Many people ask the question How to become a good project manager without experience. No doubt they all understand very well that to become a project manager they have to put in a lot of energy. Each venture and each profession, as we all know, needs a lot of training and determination. Nothing is easy these days. Remember this. Still, I’ll just explain how to become a project manager easily and quickly. I will give you the right advice. After reading my entire article, you will decide what to put your efforts into.
Table of Contents
What are the steps to become a good project manager without experience?
At the end of this report, we will discuss training and certification programs. Before you start looking for the most reliable certification for you, first read everything carefully. To make it more simple for you, we can suggest you take a look at the latest state-of-the-art project management certification of BVOP.org. The certification process involves a fast and comfortable online exam. The price for the exam and certification is excellent and reasonable for everyone these days.
Agile Project Management Certification with an online exam and a high success rate for your professional development as a project manager
Prepare for your brand-new professional tomorrow as a Project Manager.
As a beginning, it is helpful to possess some common business knowledge and understanding of the common business.
It is critical to have a healthy connection with the people around you because at some point these characters can be your unit. Soft skills are something extremely essential recently. It often occurs that you find yourself in conflict circumstances around you or even yourself and cause disagreements. Today, you must just make a disagreeable condition and therefore start the battle. Usually, these problems happen because of the wrong perception of the interaction between people.
Fundamental financial knowledge would also be very relevant to you as a start. It is nice to have a view of what is a contract, annex, invoice, clauses, money transfer, and so on.
It is also great to know that every enterprise venture is related to resources. The main resources are money, time, and personnel.
So in extension to soft skills, it is nice to have a substantial economic and industrial culture in general.
It is desirable to follow your directors and business owners and keep track of how they perform extensive struggles to win a new customer or spend in their company.
This way you will learn over time that nothing in business is smooth and needs courage and often generates anxiety and pressure.
When you are aware of this point you will definitely understand better your leaders, owners, customers, teams, and the project in general.
Project management training
Before you think of joining an overpriced college and studying Project Management, think about alternative options. There are many excellent programs as well as many publications and studies around that will provide you with all the information you need to get ignited. Check PM.MBA and find a trusted source for project management certification.
There are also many templates you can download and examine and project management gadgets and papers that you will manage in a live setting.
Take a few days or even a week or two to find out all the reports and templates you can download online and inspect on your workstation.
If you don’t know some topic or document, just google it again. Now, every common document or process is explained simply and carefully, and in detail. You can also join a public group on Linkedin for example, and ask the project management society.
It is also good to know that project management is a patterned practice and easy to follow.
What you will learn and discover is that every project begins with planning then goes on to progress, examinations, and eventually close.
The most essential idea for you as a project manager is to implement good documentation and precise specifications and blueprints for the project.
If you can do that, then you will be a great Project Manager sooner or later.
Technical documentation and business requirements
Learn what is technical documentation and business requirements. I suggest that you also train at home and draft technical documentation and business requirements. Review what you already built and make a self-assessment.
Then you can execute everything one more time. Do it even for the third time until you are ultimately happy with your outcomes.
What is the secret of good documentation, business requirements, and technical specifications?
When creating for example technical requirements or business requirements and specifications constantly put yourself in the shoes of the stakeholders who will read those writings. They will be your project team one day and need to understand everything you have already provided. In a live context, with a real team, always ask for feedback.
If they do not get your papers and your evaluations, they will regularly ask you what you mean and what they should do now, or tomorrow. This continuous discussion with you will lead to obstacles and then stress in stakeholders. This is how you can become a bad project manager.
The project manager must set an order
Without regular and transparent processes, your project is doomed to failure.
No matter how well-trained people you have there with you, without them knowing what’s next and what they have to perform, the team members around you will face difficulties.
Accordingly, you will also face many obstacles. In time, your project will be formally announced a mess.
You will lose both your career and trust.
Consequently, you need to design processes and rules.
Discover what project management processes are. This is not a tricky theory to follow. We have already discussed the main points. You need planning, then designing the project, and definitely its closing stage.
