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How To Build The Perfect CV

5 Tips to Create a CV

Before you get to dazzle recruiters and potential employers at an interview, the first step is to ‘wow’ them with your CV.

The idea is to build a resumé that stands out from the rest and catches the eye within minutes. Highlighting all your career goals within a quick scan is not a hefty ask. With a few tricks, you can build the ideal CV that will invite you through the interview doors.

The ideal CV should run two to three pages. Remember, recruiters have received hundreds of applications and really don’t have the time to read five pages. Most will scan the first page, so the idea is to get all the important information – that is also relevant to the job – on the very first page. The rule of thumb is to include your latest position right on top, which means your first job would be on the last job.

Keep the following in mind when compiling your CV:

1. Be clear and concise

As mentioned before, recruiters don’t have time to read an entire essay. Present your information in a clear and readable layout. Bullet points with one sentence are scannable and is a dream when reading. Titles should also be very clear, so bold type font works well. Avoid bright colours and unusual colours. When in doubt, an Arial font in black should suffice.

2. Contact details should be visible

While this is an obvious step, most candidates use the footer of the page to present their contact details. Your cell phone number should be visible. Include it in a text box or below your name. Again, bold type if possible and in a clear font.

3. Remove unnecessary information

While being the lead in the school play is a great achievement, it’s not going to be much help when applying for a job in the financial department. This could be a good anecdote during the interview (if such a question arrives) but because we’re tight on space, it may be better to remove it to make way for your other achievements. Being a prefect could convey that you’re good in a leadership position or the fact that you are the treasury for the community carnival could highlight your ability to be financially responsible.  

4. Experience is best

Your CV should highlight why you’re the best candidate for the job and your experience is key. Showcase the experience that is relevant to the job. A trick? Use the job description to help you out. Match what they need to what you have done in the past to grasp the attention of the recruiter. Also, be sure to highlight any relevant training and short course completions that may help boost your knowledge of the position.

5. Personalise

Adapt the document according to the job you’re applying for. If it’s a marketing position, you can be a little creative. A standard word document doesn’t work anymore but the good news is that the Word templates include CV samples, which can be helpful.

In closing

Once you’ve created your CV, always review everything before sending it off into the world. Make sure the grammar is correct, references are contactable, and the format is legible. Also, always be honest on your CV. If it’s too embellished, the word may spread around. Remember that a well-written letter of motivation that highlights your skills and strengths goes a long way.
If you’re looking to give your CV that extra boost, browse our short courses to help you gain practical information.

Entrepreneurship vs Working For A Company

entrepreneurship vs working

Is it better to work for yourself or work for a company? It’s a lively debate had at many dinner tables, with no concrete answer. There are great benefits when it comes to working for yourself and better rewards when working for a company. Let’s take a look at the advantages for both cases to help you decide on which works best.

Making a case for the entrepreneur

The unemployment rate in South Africa sits at 26.6%. While this is not the most favourable number for our economy, the number has improved steadily – due in part to the steady entrepreneurship activity.

Entrepreneurs are ‘jack of all trades’. If they’re working by themselves – especially starting out – they’ll need to be experts in finance, project management, and really know how to build a network. Some love entrepreneurship because it offers:

Independence

How many times have you sat at your desk and thought about how different you would approach a project? Entrepreneurs live for this type of freedom because they have the chance to build something the way they want to and have their own direction. An entrepreneur gets to decide if they want to work solo or if they want to hire a small team.

Building your own business also means building your own company culture. You get to decide on the work environment that is most comfortable for you. If you do decide to start hiring, you can employ people who are comfortable with your company culture.

Flexibility

Some people work better in the morning while others feel more productive during the evening. As an entrepreneur, you have the freedom to decide for yourself. If you feel like sleeping in during the day, maybe go for a run, and work the ‘night shift’ – then that’s perfect! Some entrepreneurs like to get an early start and unwind during the afternoons. This is especially ideal if you have a family.

With the right resources, you can have optimum flexibility that some workplaces won’t allow. If you’re in need of a rest day – to avoid burnout and proper work/life balance – you’re allowed to do so without any hassle.

Growth

Being an entrepreneur means that you’re involved in all facets of your business – marketing, finance, HR, etc. This allows you to develop your skills professionally and personally. The entrepreneurial journey is a continuous learning curve and it’s skills that you won’t necessarily get to learn in any other position within an organisation.

