Getting into the project management field can be both exciting and daunting for a new project manager. There is a lot to take in and a lot to learn and all of your technical and people skills will be put to the test.

To help you get started on your journey towards being top of your field, we have put together a list of handy tips and tricks that will set you apart from your peers.

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By Chanel van der Westhuizen

All projects reach a stage where the Project Manager will be required to exit the project. A project can exit during Closure Stage, when the Project Manager can ensure that the project has achieved its planned deliverables and objectives & ownership has been handed over to the business.

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Maybe you are a new project manager just starting out in the field, or a seasoned professional with many years’ experience under your belt. No matter where you are in the project management field, there are a number of must-have skills that every project manager needs.

Helen Sabell from Projecttimes.com looks at the top 10 and why these skills are essential for your project management career.

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One of a project manager’s biggest tasks is keeping a project on track in the face of constant requests for changes and additions. It is for this reason that managing the expectations of project stakeholders from the outset of the project and having a strategy in place to deal with scope creep are both crucially important.

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Project planning is a crucial and often complicated first step in the project management processes. Having a checklist of discussion points to consider during planning can be useful to ensure that everything is considered. It is a great tool to use during brainstorming especially.

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More and more the project management community is becoming aware of the value of soft skills. A good project manager is not only experienced and skilled but also has the capabilities to manage the people on the project and bring their team together toward a common goal.

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How we do Project management has changed a lot in the past decade with new technologies emerging all the time. These tools and technologies are designed to simplify things and make project management more efficient, but it can be difficult to know what to use.

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There are many factors that influence the success of a project, among them the right combination of planning, monitoring and controlling. Getting the balance of the elements right to complete a project on time and within budget can be tricky, so we are looking at some best practice tips that will help you get there.

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Robert Wysocki has written an interesting series of articles on Projecttimes.com looking at both the ECPM and PRINCE2 Frameworks.

In this series of articles, he looks at integrating the two in order to improve PRINCE2 project management performance.

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A new year always brings new opportunities to look ahead, both in planning and predicting what the year will bring. In an article on cio.com, Brad Egeland outlines his top 5 predictions for project management in 2016.

“As a discipline, I see project management as being fairly static. Still, there are changes and movements happening.”

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As a leader, having the right team member in the right position is essential not only to the success of a business and every project we manage on behalf of a client but also the growth and confidence of an individual.

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Projects sometimes run into problems. It is up to the project manager to identify where the issues are before it becomes a project in crisis, but often companies are turn to changing project tools and processes to failing projects without identifying that the problem is actually in poor communication.

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There is often blurring of the lines between product management and project management. The responsibilities frequently overlap and in some cases the role actually falls to the same person. But what is the real difference between a project manager and a product manager?

An article by Richard Banfield on freshtilledsoil.com looks to clear up the confusion around the different roles.

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Project managers are faced with a multitude of complications and challenges that come with each and every project. Failure to overcome these can easily set a project onto a downward path that ultimately leads to project failure, so identifying and tackling the issues is essential. No two projects are alike and roadblocks vary, but we have identified some common challenges and ideas on how to overcome them.

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Constructive feedback can help to improve productivity and boost your team’s morale, but do annual performance reviews do the same?

An article by Elizabeth Harrin on Projectmanager.com thinks the answer is no.

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Poor team dynamics can be as detrimental to a project as poor management. Good team dynamics mean a productive successful team. You may think your team doesn’t need an intervention, but consistently working on team dynamics is important for any team to keep it running smoothly and effectively.

Here are some common signs that your team dynamics need to be reviewed:

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Project management methodologies are an integral part of the project management process, but with so many to choose from, how do you know where to begin?

This article from Moira Alexander looks at some of the different methodologies, including Agile, Waterfall, Critical Path Method (CPM), Six Sigma and others, and how to determine which is best suited to your needs.

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It happens to a lot of people. They are good at their jobs and a manager comes along and appoints them to manage a new project. Just like that they have become an unintentional project manager and like so many, they feel ill-equipped to deal with this new role.

If you’ve found yourself in this position or if you’ve been an unintentional project manager for a while and still feel out of your depth, DON’T PANIC. We’ve got some really helpful tips to get you back on track with your future in project management.

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Project requirements form an integral part of every project, and yet a large number of project failures are attributed to poor requirement identification and management. As a project progresses, ‘scope creep’ occurs largely because requirements and change are not being managed. Scope creep cuts away at the project budget and can ultimately result in failure.

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