Did you know that the typical office professional spends about 80% of his or her time working on projects? Research suggests this number is only going to increase in the future.
If you think about it, you can quickly see why.
Tasks (or single-step operational to-do items) are easily automated. Over the past few years, technology has probably already reduced the number of tasks on your plate; but projects are fundamentally different.
Projects involve an interconnected set of tasks designed to achieve a specific outcome within a finite period of time. Technology can help organize your projects, and it can even help execute certain elements of your projects, but it can’t manage your projects for you.
Project Management is a role that requires a human. To do it well, you need a wide array of skills, including but not limited to:
- Investigative skills to collect the necessary details and parameters for success
- Critical thinking to analyze information and formulate your strategy
- Organization to establish a step-by-step plan for execution
- Time management to stay on track and meet deadlines
- Communication to set expectations with stakeholders and keep them invested
- Leadership to motivate and focus your project team
- Resource management to ensure you’re using budget and supplies responsibly
And that’s just the beginning! Project Management is very complicated; it’s an entire field of study and a profession.
However, the vast majority of people who manage projects are not formal “Project Managers” by title. In fact, they are often administrative professionals who have little to no training. Consequently, they often encounter serious problems while attempting to manage projects.
According to the Project Management Institute, failed projects cost organizations millions of dollars a year. It’s no exaggeration to say that project failure can also inflict serious damage on the careers of the people involved.
This is one area of professional development that you can’t afford to ignore. No matter what your title is, you probably already spend the majority of your time working on projects. If you don’t now, you will in the very near future. And without training, it’s only a matter of time before it overwhelms you.
If you want to put yourself in the best possible position for the future, Project Management is one of the most important skills you can learn. When you expand your PM capabilities, you naturally expand all of the other skillsets listed above (communication, leadership, organization, time management, etc.). You become a more well-rounded professional.
When you understand the methodology involved with Project Management, your confidence will increase. You’ll no longer just be “winging it.” You’ll have the skills you need to tackle even the largest, most complex projects.
With solid Project Management skills, you’ll be an indispensable asset to your organization, now and in the future. As technology continues to take over more task-oriented positions, you’ll be perfectly poised to successfully transition into the next phase of work.