Making a case for the employee

The 9-5 lifestyle has been getting a lot of hate but with more companies offering flexible hours, people are enjoying heading to work in the morning. The workforce is getting younger, which means employers are more aware that they need to tend to their employees’ wellbeing, in order to boost productivity.

The ‘9-5 employment’ environment has the following advantages:

Work/life balance

As mentioned before, employers are more aware that employees’ wellbeing should be at the forefront. You work a set of 8 hours during the day and thereafter, you get to go home and enjoy the rest of your day until the next morning. Unlike most entrepreneurs, weekends are for family time, which allows you to switch off for a few days until you have to pick it up again on Monday.

Stable income and benefits

You know your monthly income – it stays the same. You’re never left guessing if this month you’ll have a decrease compared to the previous month. With a stable income, it’s easy to set a budget and savings. Most companies also offer benefits (medical aid, pension, petrol allowance, etc.) which doesn’t take too much out of your income.

Camaraderie

You’re spending eight hours with a group of people who come from different walks of life. This type of exposure in the work environment is great and helps you grow as a person. In fact, some of your best friends are made in the workplace. They’ve been in the trenches with you and celebrate all your wins. A work friendship is often the best because these people will encourage you on an off day.

While entrepreneurship is often glorified, the working environment is also changing. What you choose is entirely dependent on your personality. Either way, you have the chance to develop a professional skill-set.

The Five Vital Project Management Phases

Products don’t just fall from the sky and services aren’t handed to us on a silver platter. Although that would be amazing, it would also literally put almost everybody out of a job. Instead, we have businesses who rely on teams and managers who are involved in making sure tasks are completed well on time and within budget. This requires considering each step of the five of the project management phases.

Enter the holy grail of any company: the “project”. Often looked after by a proficient project management expert, a project stands to ensure that the right tasks are done in the right phases so that, by the end of the project, the company can boast a successful product or service. Every business has a project and every project has five different project management phases in its life cycle.

The Life Cycle of a Project

There are five in the project management phase cycle make up a project’s life. This includes everything from the first seeds of the project to the full-grown completion. The key thing to remember in a project is to go in armed with a strategy in place, but one which can be modified at each phase if the need arises.

What are the Project Management Phases?

Project management phases number 1: Project Initiation

The very first part of any project is arguably the most important phase. It is crucial for a project’s life cycle that it begins well.
The project initiation phase involves several fundamental steps in starting the project. This includes defining the key objectives, scope, and aim of the project. The purpose of the project must be clearly laid out. Any research that can be done to ensure success should be done at the beginning so that all involved can be armed with the best knowledge and skills before implementing any strategies. The initiation phase also introduces the project team and project manager for the project.

Phase 2: Project planning

While the initiation phase is important for setting up the project, the planning phase helps to set the pace moving into the project’s implementation.

In this phase more exact details of the project are drawn up, with listed processes, requirements and clear goals are set. This is one of the most difficult phases for a project manager to fully develop, as a person cannot plan for every single outcome and there might be issues which arise later in the project. Should that happen, the project manager should be able to problem-solve and deal with the issue while not stalling the project; maintaining a forward progression unless it’s not possible.

In project planning the project’s resources, such as funding, personnel, and equipment are allocated and the project manager works on a schedule to ensure optimal efficiency and inclusive, reasonable delegation.

After the planning phase, the team members should know exactly what is expected in terms of deliverables and deadlines and how to move forward in achieving their tasks.

Phase 3: Project Execution

This is the first phase in which the project’s wheels are set in motion officially. Where the planning phase was the groundwork, the execution is the workings of the project.

During this phase, the team makes use of the allocated resources, schedules and preparations and all tasks that have been assigned start to be completed.

In this phase, it is important that the project manager keeps in constant communication with the team to ensure that the project goes off without any unnecessary hitches and to offer maximum support to the project team.

Phase 4: Performance monitoring

Project monitoring is also known as tracking the performance of a project. This refers to monitoring how the team members are doing and whether they are able to execute their tasks with the given resources. In this phase, the project manager also keeps track of the budget and whether everything on a financial front is following its course in the best manner possible.

This phase is important to establish what is working and what needs to change. It’s also important to know whether any resources are going to waste. If project monitoring is done well, it could lead to a more stable process in projects to follow, and the team could start to work like a well-oiled machine.

