Plan your 2021 Project Management Training
As you would approach any high impact effort, you need a plan for your own professional development. Your Project Management Skill Development plan should be more than just “get a new job!” which in fact, is a desired outcome not a plan. Carefully consider your goals, resources, and timeline to create a measurable and actionable skill development plan. To keep your career on track, including a job change or advancement, apply your project management skills to your own development.
Skills Are the Buzz Word of 2021
To start your Project Management Skill Development Plan, you need to know the skills that you will be gaining through your work. The past year has changed what skills are in most demand and what recruiters are considering in candidates.
The below chart captures the top skills from three vetted sources (CNBC, Forbes, and Indeed.com). Review it and keep in mind which would be a new skill for you and what would be an existing skill to expand. Note that core Project Management skills, such as those included in Project Management Institute certifications, are included.
Your Project Management Skill Development Plan should also include formal Project Management skills. If you know Agile, then add Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe-SA) and/or Disciplined Agile: Foundations of Agile. If you have years of experience in Project Management, expand your formal skills with Business Analysis training such as CCBA Certification Training.
Your 2021 Project Manager Skill Development Plan
With the PMP® certification exam changing on Jan. 2, 2021, all current and aspiring PMP® certification holders should know the content changes as they reflect international research into the profession. Your Project Manager Skill Development plan should reflect formal project management skills and business acumen skills. If you are a project manager, you know how to make a plan. You can even use your favorite project management software to plan your 2021 skill development work. Use these guidelines to kick start your planning:
- Set Skill Goals – identify the skills to focus on; for example: project methodologies, project management certification, Diversity and Inclusion, Leadership Styles, Team Leadership, Team Performance, and more.
- Organize and Prioritize – go through your skill list and complete two steps:
- Identify each skill as either “Grow,” meaning that is it a new skill you want to develop, or, “Deepen” for those skills you have but need to enhance
- Prioritize those that are in most need for your current job (or your future position)
- Identify Resources – with a combination of your personal resources and those your company may provide, determine what you need and have for: training budget, training resources, reimbursements, discounts, and training sources
- Create Schedule – include both ongoing/weekly learning and larger learning efforts like courses. If you have certification on your goal list, be sure to include Bootcamp and/or Prep courses, plus study time and test time.
- Document Success – keep that LinkedIn profile updated, the resume current, and your company profile accurate. When you share your learning success and how you continuously work on your own development, you enhance your brand and keep your name on the top of other’s lists.
A skill in demand for 2021? The growth mindset: one that “…thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.”
Rather than thinking only in terms of a title, expand your approach to preparing for more responsibility or variety. If you are open to career possibilities, there is a greater chance that the door to opportunity will open. If you have a fixed mindset and think only in terms of titles, likely you will have a longer wait and more disappointment.
Commit to Your Plan
The same leadership you apply to be a success in your project manager work is required to make your own Project Management Skill Development plan a success story.
The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work. Harry Golden
The world continues to change, and those who have a skill tool set that can enable solutions even in evolving situations will be driving their careers forward. To make it in today’s world, it’s important to be agile and flexible. Commit to your own professional development, create a plan that is actionable, measurable, and possible. Most importantly, put that plan into action so that your 2021 is full of learning and success.
About Megan Bell, MPM, PMP
A multi-hyphenate of corporate training, higher education, and creative agency work, Bell’s passion for connecting people to impactful information fuels an evolving career journey. Her portfolio includes conducting learning analytic research and reporting, managing a corporate mentoring program, authoring a blog series, facilitating leadership and career programs, serving on a non-profit board, and even occasional voice work. Bell’s education background encompasses UNC-Chapel Hill, Western Carolina University, and North Carolina State University.
- Connect with Megan Bell, MPM, PMP