One question which we get asked a lot is, what does it take to be a successful project manager in the media? It’s as if there’s a top secret recipe for being successful in the project management field. Some would make the argument that nothing but experience counts. Others favour formal training and certifications. Maybe the best answer is to achieve a balance of both real-world experience and training.
However still, what does it take to make it in the world of project management in the media? Why do some people fall right into the groove where other people struggle and then gasp for air? Although there are a whole host of skills, knowledge areas and methodologies to consider, we think that being a successful project manager in the media comes down to your ability to do a few key things really, really well.
Have Clear Goals And Scope
Prior to work on a project is done or even planned, the project sponsor needs to articulate the goals as well as scope of the project. The goals are the big things that the project is supposed to accomplish.
Take a software enhancement project, for example. An HR department uses well-known customisable business software in order to manage payroll. The organisation wants to add a module for learning management. The goals of the project are to customise the learning management software to the organisation’s business needs as well as to integrate it with the existing payroll system.
The scope defines the limits of the project. Carrying on with the software project example, this project’s scope is limited to bringing on the learning management system and then integrating it with the payroll system. Often, it is helpful to identify things which are out of scope in order to understand what is in-scope. For this project, including other modules is out of scope. The accounting department is not able to come to the project manager and ask for billing, accounts receivable or accounts payable modules.
Including a module once the project has been defined allows for scope creep. Very good project sponsors and project managers guard against this and are quite reluctant to add scope mid-project. Increasing a project’s scope ups the project’s need for resources such as time and money. In addition, working on the additional scope puts the quality of work products at risk.
Managing projects to a successful completion can be quite easy for simple, personal projects, however the majority of projects undertaken commercially include a far greater degree of complexity, larger teams and more stakeholders.
It is always a great idea to make sure that those assigned as project managers in these quite more complex situations have received the correct project management training. An appropriate course leading to a documented project management qualification will teach proven ways to manage all aspects of a complex project and ensure a successful outcome is much more likely. A formal, controlled approach is particularly necessary when undertaking global projects with all the additional complexities they entail.
Do you want to become a project manager in the media then you need to do our Project Management Course? Follow this link for more information.
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