Project management phases 5: Project Closure

The project closure phase is the end-game of any project. In this phase, any products go live or deliverables are handed to the client. This is the wrapping up of the project, where tasks are completed and the reviewing begins; allowing the project manager to evaluate and process what worked excellently and what could have been done better.

Once feedback is given from any team members, the project manager can reflect on it and start to implement new techniques into the next project.

How do I get a project management promotion?

how to get a promotion in project management

Although the fundamental concept of project management is similar across industries, the role of a project manager can take different forms. The career path leading to various project management positions might look different for each individual.

Certain career paths and skills can gear a person towards a position in project management more often than others. For example, if you are an assistant manager and have exceptional delegation skills, you are more likely to take up a position of a project manager in a company than a person who has no interest in heading up a team.

Several positions are suited to mould individuals to become successful project managers. The most common path to take a person from a company employee to senior project manager is simple in principle. Before looking at what it takes to move up in the ranks, it is a good idea to know what a project manager is.

What are the types of project management positions?

Project team member

Before getting into a role of management, a person is a part of the team and has general responsibilities for the project at hand. In any project, the team members are crucial for success.

Project manager coordinator

The entry-level position for a project manager consists of general administration and minor delegation. The project manager coordinator is usually tasked with relaying information and doing behind-the-scenes operational management, such as tending to the calendar, reports, and reviews of a project.

Project management assistant

Similar to the project management coordinator, the project management assistant is involved in administrative procedures. The person in this role can be the assistant to the junior or senior project manager, but this is not always the case. The project management assistant could be the go-to figure in assisting with human relations, client communication, and project budget. Consistent and constructive feedback to the project management head is critical in this role.

Junior project manager

The junior project manager has a more hands-on position of management than the assistant project manager. The team members will look to the junior project manager for guidance and instruction and the senior project manager will expect the junior project manager to handle either small projects entirely, or small aspects of a larger project.

Senior project manager

An individual with a great deal of project management experience can become a company’s senior project manager. There is a huge amount of responsibility on the person in this position as they might oversee multiple and important projects at once. This requires proficient time-management and key delegation skills.

The project management career path

The most common career path for a project manager involves most of these positions. The move from team member to project manager coordinator is an important step for a person to break into the project management field.

The entry-level position can look different for different fields, such as in architecture, a young technical analyst could step into a position of management and find themselves a senior project manager in years to come. In all fields, the progression from member to manager can happen in many ways, but generally includes a promotion and a raise. For a project team member to be considered for a position of management, certain skills are needed.

What skills do project managers need?

Essential skills for project management are:

  • Leadership – A project manager needs to know how to head up a team of individuals in such a way that the team strives to do their best in their given task.
  • Communication – “Communication is key” is not just a fun catch-phrase. Communicating a message clearly is a fundamental skill that any project manager needs to possess to ensure the success of a project.
  • Delegation – For a project manager to see a project fulfilled in time and within the allocated budget, it is important that they tap into their human resources. Micro-managing results in frustrated team members and burnt out managers. Delegating duties to the correct team member to complete will assist in a completed project and a satisfied task-force.
  • Time and budget-management – A project manager needs to know how to prioritise time and money so that tasks get done timeously.
  • Problem-solving – Not everything runs smoothly all the time. And that’s okay; but only if the project manager is able to resolve issues efficiently and constructively.
  • If you display any of these traits as a team member, then you are more likely to be considered for a project management position than those who do not take the opportunities to develop these skills.

    How do I better my project management skills?

    If you are wanting to become a project manager, or to rank up in position, then it is a good idea to equip yourself with resources to better your skills. These can be soft skills learnt through work experience or can be honed by doing a relevant degree in organisation or project management, or by taking a project management short course.

    Finally, don’t be afraid to show initiative where it might be needed, or to put yourself out there. Risk-taking is a part of project management too.

What is a project manager?

what is a project manager

In order for any type of business to run operations smoothly, project management is needed to oversee tasks and ensure that projects are being performed with efficiency and competence. Any successful project manager is skilled at delegating duties to the right team member, ensuring that tasks are running on time, and maintaining roles within an allocated budget.

In a nutshell, the project manager acts as an overseer for the team, budget, time, and organisation of a project in a company.

