Freelance job opportunities are increasing while the traditional job market is decreasing. Learn more about Business Opportunities freelance project manager.

Definition of a Freelance Project Manager

Business Opportunities Freelance Project ManagerFreelance project management jobs let you to define, plan, organize, execute and manage all related resources in order to bring projects to successful completions. You have to apply modern managerial techniques to execute projects and assist in obtaining predetermined goals and objectives. The success or failure of a project depends on the efficiency of the project manager, and hence, as a freelance project manager, you may get more job satisfaction when your projects succeed.

Educational qualifications depend on the type of project you want to handle. You should have completed at least an undergraduate degree related to the field in which you want to work. Obtaining a graduate degree in management or project management studies will be an added advantage for your career. Apart from the educational qualifications, to become a freelance project manager, you must have good interpersonal and communication skills. You must also possess integrity and excellent analytical, organizational, problem solving and team development skills to succeed in this career.

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  • At the outset, study and understand the project, its nature and the goals and objectives to be attained.
  • Analyze the constraints (budget, resources, time and scope) specific to the project.
  • Plan and organize all required resources to execute and manage the project throughout its life cycle.
  • Plan the steps of execution for the project within the determined constraints and goals.
  • Coordinate and delegate individual tasks to a team of assistants.
  • Follow up with the team for the timely completion of the tasks in different phases.
  • Keep alternative plans to be used in the case of failure or delay in any of the steps in the project execution.
  • Prepare reports of the status of the project development.
  • Respond to the employer’s queries about the project at any point.
  1. You will have to be able to keep your team morale high even if it means you having to work harder that you should have to. If the set up is such that you can-not get everyone in the same room together, remember that the telephone is more personal than either an email or video call. A phone call is also far more intimate if a person to person discussion is required.
  1. If it happens that some members of your team are living in other countries, remain sensitive to any cultural differences. Some cultures have an inbuilt tendency towards wanting to please and are hesitant in bringing up any part of the project that may be failing. Be sensitive to these differences and learn to ‘read between the lines.’
  1. Where it is impossible to get your team members together, use the features of Skype or some other VoIP service to have face to face meetings. Video conferencing in this manner is becoming a very important tool used by many project mangers to help lead their project team to ultimate success.
  1. Always remain aware that you are most likely dealing with team members who are also freelancers and therefore involved in other projects besides the one you are managing. To overcome any apathy from other team members towards your project, establish regular team updates.
  1. The internet has free applications on project management which you can have all your team members download. By doing this you will all be using the same software. This will facilitate you all sharing your project plans between each other. If any training sessions are required to bring everybody up to speed it will be time well spent.
  1. Whatever software you choose, make certain everybody can open all the files and that they are able to be downloaded onto all team member’s computers. There are special systems available that allow the sharing of large folders and files.
  1. Always be aware of language barriers. This is true within countries where English is the prominent language as much as in countries where English is not the primary language. This means that you will always have to make certain any terminology is fully understood by all people concerned rather than just assuming that this will be the case.
  1. Right from the very beginning of your project ensure all team members fully understand the project priorities and objectives and that they all appreciate their roles in the whole scheme of things. In this way you will be in a better position to identify any confusion before it gets out of hand.

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Online Master of Science in Project Management

As projects become more complex in the increasingly global and virtual world of work—moving across borders, industries, and work settings—there is a need for project managers with the skills to effectively manage them. The online MS in Project Management at Saint Mary’s University offers the advanced project management skills and practical leadership abilities you need to advance in this growing profession. 

Source: www.onlineprograms.smumn.edu

Qualifications for a Project Manager

If you decide this is a career you’d like to get into further and you have what it takes then the next step is to gain qualifications.

A degree isn’t a must though relevant training courses are. A good beginner’s course to help build your project management skills would be the APM Introductory Certificate in Project Management which once completing allows you to join the Association on Project Managers.

The most internationally recognised qualifications are PRINCE2. PRINCE2 stands for Project IN Controlled Environments which is a process-based method for effective project management, with the key features being:

  • Its focus on business  justification
  • A defined organisation structure for the project management team
  • Its product-based planning approach
  • Its emphasis on dividing the project into manageable and controllable stages
  • Its flexibility to be applied at a level appropriate to the project

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Freelance project management can be either generic or specific in nature. Specific freelance project management work can be in construction, finance, telecommunications, networking, software or many other fields. A website that helps out freelance job seekers exclusively is www.ifreelance.com. This website allows you to post your testimonials, to advertise and to bid for available freelance projects.