The most difficult element of project management is planning. Project planning requires a lot of questions and this is one of the most long-drawn stages.
You need to calculate how much time you and your team need to complete the project. Also, you need to understand precisely what you are going to create. This is termed project scope. Invite stakeholders around you. Communicate to the customer and initiate dialogues and ask questions continuously until everything is bright and well-defined. Keep notes of what you discover. Reference: Business change and stakeholder engagement.
Not long enough after the discussions with the client and stakeholders, you are equipped with the described idea and the scope of the project.
Now you simply have to write down the information you have professionally with details.
To calculate how long it will take to build the project, just look around to check how many free people you have on your side.
If you have a few workers who will work on the product, maybe it’s time to request more personnel.
This is how you plan everything and now it is time to create the project.
Once you know precisely what you are going to create and how many people you have in your project team, you can calculate the total cost to finish the project. Let’s call this Cost planning.
Gather your project team members. Examine all the documentation you have already accumulated, and everything you have signed. Ask anyone around you what they think the cost estimate. Ask what they would suggest to you as needed supplies, devices, or tools for a smooth work process.
Do plenty of analysis.
This way you will have a good compilation of the needed project supplies and resources.
How to manage software projects?
Managing software projects is just the same as managing any other type of project.
Now you need to understand what the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) means. Reference: Project Management and the Development life cycle.
Read about Scrum is and understand what Agile methodologies are.
These topics are also not difficult to learn at all. Many people are terrified at the beginning. Don’t worry. It is not rocket science at all.
The only distinct idea is that you go through production cycles. After each round or period, you perform a retrospective meeting and demonstration event and present what you and your team have done so far.
Learn about the Product Owner role. Read some articles about the Scrum Master as well. It is another exciting title in software projects and teams.
Let’s go back to traditional project management again.
Release planning is the planning of the actions for delivering the project where it belongs. You may need to install something or transport it somewhere. (Reference: Project Planning approaches in project management)
If you have created a software product, describe who will install it and where (and how). What infrastructure, devices, servers, or additional software you need. if you’ve built an ad campaign, define who is accountable for transferring this campaign to the client. Whether it will be videos or some different broadcasting setups, just think and describe the actions you will take to deliver the final project.
Provide a strict schedule with guaranteed reliable estimates. Explain all exercises step by step for the release of the project. They must be named. Write down all the partners who will engage in the delivery process. Put dates and even exact hours if necessary. More on the topic: Agile project management and project plans.
Let’s imagine your project is already finished and it’s all over. Finally. It is time to prove your project readiness. In other words, you start the phase of project completion or closure.
Project closing is the common term for this stage.
This exercise is also not hard but can require some desk-commitment from you.
Make a list of absolutely all the functionalities and all the finished tasks related to the project.
Write in a column, for instance, that all tasks are executed. Mention all tasks in separate rows.
Send your report to your quality control director and your technical team administrator. See also: Quality control and quality assurance in Project Management and Agile practices, Scrum Time (ISSN 2652-5445).
If they are positive about the work done, ask them to sign the document.
In the end, put your name as a Project Manager. Sign it.
Next, transfer your document to your managers and stakeholders.
Understand Waterfall project management. Read this great article: Waterfall and Incremental model in project management: https://wikipedia-lab.org/waterfall-and-incremental-model-in-project-management/
Daily log and lessons learned
Read about a project diary. Daily log and lessons learned. Every time something exciting, engaging, or critical and bad results, write about it briefly in your diary. Explain why and how the incidents occurred. Again, ask your team about their opinions.
Your commitment as a project manager is done.
Of course, project management can include additional activities, but these are the fundamentals. There is usually nothing more complicated than what we described in this example scenario.
You already understand that project management is not magic and there is nothing scary. Many people do it. Some of them do it well. You simply need a little preparation and determination. Acquire persistence and organization.