Project manager skills

Before considering how to become a project manager, it is important to consider the skills you have – and can hone – for the career.

For any project to excel, a project manager must have:

1. Administrative abilities,
2. Competence in communication,
3. Proficiency working under pressure,
4. Dexterity in delegation, and
5. A talent in time management.

It is also vitally important for a project manager to be:

1. A guru at guiding a team;
2. Accessible, available, and approachable. The enemy of success is a manager to whom a team member can’t talk.

How to become a project manager

So you know what the basics of project management are; but knowing what a project manager does and becoming a project manager – and a great one at that – are totally different things.

Like anything, the ‘hard-work and dedication’ approach will put you on the right path of becoming a great project manager. Before that, however, it’s a good idea to make sure the career is the right one for you. You can find this out in a number of ways.

Do your research

First, find out what being a project manager practically entails. This means the nitty-gritty, real-life part of the job. You can do this through reading about the day-to-day life of a project manager, chatting to people in the field, or asking a project manager pressing questions you might have.

Take an online short course in project management

You don’t necessarily need to do a full degree to get the practical, theoretical and technical elements required to become a great project manager. A short course is the perfect way to test the project management waters without having to dive into the career, and if you are already a project manager looking to better yourself, a short course is just what you need to equip you with the right skills to bring you up to the A-game that you and your projects deserve.

Get practical experience

By managing any project, whether it is a small task within your department or a group project in university, you gain hands-on experience in project management. You can show an important leadership ability if you are able to identify the need for project management and then to put things into place to make sure the task is completed well.

Learn how to use the right tools at the right time

While personable management skills are essential, the “soft skills” only make up half of what is needed for optimal project management. Skills from the technical side, such as software developed to assist managers and teams with projects, are just as important to explore a project, execute it with excellence, and exceed expectations.

Tools created to help with budgeting, communication, scheduling, and delegation are at your fingertips, and there are enough resources to learn the tricks of the trade online. It’s also a great bonus to add “this amazing tech skill” to your resume.

How to actually become a project manager

Odds are, if you’ve managed projects, you’ve already started stepping into the role. The next step is to make it ‘official’. Put yourself out there and get some real-life experience as a bona-fide project manager; apply for an internship, send out your suitable resume (don’t forget to add your experience and short courses!), and take the job market by storm. The world might not be ready, but you sure as heck are.

What is Project Management? Everything you need to know

project management guide

What is project management?

Project management involves overseeing the opening, planning, implementing, and closing stages of tasks done by a team with the intention of successfully completing specific goals in a specific time frame.

The project management process

Project management is centrally focused around achieving goals within a process. As a project manager, one needs to ensure that resources work together in cohesion to achieve the project’s goals, and that all team members involved perform their function flawlessly. The purpose of any project is directly linked to it achieving its goals successfully and efficiently.

Project management in 2020

Today, project management organisations have built upon the process that has been developed over time and has become more streamlined than ever before. The roles that people fill in modern times have become flexible and encompass a great range of tasks.

General project management is a skill required for people to stay on top of their work. To ensure you are making yourself the best you can be, take a short course, earn a project management certificate, gather new skills and stay relevant in a world that is constantly changing.

MasterStart has an array of exciting, time flexible online courses that will keep you up to date in today’s modern world while offering flexibility.

Project management in industry

Project management in construction

At the core of construction project management, there is planning, coordination and the execution of a construction project. The construction industry handles an assortment of various projects including agricultural, residential, commercial, institutional, industrial, heavy civil and environmental.

Project management in finance

The project manager in a financial project is responsible for making plans, leading and taking control of activities within finance-focused tasks, systems changes and technology improvements in the department of finance.

Project management in the insurance industry

As an insurance project manager, one is expected to collaborate with team members effectively to keep an eye over project scope, ultimately reducing scope creep.

Project management in healthcare and social assistance

Healthcare project managers are primarily concerned with lowering cost outputs. However, the biggest benefit of a healthcare project manager is the ability of the institution to be a step ahead of any potential risks.

Project management in science and technology

At the core of the scientific and technology world is the aim to improve life. Project management in these industries allows for greater control and execution of tasks. A project plan is implemented and executed accordingly on time and within the budget constraints, mitigating any potential risks in a project.

