What should you learn as a Project Manager to be successful?

As a new Project Manager, there are several topics that you should learn to be successful in your role. Some of these topics include:

  1. Project planning: This is a no-brainer! A Project Manager needs to learn how to plan, schedule and manage tasks, milestones, and deadlines for your project.
  2. Budgeting and cost management: Understand how to develop and manage project budgets, including tracking expenses and forecasting costs.
  3. Risk management: Identify and assess potential risks that could impact your project and develop strategies to mitigate them.
  4. Communication: Learn how to communicate effectively with team members, stakeholders, and other project stakeholders.
  5. Team management: Learn how to build, lead and motivate a project team, including managing conflicts and promoting teamwork.
  6. Project monitoring and control: Learn how to monitor project progress, track performance against targets, and make changes as necessary.
  7. Quality management: Learn how to ensure that project deliverables meet the desired level of quality, including developing and implementing quality assurance and control processes.
  8. Change management: Understand how to manage changes to project scope, requirements, and timelines, including assessing the impact of changes and communicating them to stakeholders.
  9. Project closing: Learn how to close out a project, including conducting post-project evaluations, documenting lessons learned, and transferring knowledge to relevant stakeholders.
  10. Stakeholder management: Learn how to manage relationships with project stakeholders, including identifying and engaging stakeholders, understanding their needs and expectations, and developing strategies to meet their requirements.

The following sections provides further details for each of the above 10

Project planning

Project planning is the process of defining the project scope, objectives, and requirements, and then breaking down the work into manageable tasks, determining their dependencies, and creating a project schedule. Effective project planning involves a range of activities, including:

  • Defining project goals and objectives: These should be clearly defined and communicated to all stakeholders so that everyone is aligned on the project’s purpose.
  • Defining project scope: This is the work that needs to be done to achieve the project goals and objectives. It includes defining what is in and out of scope for the project.
  • Creating a work breakdown structure (WBS): This involves breaking down the project work into smaller, manageable tasks and sub-tasks.
  • Defining task dependencies: This involves identifying which tasks must be completed before others can begin.
  • Creating a project schedule: This involves determining how long each task will take, and when it will be completed, and then creating a timeline for the project.

Budgeting and cost management

Budgeting and cost management involves developing a budget for the project and then managing costs throughout the project lifecycle. This includes:

  • Developing a project budget: This involves estimating the costs associated with each task and sub-task and then aggregating them to create an overall project budget.
  • Tracking expenses: This involves monitoring actual expenses against the budget to ensure that costs are under control.
  • Forecasting costs: This involves projecting future costs based on project progress and any changes to the project scope or requirements.
  • Managing project finances: This involves ensuring that expenses are properly documented and that invoices are paid on time.

Risk management

Risk management involves identifying potential risks that could impact the project, assessing their likelihood and impact, and developing strategies to mitigate or manage them. This includes:

  • Identifying project risks: This involves identifying potential risks that could impact the project, such as unexpected delays, budget overruns, or stakeholder conflicts.
  • Assessing risk likelihood and impact: This involves evaluating the likelihood and impact of each identified risk, so that you can prioritize which risks to address first.
  • Developing risk mitigation strategies: This involves developing a plan to mitigate each identified risk, such as implementing contingency plans or transferring risk to another party.
  • Monitoring and controlling risks: This involves monitoring the project for new risks and ensuring that risk mitigation strategies are effective.


Communication is essential to project management and a Project Manager! It involves ensuring that information is shared effectively among project stakeholders. This includes:

  • Identifying stakeholders: This involves identifying all parties who are involved in or impacted by the project, such as team members, customers, and vendors.
  • Defining communication requirements: This involves determining what information needs to be communicated, who needs to receive it, and how frequently it should be shared.
  • Developing a communication plan: This involves creating a plan for how and when information will be shared, including communication channels and protocols.
  • Implementing the communication plan: This involves executing the communication plan and ensuring that stakeholders are informed of project progress, issues, and changes.

Team management

Team management involves building, leading, and motivating a project team. This includes:

  • Building the project team: This involves recruiting and selecting team members with the right skills and expertise.
  • Establishing team roles and responsibilities: This involves defining team roles and responsibilities, so that everyone knows what is expected of them.
  • Motivating the team: This involves creating a positive and supportive team environment, and recognizing team members for their contributions.
  • Managing conflicts: This involves addressing conflicts that arise within the team, such as disagreements over priorities or resources. A New Project Manager might find this challenging, but it is critical to learn conflict management.

Project monitoring and control:

Project monitoring and control involves tracking project progress against the project plan and making adjustments as necessary. This includes:

  • Measuring project performance: This involves tracking project progress against the project schedule and budget to ensure that the project is on track.
  • Identifying variances: This involves identifying any differences between actual project performance and the project plan.
  • Analyzing variances: This involves determining the cause of any variances and assessing their impact on the project.
  • Making adjustments: This involves making changes to the project plan, such as adjusting the schedule or budget, to address any variances.

Quality management

Quality management involves ensuring that project deliverables meet the desired level of quality. This includes:

  • Defining quality requirements: This involves identifying the quality standards that project deliverables must meet.
  • Developing quality assurance processes: This involves developing processes to ensure that project deliverables meet the required quality standards.
  • Implementing quality control processes: This involves implementing processes to monitor and verify that project deliverables meet the required quality standards.
  • Conducting quality reviews: This involves reviewing project deliverables to ensure that they meet the required quality standards.

Change management

Change management involves managing changes to project scope, requirements, and timelines. This includes:

  • Assessing change requests: This involves evaluating proposed changes to determine their impact on the project.
  • Communicating change requests: This involves communicating proposed changes to relevant stakeholders.
  • Approving change requests: This involves approving proposed changes if they are deemed necessary and feasible.
  • Implementing approved changes: This involves making changes to the project plan, schedule, or budget to reflect approved changes.

Project closing

Project closing involves completing all project activities and transitioning the project to the operational team. This includes:

  • Conducting post-project evaluations: This involves evaluating project performance and identifying lessons learned.
  • Documenting lessons learned: This involves documenting project successes, challenges, and areas for improvement.
  • Transferring knowledge: This involves sharing project knowledge and expertise with the operational team.
  • Celebrating project success: This involves recognizing the achievements of the project team and celebrating project success.

Stakeholder management

Stakeholder management involves managing relationships with project stakeholders. This includes:

  • Identifying stakeholders: This involves identifying all parties who are involved in or impacted by the project, such as team members, customers, and vendors.
  • Understanding stakeholder needs: This involves understanding the needs and expectations of each stakeholder.
  • Developing stakeholder engagement strategies: This involves developing strategies to engage and communicate with stakeholders.
  • Managing stakeholder relationships: This involves building and maintaining positive relationships with stakeholders, and addressing any concerns or issues that arise.


In your opinion, are there any other critical areas that a new Project Manager should learn?


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About the Author: Anuj Seth

Anuj is a certified PMP with over 20 years of Software Development and Management experience. He founded PM Tips in 2020. Contributors are welcome. Drop him a note via the Contact page.

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