Courses and certificates
Now is the time to look for an easy and enjoyable short course that will give me more interesting information. Get a certificate. Certified Project Manager. You will need to prove your professional abilities and your determination. Check this review on the BVOP Certified Project Manager (BVOPM). Review on the BVOP Certified Project Manager (BVOPM).
Another review here: https://www.mmrls.org/bvop-certified-project-manager-review/ https://www.mmrls.org
And even another article: Review of the BVOP Certified Project Manager title, Wider Europe, ISSN 2563-1527 https://w-europe.org/the-bvop-certified-project-manager-title-has-been-updated/ (https://w-europe.org/the-bvop-certified-project-manager-title-has-been-updated/)
Prepare for future job interviews and be ready for many misleading and difficult questions from the hiring managers. They love to put you in stressful situations. Be calm and relaxed. Never panic. Also, be always confident in all your responses. Doesn’t matter if they are correct according to some book or regulations. Your confidence is more important.
Take care. I believe you will become a great project manager
Frequently Asked Questions
Read carefully this last part of our material because these are questions that you will not always find online.
What will happen to me if I fail my project?
It is good to know from now on that as a Project Manager you must have your mentor. Often this is your program manager. you should consult them whenever you have any doubts or share when you have a problem.
Sharing your problems is just called escalation.
With regular communication between you and your managers, you should have no difficulties. This is the best way to accomplish your project on time and within budget. if you still fail this means that your leaders did not pay attention to you. It would be their mistake. In that case, you should not criticize your work. Move forward proudly with high self-esteem.
The client is regularly changing the requirements and scope of the project. What can I do about it?
The change management plan is a problem we did not present directly but it is good to read about this practice. It’s again simple and easy.
Read about the Change request form. You will find many examples and templates. Read more: Change Control and Configuration Management in Project Management practices.
But let’s move on to the essence. The reality is that if the client constantly desires to change your project and you do not have strict written requirements, your daily life as a project manager will be a real nightmare.
There are false statements on the Internet (and in some books) that the project manager must regulate all changes. Yes. The project manager needs to control change, but this is not always possible.
If you are building a project for an uncertain client, you need to be certain about your high-skilled managers. Reference: Applying control in project management
If you do not have their assistance, of course, you are doomed to failure. Again, your project is very risky.
Business connections and arrangements are always maintained and defined at the level of senior management of the organizations and the involved in the project parties.
If you still face such circumstances, communicate to your managers, and describe the risks they may produce. You will definitely attract their attention and they will be involved more in the problems of the project. It is almost sure that regular changes in scope will decrease. Further reading: The Qualitative Approach to Project risk assessment, ISSN 2652-5925
Get familiar with Project Risk Management: Assessing the Risk in Project management and Quantitative approaches to risk, PolicyMatters ISSN: 1941-8280, 1941-8272.
My team does not respect me and no one performs their duties.
This is another fascinating question and many project managers are facing this obstacle. You may find wrong opinions that the project manager must control the team members. You are not their parent or their boss. However, remember that you can always escalate issues and problems of any kind.
To have a successful team, your organization must hire professionals. A great team costs a lot. This is the responsibility of the human resources department and your directors. Reference: Human resource management plan in project management practices. Your recruitment manager usually personally selects people. Get involved with that. Ask for real professionals. Always seek the assistance of the human resources department and your directors. More: (www.libraryofmu.org) Human Resources Management plan, new employees, and software.
If you come across a very questionable worker, it may be more obvious to replace them now than to struggle later.
Job interview questions for a project manager
As a bonus, we share some interesting job interview questions for a project manager. You can come up with many of your questions. Think about your answers in advance. Write them on a piece of paper and teach them if necessary.
Which of your personal qualities do you think can contribute the most to your work as a Project Manager?
Certainly one of the qualities I am sure will help in any situation is that I am “open-minded”. I believe that it is very important for the Project Manager to predispose the other person to share worries, anxieties, problematic situations, but of course also good moments and achievements. I’ve always thought that for this kind of role, you have to be a complex “player”, and certainly more or less a psychologist.