Project management in mining

As a mining project manager, one is required to ensure that the relevant project management phases are completed in a timely manner. Ensuring that the right people with the relevant qualifications and experience are on your site is critical as well as seeing that the mining equipment used on site is well maintained and upgraded constantly to achieve the best results in all the project phases.

Project management in retail

The retail market is highly competitive, within local, regional, national and international markets. This leaves the gate open to an assortment of potential challenges, so a project manager needs to be constantly up to date in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) project management industry.

Project management in education

Project management in education aims to promote the quality of learning to make it more interactive and enjoyable. Web based tools allow for real time communication and collaboration, enhancing learning experiences.

What to study if you want to change your career to become a project manager

If you are interested in a career change or if you would like to incorporate project management skills into your C.V, a project management course from MasterStart can help you achieve new heights effortlessly. Download the brochure here.

Technology in project management

The digital world has taken the pressure off emerging businesses for physical project managers. Now, business owners and startups can use project management software to run plans efficiently.

Online project management tools offer the user a variety of unique benefits. This includes the ability to plan projects on demand while keeping everyone in the loop, time management through constant communication and sticking to the company’s culture all while building the business. Useful online tools keep track of what’s ahead; effectively creating a space where project management can exist for non-project managers.

Project management in small to medium sized businesses

Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are important to any economy, offering employment and fresh innovation. Project management is significant in enabling this input smoothly. Unlike larger corporations, SMEs require less administrative procedures of project management than those used by larger, traditional organizations.

Project management in large organisations

Project management is essential in big companies. Industries like construction and mining are the backbone of a country’s infrastructure and bring in a wide variety of investments.

The dedicated project manager in a large organisation will manage the entire company’s workforce effectively, to achieve the best project management life cycle.

Project management steps

Project managers require a very specific set of skills. They need to implement distinct project phases to help them achieve their goals. There are a few project management phases to consider which are essential for successful outcomes:
1. Set clear project expectation
2. Define clear goals in project phases
3. Communicate effectively
4. Plan around project risks

Project management careers

Starting out in project management can be challenging. If you are on the lookout for careers, there are numerous factors to consider. Entry level jobs require some sort of project management certificate to get your foot in the door.
Show potential employees’ dedication to your chosen field by undertaking a project management certificate. This will help you get started within project management coursework that could ultimately lead to a project management internship and then, steady project management jobs

Finding project management jobs

If you are really interested in learning project management, a short hands-on course could be just the boost you need to secure a project management internship. MasterStart in collaboration with the WITS Business School (WBS) have a Project Management online short course that provides participants with real workplace skills that can be implemented on the job almost immediately.

Are project management jobs right for me?

Specific skills are needed to ultimately excel in the workplace. If you are interested in project management jobs, see if your personality fits these ambitious characteristics:
· Detail-oriented
· Communicative
· A concise planner
· Efficient at delegation
· Natural leader

Project management salary summary

The industry is growing rapidly with many opportunities in this occupation, the expected project management salary is also becoming more attractive.
According to payscale, an employee that has undertaken short courses in project management can expect to earn the following according to their occupational level:

The industry is growing rapidly with many opportunities in this occupation, the expected project management salary is also becoming more attractive.

According to payscale, an employee that has undertaken short courses in project management can expect to earn the following according to their occupational level:

Occupational levelAverage annual income
Entry levelR159,950
Project manager professionalR400,000
Top-end manager professionalR767,740


Furthermore, bonus remuneration in the project management industry varies according to your experience and ranges from R4,862 – R101,030.

Project Management certification

The project management online short course offered by MasterStart in partnership with the WITS Business School (WBS) will provide course participants with the confidence and knowledge to create a successful, extensive project plan. The course will guide participants from the inception of project management phases all the way through to final execution of a given project.

MasterStart’s project management online short course aims to bridge the gap between a lack of practical working experience and project management theory. By embarking on this online short course you will obtain a problem solving mindset, where you will learn new and exciting skills from each module.

All skills acquired in this short course will help you build a solid portfolio that can count towards your professional designation as a project management professional.


Grow into a project management role in just a few short weeks, download the Project Management brochure.

The project management process

Costing in the project management process

Cost management in the project management process is estimating, allocating, and controlling the costs of a particular project. It allows a business to predict future expenses in order to reduce the chances of going over the project’s budget. Projected costs are calculated during the planning phase of a project and must be approved before work even begins. As the project plan is executed, expenses are documented and tracked so all costs stay within the budget.

