Opportunities in project management are rising and pay is also expected to increase. Interestingly, there aren’t enough project managers to fill the growing demand. Now is the perfect time for you to transition to a fulfilling career in project management, and I know of some valuable project manager resources to help.
I am a project manager because I love to watch projects unfold, and I simply love to check things off. When you check items off of your to-do list, small amounts of dopamine are released making you feel accomplished, motivated and blissful. It’s even more fun when the engineers do the actual work and you get to be the one to mark it off as complete. It’s rewarding and addicting.
In reality, project management is a lot of work and way more complex. You have to manage budgets, timelines, teams, clients and stakeholders. You have to mitigate risks, communicate, and problem solve. So whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned project manager, you should always perfect your craft. Let’s look at some books, online courses, and other project manager resources you can use to improve your project management skills.
Leaders Aren’t Born, They are Made
Leadership is an important quality for project managers to have. As a project manager, you will manage a team. It’s your primary job to lead your project to completion and success. Knowing how to manage your team is critical to ensuring your projects run smoothly, complete on time, and stay within budget.
As the saying goes, leaders are not born, they are made. If you feel that you lack leadership skills or need more training, then read books that can help you develop and hone your skills. Our project management team read The Five Dysfunctions of a Team together. I love that this book doesn’t focus on giving you tips on how to be a better leader, which would be ineffective. You can work on being your best self all day long but if your team is dysfunctional, you still won’t succeed. Instead, this book helps you to analyze your entire team and find where your team is not functioning. It then gives you a powerful model and actionable steps that can be used to overcome this dysfunction and build an effective team.
Project Management Classes and Courses
Whether you’re a seasoned project manager or a newbie, we can all benefit from taking online courses to keep our skills sharp. I didn’t go to school for project management nor did I get any particular certifications in project management. My experience came from my previous job where I inadvertently did a lot of project management.
You, too may, have a lot of project management experience without even realizing it. Before I applied to be an official project manager though, I took a couple of online project management courses. Our project management team also has completed some online courses together.
Here are a few I would recommend:
1. Scrum Basics
Every project manager should know the basics of Agile and Scrum methodologies. Even though WebDevStudios isn’t fully agile, we have used this style on many different projects. So, it’s useful to know.
If you were a project manager in another industry and are now looking to transition to technology or WordPress, this is a great course for you. Technology has unique challenges that you will want to be prepared for.
Every project has risks. Risks can completely derail your project and ruin your budget. This course is a must-have in your bucket of project manager resources.
We can all benefit from improving our communication skills. As a project manager, you not only have to communicate with your engineers and team, but also clients and stakeholders. You have to be able to communicate effectively and confidently.
If you want to be a WordPress project manager or other technical project manager, I would recommend learning the system or CRM that you will be managing. If you’ve never created a WordPress site or used it before, then it will all seem foreign to you and it will be difficult to grasp. I say the best way to learn a new system is to use it.
Try building your own site so that you can see firsthand how all of the components work together. You’ll get a better understanding of what the backend versus the frontend teams does. You’ll be able to speak more confidently to the client about what your team is building. Also, you will be able to communicate the clients’ needs to your team as well.
I am always less connected to a project when I don’t really know what is going on or what is being built. Take for example the Advanced Custom Fields plugin. It took me a while to understand what that plugin does and how it is used. I didn’t really understand it fully until I had used on a site I was building. Now I feel like I have a better grasp on that plugin and can speak more confidently when I have to talk about it.
To become a WordPress guru project manager extraordinaire specifically, I would recommend reading WordPress for Dummies, 8th Edition by our COO, Lisa Sabin-Wilson. Also, check out WordPress Professional Design and Development, 3rd Edition by our CEO, Brad Williams. Trust me, reading these will give you the deepest understanding of WordPress as a project manager. You will come off as a guru and an expert.
I know at this point I am overloading you with resources. I want you to be the best project manager and rock your new career so I’m going to leave you with a few blog posts created by our expert team of engineers.
If you want to specialize in WordPress, there are some industry terminology you should be familiar with. The technology within the WordPress industry specifically is always evolving. The engineers have to learn this new technology in order to keep up and we as managers need to be familiar enough to manage projects that may use this technology.
Advanced Custom Fields
Alright, future project managers of the world, I think I’ve given you a lot to get started. Continue to read, practice, and find some more project manager resources that will help you in your new career. Good luck!