My personal experience of living in different countries and my constant encounters with different people and cultures certainly helped to make it easier to “guess” human needs and moods. Satisfied team = job well done.
What is your negative that can interfere with your work?
There is no denying the fact that I have “negative” qualities. One of them is the maximalism that I show at times when things are not meticulous, which in some cases may be unnecessary.
I want to point out that this is an inner feeling and a “problem” that would not affect the teams because I do not think I have ever shown any concern, but on the contrary – calm, a person to whom they can turn and feel support. I want to add that even from this negative quality, we can extract a positive particle, namely – creating an extremely high-quality product.
Do you think that your age can hinder your work, as you may be one of the youngest Project Managers in the company?
There is no doubt that rich experience is invaluable. But not irreplaceable. The advantages of being younger in this position are many. We, the “younger ones”, have been taught to change our environment and way of life much more. We are ready for the changes that are taking place, which, as a Project Manager, are certainly not small.
Also, we have a lot more material and information as we grew up in the age of technology.
We have more time and energy, which I think is essential in our work as Project Managers.
Do you have a PMP or Prince2 certificate?
I believe that any certificate that is directly aimed at a skill that can bring you is useful. What I think after a thorough review of comments, opinions, and courses from PMP is the following – a lot of terms, dry matter, which in real life and project may not be so useful and necessary. Reference: https://newia.info/project-management-certification-training-and-courses-uk/
It is extremely important that the exercises put you in real working conditions, events that are quite likely to happen. It is good when you can make a comparison between several courses and get the best out of everything (which again leads to the conclusion that the young generation is extremely curious about all the possibilities of the world). Read more: Agile Project Management Certification
How would you cope in a conflict environment that becomes toxic?
To reach a moment of a toxic work environment, then the problem is quite deep and has not happened “now”. There can often be a reason for conflict, because people are different, especially in an environment of “difficult characters” and opinions. We, Project Managers, are both psychologists and arbitrators. We also know Agile, Scrum, and Waterfall. Reference: Agile, Scrum, and Waterfall project management
We must always strive to detect the problem before this toxic level is reached. People need to be aware that they need to speak openly right now so that time does not overlap and reach the levels we are talking about. Let’s not forget that the environment in which we work is most important for the implementation of anything.
As difficult as it is sometimes exhausting, we must be very careful to prevent such incidents. And if this level has already been reached and irreversibly, I think it is appropriate for the HR team to be involved as well and to find the best solution for everyone.
Why do you want to be involved in project management?
I like to be in the center of events. The project manager is a key figure who has a variety of up-to-date information to perform his functions. It summarizes and accordingly presents the development and progress of the project. (and as you mentioned that satisfaction is achieved by starting and completing smaller tasks from the big project, where I can use this fact as.
The work done is what brings satisfaction to me. The projects give me the variety to deal with diverse activities, as well as the satisfaction of work done at each stage of them.
What are you striving for?
This question is very similar to the question “How do you see yourself in 5 years?” But quite often, if through our answers we fall into the category of “just such an employee looking for” it is possible to return to a topic already discussed, in an attempt to provoke us. Without repeating verbatim, our answer would be in the same vein:
As a project manager, I strive to complete the projects I manage. The success of a project is not only the result but also how the path to success was paved, what price we paid. Teamwork, in addition to coordination between teams, is also the achievement of lasting respect-based relationships, which are built by solving emerging problems. Solving problems to continue the work of both the individual and the teams is the way to achieve the result. The feeling of satisfaction of all participants, along with the profit and the true qualities of the product, are the successes of a project.
What kind of people do you prefer to work with?
A project manager is a mediator, a central figure whose job is to communicate with most, and sometimes even all, employees in a company. As a moderate, balanced, and calm person, I prefer such an attitude towards me, without limiting the people on the other side with pretensions about themselves.
What do you think about stress?
Stress is every day, but stress is manageable. Stressful situations occur for one or more reasons, and stress management requires finding the causes to respond accordingly.