Quoting in the project management process

As a project manager you would need to constantly interact with suppliers. A quotation is a supplier’s response to a customer’s request for goods or services. Once a quotation has been issued the supplier is legally bound to the price of the initial quotation for the time period that it is valid against.

Client management in projects

Client management in the project management process is about improving the project experience, simplifying the processes, exceeding expectations and reducing stress for the client. It focuses on creating powerful client relationships and puts the client first.

Communication in project management

Leadership and communication are key to the project management process. As a project manager, you need to have strong leadership and mentorship abilities, not only to help people accomplish project tasks but also to help them grow and learn practically.

Reviewing the project management process

Reviewing project tasks is also apart of briefing people. The project manager will review tasks and work on deadlines with the team accordingly. In the review process the project management phases start to take shape and the goals start to build towards the end result holistically.

Resourcing in the project management process

In the project management process, resources are required to complete the project life cycle. Project managers need to ensure that the correct resources are used appropriately, so as not to waste, keeping the project plan within the specified budget. Resources are machinery, workers, equipment, facilities and even financial capital. Resources ensure that the project management phases run smoothly and efficiently. Without resources the project would ultimately fail.

Time management

Time management is crucial as a project manager. You will need to organise and plan the time spent on tasks each day. Mastering the art of time management will boost your team’s effectiveness and productivity. The easiest way to achieve effective time management is through strategic planning in all the project management steps.

Efficiency and profitability in the project management process

The project management process is built on efficiency and profitability. These core values allow the project management lifecycle to play out as planned. A project management professional needs to achieve goals efficiently, utilising resources effectively in order to achieve maximum profitability.

A day in the life of a project manager

A project manager has a vast array of responsibilities and daily tasks that he or she must implement on demand daily. The daily project management process encompasses many activities including:
· Planning and Defining Scope
· Activity Planning and Sequencing
· Resource Planning
· Developing Schedules
· Time Estimating
· Cost Estimating
· Developing a Budget
· Documentation
· Creating Charts and Schedules
· Risk Analysis
· Managing Risks and Issues
· Monitoring and Reporting Progress
· Team Leadership
· Strategic Influencing
· Business Partnering
· Working with Vendors
· Scalability, Interoperability and Portability Analysis
· Controlling Quality
· Benefits Realisation

Tips for project managers

Tip 1: Successful project managers learn to observe their surroundings

Soak up your surroundings and analyse your team members, learn their strengths and weaknesses and apply each member to tasks accordingly. Successful project managers listen to what their team has to say and implements their suggestions accordingly. This will show cohesion and willingness for an adaptable project management style.

Tip 2: Work smart and solve problems

Planning is the biggest factor that allows project management professionals to mitigate risk. If you do your fair share of planning before the initial project phases, then you will be able to solve problems much more efficiently and mitigate potential threats.

Tip 3: Utilise tools effectively

Successful project managers stay a step ahead and look to optimise working platforms in any way possible, to make the project run more efficiently. Keep taking notes on what works and what doesn’t and stay on track of the project’s goals.

Tip 4: The customer is king

You need to learn what your customers want and how to give it to them. Successful project managers listen to their customers’ needs and adapt the project management strategy around that.

Tip 5: Successful project managers sharpen their skills

There are a variety of options available for a project management qualification, especially in today’s digital age. You can study a project management degree, opt for a project management online course or even a project management short course certificate. Your qualification or furthering your studies will show your employer that you are committed to a successful project manager’s mindset. Pursue your qualification with passion and you may soon find yourself a member of the Project Management Institute of South Africa (PMISA).

Online participant, Joris Goudriaan: construction project manager

A day in the life of-human-resource-management-online-course

USB-ED project management online short course testimonial.

Joris Goudriaan has seen the world with open eyes from a very young age. Growing up in Italy and thereafter leaving for Belgium at the tender age of 14, Joris has an array of experience in Operations Management. After he finished University in Brussels, Joris started one of the first Web design companies in Belgium, in 1992.

In 1996, he joined a Belgian subsidiary of a U.K company that developed and implemented ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems for the fresh produce industry. He has experience with tracking and tracing, logistics as well as company financials.

Joris has been actively involved in all areas of business, “from grower to pack house to harbour by ship to EU warehouse to wholesaler to store”.

