After successfully managing projects in IT, healthcare, construction, or general business, project managers can move up to managing multiple projects, programs and/or portfolios of projects. Enterprise Project Management Main Page
Here they must allocate resources across all the projects in the program or portfolio they’re responsible for managing. They must also deal with executive sponsors and stakeholders more often. They must try to enforce effective organization-wide processes for managing multiple projects and programs. And that is a significant challenge.
The technical skills of portfolio management, setting priorities and allocating resources are straight-forward and rather simple. What’s not simple is handling the politics of managing multiple stakeholders with conflicting interests and priorities. Many newly promoted program and portfolio managers think all they need to succeed is the power of the CEO behind them. However, they soon find out that the senior executive, while backing the idea of doing projects the right way, will not overrule the executives that the program or portfolio manager deals with every day.
Far from using their power to force compliance with the program manager’s proposals and processes, the CEO will want them to “work it out” with the executive stakeholders. Thus, managing multiple project takes program and portfolio managers into the world of political maneuvering, horse-trading and deal-making. They must join in the political deal-making and coalition-building or the executives will quickly ignore them. They will consider the program and portfolio managers irrelevant to the issues and challenges these executives face.
Earning a project manager certification is one of the paths into a project management career. It can lead to the upper levels of project, program and portfolio management.
Getting into project management for people with a some experience is easier if you have earned your first project management certification. That certification could be in a specific industry or in a functional specialty. Those certification programs give you basic skills for small projects and build on them by adding advanced techniques in estimating, risk management, planning with executives, tracking and status reporting. The better programs also give you training and practice in making effective presentations, leading meetings and communicating clearly with stakeholders and your team members. The Project Management Institute offers two certifications: the PMP for experienced PMs and the CAPM for beginners.
Specialty certification programs are available in areas such as: IT Project Manager Certification In addition to basic and advanced project management tools and techniques, these programs give you the skills to use different systems development methodologies, like Agile and Waterfall,and select the correct one for each systems development project. They also focus on how to manage the users’ expectations.
Construction Project Manager Certification In addition to the basic and advanced project management tools and skills, these programs place special emphasis on accurate estimating, building customer/owner relationships and the intricacies of dealing with subcontractors on your project. There’s also a strong emphasis on managing risk and change orders which are critical elements in construction project profitability.
Healthcare Project Manager Certification In addition to the basic and advanced techniques and tools, these certifications focus on dealing with the unique organizational issues in the healthcare environment. They teach you how to work with both the administrative departments and the medical staff of the healthcare institution. You learn how to build effective teams across those functional lines.
Business Project Manager Certification In addition to the basic and advanced project management tools, these programs focus on integrating different functional areas into a high-performance project team. You learn how to build project plans and effective teams that integrate the efforts of information systems, marketing, sales and operations. Each of these areas have a unique perspective on the projects.
Client Project Manager Certification – These certifications not only give you the basic and advanced techniques but also teach you how to sell engagements to clients, manage their expectations, and finish a project on time, making a profit and having a happy client. There is a major focus on handling change orders profitably while maintaining client satisfaction.
These certifications are valuable credibility-builders within your organization and when seeking a new project manager job.
You learn all of those skills in our project management basics courses. Take a look at the basics course in your specialty and start to earn your certification.