internal processes, AV and UC projects depend on processes defined by providers and vendors. A good project manager understands this difference, and the significance of adhering to the plan, to the benefit of all involved.

Excellent management skills. Project managers need to manage resources, technologies, staff, and client expectations, and this all has to be done while keeping cool head, and remaining on deadline and on budget.

Skilled at cost estimation and budgeting. Along with maintaining the technical and staffing aspects of an installation, project managers should also ensure that the project estimation and budgeting doesn’t go overboard. Aspiring project managers need to develop sufficient mathematical and budgeting abilities to scale up to these requirements.

Every initiative in any organization is regarded as an individual project. Managing these projects intuitively will help you scale up and become an effective project manager.

At Advanced AV we empower live meetings and remote collaboration by deploying the technology that helps your organization connect, communicate and engage with its customers, employees and stakeholders. Connect with us to find out more about how Advanced AV can help you achieve your business and technology goals.

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