Joris moved to South Africa in 2000 and started a local subsidiary for the same company. After the U.K went through the global financial crisis, He decided to stay in South Africa and ended up creating smart programming for apps and open source software algorithms.

Joris adds “I joined a transport brokering company specialising in the logistic service provision to the oil rig repair industry in Cape Town. I left the company when it was merged with a larger transport company. Since then I have been a project manager in the construction industry”.

Joris enrolled in the MasterStart Project Management online short course because: “I wanted to have a well-rounded understanding of Project Management and to fill the gaps in my understanding of Project Management theory”.

The wise man belongs to all countries, for the home of a great soul is the whole world. – Democritus.

Joris is truly a world voyager and has had vast experience in many aspects of various types of businesses. So we asked him to highlight the benefits of studying online, from his personal experience with MasterStart and USB-ED. “The main benefit was the ability to create my own time management schedule, secondly, the ability to do it online instead of at a particular faculty, is the saving in travel time and travel frustration with the increasing traffic congestion around the Cape”.

Joris learnt that even though he has a wealth of experience and knowledge, that he is still a young, hungry student at heart. He continued on to say that he is striving for a a very specific goal after this online short course from MasterStart and USB-ED. Joris wants to obtain a PHD in Project Management at the University of Stellenbosch next year.

This was his first online learning experience and as mentioned before; it was this online course from MasterStart that has inspired him to take the next step towards career growth and success. Joris is going to enrol in USB next year to obtain his formal Project Management qualification.

project management certificate from stellenbosch university

Advice for successful project managers

successful project managers

Successful project managers know how to be a jack of all trades, all the time. You need to develop strong business acumen, outstanding leadership/mentorship skills and a level head that can plan, control, execute and mitigate risk all at the same time, on a daily basis. If you are just starting out as a project management professional, these essential tips on successful project management will help you get the ball rolling for a fundamental grasp of project management basics.

Tip 1: Successful project mangers learn to Observe their surroundings

As a project manager you are going to be running a team and they are going to be constantly looking to you for guidance and mentorship. Soak up your surroundings and analyse your team members, learn their strengths and weaknesses and apply each member to tasks accordingly. Successful project managers listen to what their team has to say and implements their suggestions accordingly. This will show cohesion and willingness for an adaptable project management style.

Tip 2: Work Smart and Solve Problems

Successful project managers are apart of the solution rather than the problem. Planning is the biggest factor that allows project management professionals to mitigate risk. If you do your fair share of planning before the initial project phases, then you will be able to solve problems much more efficiently and mitigate potential threats.

Tip 3: Utilise Tools Effectively

Whether you’re a traditional pen and paper enthusiast or if you make use of project management software, as a project manager you need to know your working tools extensively. Online project management software brings team members together. Successful project managers stay a step ahead and look to optimise working platforms in any way possible, to make the project run more efficiently. Keep taking notes on what works and what doesn’t and stay on track of the projects goals.

Tip 4: The Customer is King

Your customers may be individuals or organisations as a project manager. You need to learn what your customers want and how to give it to them. Successful project managers listen to their customers needs and adapt the project management strategy around their wants. Once you learn to satisfy the needs of your customer while performing the project management steps you will grow rapidly within the industry.

Tip 5: Successful project managers get educated

There are a variety of options available for a project management qualification, especially in today’s digital age.  You can study a project management degree, opt for a project management online course or even a project management short course certificate. Your qualification or furthering your studies will show your employer that you are committed to a successful project mangers mindset. Pursue your qualification with passion and you may soon find yourself a member of the Project Management Institute of South Africa (PMISA).

Actually, you do have time for family and business

work-life balance

Ever heard the saying that there just aren’t enough hours in the day? Work sucks away all your energy and you’re left deadbeat on the couch after work for an hour, before nodding off and repeating the same day over and over again. You need to seize the day. Some people have all the time in the world but not enough money, while others seem to live the high life with more money than they know what to do with because they don’t even have the time to spend it.

Spending quality time with your family is first prize, but how do you accomplish that?

You can live a balanced life. You can make time for both business and family, getting in that quality time that makes your family unit stronger and more loving. These things don’t just happen overnight though, you need to nurture your relationships, in business and at home. This, however, requires your ultimate dedication and very specific goals.

