Recently ProjectManager.com published a webinar about five challenges that Project Managers face. One of the challenges identified was the importance of remaining relevant. Remaining relevant in a Project Management context touches on many areas with different people placing priorities on different elements. When I think about remaining relevant, my focus areas are:
- Keeping up with trends in technology and project delivery
- Connecting with Project Management peers
- Taking time to grow skills
Keeping up with trends in technology and project delivery
Technology that supports the operational requirements of businesses and project delivery methods are undergoing rapid transformation. Project Managers with a tight focus on their existing environment are at risk of missing changes that may impact their projects and organisations.
The challenge for a Project Manager is to keep abreast of what is happening outside of their current area of focus.
So how do you find out what you don’t know?
It is important to invest time in enhancing your knowledge and understanding. I have found the internet to be a treasure trove of material but it should be remembered that its sheer volume is counterbalanced by its wide ranging quality. As such it can be challenging to find quality sources of information.
Sources I have found useful include:
- Linkedin groups
- Blogs and podcasts
- Whitepapers and industry analysis
Attending industry briefing sessions either in person or via webinars is also an excellent information source as well as being a great networking opportunity.
Formal training courses can address specific knowledge gaps however relevant courses can be difficult to find and expensive.
Connect With Others
Leveraging the skills and knowledge of your Project Management peers is a great way to learn and network. For those that have PMI or equivalent certification, chapters exist in most cities and they will have structured sessions that you can attend. Alternative approaches are to talk to your work colleagues to discuss topics that are of interest to you and them.
Grow Your Skills
To develop as a Project Manager, it is important to be able to undertake an honest assessment of your skills/knowledge and the relevance to your environment. This will allow you to identify areas for improvement and develop a plan for addressing gaps.
The plan should also take into consideration your goals and future aspirations.