What is your biggest success?
This question hides the trap, whatever I answer the next line of the interviewers to be “are you have already achieved what you want.” That is why I will try to answer diplomatically:
My biggest success is finishing what I started. Every project is a challenge, which with its completion in a quality product is a success in itself. Why can’t I give a specific example, because the biggest success for me is to appreciate my work, which is expressed in the completed projects? Each of them has allowed me to gain experience in communicating with various specialists and to support their work in building the product that the customer has ordered.
3 thoughts on “How to Become a Project Manager Without Experience and Degree”
Thanks for the interesting and fascinating article. Surprisingly useful tips. If you can recommend a specific certification program that I can find a job with, I would be happy to share it.
I have always had organizational and communication skills, and I have proven them in my previous jobs. All the projects I worked on at my university and my jobs were done on schedule and in the best possible way. I am looking to deal with new challenges, including managing multiple projects simultaneously and leading teams.
Learning how to be the most effective manager will develop my career in almost every field. Obtaining a project management certificate will teach me how to systematically break projects into smaller pieces of manageable work, which will eventually lead to the completion of the entire project. project. I will develop skills for managing one type of project that can be transferred to other types of projects and learning new things will be a long cycle. And this leads to the most confirming reason to invest in a project management certificate is that I will never stop studying. The project manager is constantly learning new ways of doing his job effectively. And I will never lack diversity and communication.
I have studied and lived abroad, and I have changed roles from marketing to accounting, I can adapt easily and manage situations in different environments. I also have various skills such as excel, accounting, marketing, and sales.
I am an effective communicator and I listen. I know that the opinion of others is very important and central in building something big and successful
I have always solved problems since my childhood and I believe that this is a key quality. I always set goals and pursue them until they become a reality.
Sometimes I’m anxious until I get to know the people I’m going to work with. I don’t have a problem with dating and making non-friends, but more precisely, when I have an idea, I am afraid to share it immediately, because I am afraid of how people around me will accept it and whether this idea is useful.
Sometimes I hurry a lot before reaching a conclusion or answering a question. It comes from my quality that I am quite impatient. I want everything to happen expeditiously.
I think that the more time I spend with the people I work with or just communicate with people from my daily life and express my opinion freely, it will be much easier for me to express my ideas to strangers, which will happen very often. I have to work on this and by the end of the summer, I can say that I am confident in my opinion and ideas.
In several interviews so far, I have been asked if I have worked with Waterfall and Agile.
My answer was that I worked on several Agile projects and several that did not follow a specific methodology but rather tended towards Waterfall.
Do you have experience with working with foreign clients and if so – from which countries? That’s what I was asked about a month ago. My answer was yes – with the German, Canadian, English, Americans, and Japanese.
Also, I was asked if I needed to get used to communicating with other nationalities, how long it would take me to get used to it. Honestly, it seems a bit of a strange question to me, but I answered that if the communication is in English, it should not be a problem to communicate normally with such countries from the very beginning.
I have been asked very specific questions about SCRUM.
My answer is that in general, I have no experience in methodology, but like any job, it can be learned, and I am personally motivated to develop in any direction related to project management.
They often asked me to give an example of a problem in a project that I was able to solve.
I give as an example a project on which when I started working, all the deadlines were already missed and the client was not satisfied at all. I offered an analysis of the work at the internal level, as well as regular meetings with the client to identify the most important issues to be prioritized. I suggested to the management the fragmentation of the work to deal more specifically with the problems. After several months of strong commitment, the project managed to clear up most of the delays, and communication with customers became much friendlier.
One of the main problems I encounter in interviews is the fact that they are mostly run by people from the human resources department. At the moment about 60-70% of the interviews are like that, while the rest is with people from the PM team. The people from the HR team are not narrow specialists in PM and seem to ask standard questions, to which they expect standard answers. I think that this is a relatively wrong practice and it is better for professionals in the given field of employment to be directly involved in the selection of staff.