Make the time to seize the day

It’s true, time waits for no man. In this life you have to take what you want. Stop hitting the “Snooze” button and start jumping at the opportunity to seize the day. You need to make the time for what you want in this life, no one will do it for you.

We all wish we could work from home and have those essential hours of the day to do what we want with. While some have that privilege, many of us are stuck in the same daily grind at work. Perhaps studying an online course at your own pace and on your own time can help you accomplish that goal if that’s what you are aspiring for. MasterStart has an array of exciting online short courses that can help boost your career.

Make the effort to make the time and it will happen in your life. For some people it’s waking up or going to bed an hour earlier and for others it’s getting into a routine of less sleep and more action. Whatever it takes, you must make the time to spend quality time with your family every day.

Define your life

Work a calendar plan into your daily routine and stick to it. Visual representations are very powerful tools that help you see what you are accomplishing in real time. You need to put a calendar up and draft your months plan.

Put small things on your calendar to remind you that you need to do something to seize the day. Write it down and finish the task or complete a goal. It can be something as simple as phoning your mother and having a catch up chat. This process is rewarding and allows you to overcome daily challenges, giving you more positive energy to seize the day at hand.

Not only will a calendar give you structure and a sense of fulfillment but it will also help you get into a routine where your daily tasks seem to run on autopilot. It will eventually become a lifestyle giving you more time in the day to spend quality time with your family and run your business affairs, for that work life balance you’ve been searching for.

The to do list saves lives

A to do list is also a powerful tool that can help you check off daily tasks to ensure that you keep on track with your work. Make use of a to do list app online and you will find that your day has a more structured approach. Useful tools like to do list apps can also increase your overall productivity. A brilliant to do list app like Wunderlist can increase your operational management and keep you engaged with your daily tasks.

Don’t overthink things, keep it simple

Combine these effective techniques to schedule your daily routine. Make time for the family and the business side of your life. Stick to a solid schedule and keep your life simple. It’s not easy to manage your time effectively, but by putting little steps in place you can keep your life organised and on par with your long-term expectations.

Keep checking back on our blog page for more inspiration on how to take control of your life, seizing the day and dominating at work, while still finding the opportunity for quality time at home with your family.  

The importance of long-term project management

long term project management

Western Cape is synonymous with beauty and splendour, from Table Mountain to the scenic Garden Route stretching along the southern Cape coast. Recently attention has been shifted to the reality of a looming Day Zero scenario. Western Cape has been battling the effects of drought since 2015, resulting in the region experiencing severe water shortages. Capetonians, nevertheless, have remained hopeful that approaching seasonal rains might alleviate some of the damage caused by the drought. Their ingenuity and communal effort have pushed out Day Zero until 2019. In such a crisis, a project management plan needs to be sensitive to resources, critical of risks, and able to identify problems at their source in order to mitigate further damage.

Safety in methodology

Acknowledging there is a problem is the first step towards finding a solution, and while it is important to provide short-term relief, a permanent solution is vital. Any project, whether long- or short-term, must first observe certain regulations that ensure the methodology used is environmentally mindful. In the case of the borehole drilling near Steenbras, ecologists cautioned that the impact could have serious consequence for neighbouring settlements. An experienced project manager does not only consider the immediate ramifications of an action, he forecasts the potential to exacerbate the problem.

The political impediment to a drought solution

Head of ETM Macro Advisors, Russell Lamberti, argues that the Cape water crisis should not be blamed on a freak drought, a lack of adequate municipal planning and resource management, and on Capetonians who “use too much water.” Ill-defined market prices, state monopoly inefficiency, and excessive demand due to under-pricing are taking a toll on the supply of usable water. Water-preserving devices have become increasingly popular with over 2,000 water management devices (WMD) installed on properties on a weekly basis. Another WMD installation program called “indigent water leaks project” allows poorer residents who agree to have the devices installed to have their debt scrapped.

A crisis cannot be postponed

South Africa will run out of water by 2030 unless there is a major shift as to the true value of water, as well as an R899 billion investment into the sector for the next decade. Experts believe that the drought could have been avoided with early warnings coming in 2007 when the Department of Water and Sanitation issued a warning about Cape Town’s water supply, explaining that by 2015 the city would need new water sources. There is a strong case to be made for experienced practitioners and reliable data, but if the political system keeps interfering with the conditions necessary to handle the crisis effectively, pushing out a deadline, we will inevitably have to confront even larger problems.