A business is like a machine. Normal, daily operations, like selling products and doing payroll, are like an oil that keeps the organization running along smoothly. They’re what make the business work. But no endeavor can survive for long by just going through the motions and keeping things at the status quo. Projects are special undertakings that businesses start when they want to innovate, begin something new, or take on an especially important task. Projects are things that businesses and organizations do to get something done, and to get it done as efficiently, quickly, and accurately as possible.
When businesses, nonprofits and other organizations want to get something done, they turn to project managers. Project managers use time-tested skills and strategies to lead people, usually a specialized team, to accomplish a certain goal. These goals could be anything. They could be to design a new company brand or to figure out how to optimize the manufacturing process of a product. It could be restructuring the company budget, or it could be creating a website or app. Project managers follow a timeline of initiating, planning, designing, executing, controlling, and finally closing a project. They must lead their team and adjust aspects of the project throughout this entire process.
Project managers work in virtually all job fields, though they are most often found in the construction, engineering, communication and computing industries. Most often, they work with a client. The client will tell the project manager what they want accomplished, in what time, and at what cost. The project manager will then work with a team to plan the most efficient way to accomplish that goal while ensuring the quality of the end result. In this way, project managers are experts at prioritizing work and managing a team. These skills are universal, and can be translated into any other type of work later on.
Columbus State University’s Department of Continuing Education offers both individual classes and a full certificate in project management. In the ruthlessly competitive business environment, knowing how to effectively manage major projects for different organizations is an extraordinary advantage. Those who already have management experience can learn proven methods of refining project workflows and ensuring team cohesion, all while adding a valuable credential to their portfolio.
The Project Management Certificate consists of six classes, including four required classes and two electives. You will learn the fundamentals of managing project scope, budget, and quality while ensuring clear and cogent communication between team members. After this, you can learn specialized skills through classes in managing portfolios, coordinating schedules, dealing with risk, and using different software applications. Upon completion of the certificate, you will be prepared to pursue the Project Management credentials from the Project Management Institute, or to fulfill your required professional development units.