Maybe you’ve been wondering about how to become a certified project manager in Ghana. Well, you’re at the right place. In this guide, you’ll learn about the procedures involved in becoming a project manager in Ghana.
To become a project management professional (PMP) in Ghana, you need to follow some laid down procedures. While some are deliberate about project management, others get into it by accident. However, whichever one applies to you, you need to obtain some certification to become a professional.
Who is a Project Manager?
Project managers are people tasked with the responsibility of overseeing and carrying out projects within or without the confines of a business organisation. They’re often saddled with the responsibility of initiating, planning, designing, executing, monitoring, controlling and closure of a project.
When handling projects, project managers work with a specified budget, and so have to properly manage available resources, as well as organise and motivate their team, all in a bid to deliver the project on time. Time and resources management is a big part of project manager’s job.
Becoming a project manager in Ghana isn’t a simple feat. Typically, you’ll be required to get PMP certification. Additionally, you need to cultivate several other important project management skills.
Furthermore, you could become a project manager without prior certification. However, a project management degree is your best bet towards success in the field. In this article, you’ll learn the necessary steps to becoming a project manager in Ghana.
How to Become a Project Manager in Ghana
Below are some relevant you need to take to become a successful project manager in Ghana.
1. Earn a Degree
To become a project manager, you need to be deliberate about it. You do this by earning a diploma or bachelor’s degree in project management. There are some institutions offering project management courses in Ghana, you should check them out.
Importantly, you can also become a project manager without necessarily obtaining your degree in project management. Whichever discipline you earn your degree, you can get the necessary certifications and become a project manager.
2. Get Certifications
Whether you are planning to become a full-time project manager or just starting your career in a project management role, you need to obtain the necessary certifications.
There are actually two very common types of project management certifications; the Certified Associated in Project Management (CAPM) and the Project Management Professional (PMP), both offered at Project Management Institute (PMI) branches across Ghana. These certifications are designed to provide professionals with the skills to successfully plan and manage corporate projects and procedures.
The major difference between both certifications is that you’ll need at least 4,500 hours of working experience and a project management degree – although this requirement is said to be optional -to qualify for the PMP. On the other hand, you do not need prior project management experience or a degree to take CAPM courses. In addition to these two, there are other project management certifications you can acquire, each with its own requirements.
Project Management Certifications
Other certifications offered at the Project Management Institute (PMI) Ghana are as follows:
- Program Management Professional (PgMP)
- PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)
- Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)
- PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)
- PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)
Candidates are expected to take and pass an examination after completing their project management courses. For those taking either the CAPM or PMP exams, you’ll need to study the Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide published by PMI.
Importantly, once you’ve passed your certification exams, you’ll be required to maintain it periodically. For the CAPM, you’ll be required to take and pass the CAPM exam every five years. The CAPM exam changes periodically, so it’s important to prepare well each time.
For the PMP, you’ll be required to complete 60 professional development units (PDUs) each year to maintain your certification. There are many ways to earn PDUs, including in-person and online courses, giving presentations related to your certification, and even volunteering your services to certain organizations.
Skills Needed to Become a Successful Project Manager in Ghana
In addition to your certification, there are a number of skills that you’re required to have in order to become a successful project manager.
1. Time management Skills
Project managers are known for working with strict deadlines. As a project manager, you’re required to have projects carried out within a specific period of time, as such, they’re very good at time management.
If you desire to be a successful project manager, then you must know how to handle assigned tasks within a specified timeline. You also need to learn and know how to prioritise task.
If you desire to be a project manager, then you must know how to handle tasks within the shortest possible time, as well as know which tasks to give priority to, which tasks to focus less time on, and which tasks to ignore completely.
2. Resource Management Skills
Resource management is one of the core responsibilities of a project manager. A project manager, when given a project to handle, has to work within the confines of a specific budget.
A project manager has to manage the resources given to him properly so that they do not either run out before the project is completed or limit the quality of the entire project. If you want to thrive as a project manager, then you need to get resource management skills.
3. Organisation Skills
Project managers do not work in isolation, they usually work with a team when handling projects. As such, to become successful in this field, one needs to have a good organisation skill.
As a project manager, you also double as the leader of your team, as such, you’ll be required to organise their activities in a way that’ll see the project carried out properly and on time.
It is therefore important that you develop organisation and leadership skills. Motivation skills are also important. Working with a team means you need to be able to keep them interested in the project when things are getting boring or hectic.
Being a good motivator will come in handy in situations like these. Organisation is also important in the area of resource management. Knowing how to organise your resources in a way that will see each resource go where it needs to go and do what it needs to do to complete the project is very vital to your job as a project manager.
4. Effective Communication Skills
As a project manager, you need to have good communication skill. Being a good communicator makes the job even easier as you can get your message across to your team in a clear and concise manner.
Additionally, you need to understand that you do not know it all, and working a team entails you giving them a chance to also contribute their own thoughts and ideas that could help the actualisation of the project.
5. Risk Management Skills
As a project manager, the ability to identify and manage risks is crucial to your job. You need to be proactive and have the hindsight to see problems and possible solutions before they arise. This will save your time, energy, and resources.
Career Opportunities for Project Managers in Ghana
Just like every other profession, project management is lucrative. The reason is simply that there are a lot of project management jobs in Ghana. However, the lack of individuals with project management skills across the country makes their job in high demand.
- Assistant project manager,
- Associate project manager,
- Contract project manager,
- Information technology project manager,
- Business project manager,
- Construction project manager,
- Project coordinator,
- Senior project manager, and
- Software project manager.
Conclusively, as you pursue your degree as a project manager, you also need to equip yourself with the needed skills to succeed. Also, explore career opportunities once you’ve obtain your necessary certifications.