  • people, staffing and management
  • products and services
  • materials, manufacturing and production
  • IT and communications
  • plant, vehicles, equipment
  • storage, distribution, logistics
  • buildings and premises
  • finance, administration, acquisition and divestment
  • purchasing
  • sales, selling, marketing
  • human resources development and training
  • customer service and relations
  • quality, health and safety
  • legal and professional
  • technical, scientific, research and development
  • new business development
  • anything else which needs planning and managing within organizations

Here are five professional project management techniques that freelancers can use.

Technique 1. Define Scope

Every professional project manager understands the importance of getting a detailed description of the work to be done before starting. To successfully deliver a project, you must first understand exactly what it is you need to deliver.

As a minimum, freelance project scope should include answers to the following questions:

  • What is to be delivered?
  • When is it to be delivered?
  • How is it to be delivered?
  • How and when will payment be made?

Usually the more detailed your scope, the better.

Technique 2. Establish Change Control

Professional project managers don’t allow clients to constantly change their minds and neither should freelancers.

If you’ve ever dealt with a client who requested an unending stream of revisions that were really requests for new work, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Project changes can eat up your time and make what seemed like a profitable project into a financial nightmare.

Project managers restrict changes to the project using something called change control. Freelancers can use a similar technique to keep the amount of new requests to a minimum.

A good change control practice for freelancers would be to limit the number of revisions they will perform on a project. (Not fixing mistakes, but rather actual changes.) A contract should clearly state that additional revisions will cost additional money.

Also, you may want to use a change control process to deal with excessive meetings. Contracts often state that an initial client meeting is included in the project cost, but additional meetings will be billed at an hourly rate.

Technique 3. Set Milestones

Professional project managers often deal with huge projects. They may last for months and cost thousands of dollars. They know that the only way to tell whether a project is on track is to set milestones.

A milestone is a date when you expect a specific part of a project to be done. A freelance writer writing an eBook might set a milestone for the outline of the eBook, more milestones for the completion of each chapter, and the final milestone would be the project deadline.

Freelancers often overlook the importance of setting milestones because their projects are smaller or because they don’t have project management experience. However, setting milestones can help you avoid turning in late work.

Technique 4. Keep Metrics

Good project managers know approximately how long most specific tasks in a project will take. Unfortunately, many freelancers have no idea how long specific tasks in their project will take.

How do the professional project managers do it?

They keep excellent records. They track the start and completion time for each task in a project. Over time, those records become pretty accurate.

Keeping good metrics not only helps you to estimate how much time you need to work on a freelance project, it can also help you when you quote the right price for that project.

Many freelancers severely underestimate the amount of time a project requires. They may think they are quoting a good price, when actually they are severely underselling themselves.

Technique 5. Conduct a Lessons Learned

Do you find yourself making the same mistakes over and over?

Professional project managers avoid repeating mistakes by conducting a “lessons learned” session at the end of each project. Freelancers can benefit from implementing a similar exercise after they complete each gig.

Lessons learned looks at the project and asks the following questions:

  • What went wrong with this project?
  • What went right with this project?

Analyzing the lessons learned from each freelancing project can ultimately save you time and money.

Source: www.freelancefolder.com

With the fastest web development it‘s easy to add lots of functions and make things easy to manage especially for freelancers who need to organize their work clearly. Sometimes a missed task can cost lots of money and the winner is the person who organizes everything from dates, tasks and others. Today, I want to share some of the best project management software for freelancers, designers and small business owners in general who needs a smart management and invoicing systems. The below PHP software bring information that you need and present them in one place and you can manage your business instead of wasting time with lots of detail that can be imported and shown automatically.

Ultimate Client Manager

This is a client management and a full invoicing system that works with any sever and you can install it easily. Ultimate Client Manager Pro tracks everything from worked hours and tasks to member subscriptions and invoicing details. It supports PDF as well and clients can send support ticket directly from their dashboard interface. At the same time, this PHP scrip gives a clear statistics about each user’s income and the worked jobs and it supports multiple languages and multi currencies as well. For Newsletter, you can send bulk emails newsletter to your clients and that’s a rare feature that a few software includes. The Newsletter template can be customized and there are lots of pre-made designs to use.

Project Management

Freelance Cockpit 2 is a complete project management tools that comes with lots of function and features that makes every freelancer happy and well-organized. You can create projects and add the information that you need. Then the system will show you detailed statistics and where is your actual work process and when exactly you should complete the work and many other things. The system is mobile optimized and looks good in major mobile devices. This system includes a support ticket to communicate and solve your client’s problems.

At the same time, you have a powerful task management tools and time tracking to make things easy to remember. Of course a freelancer needs an invoice system and it’s integrated in this PHP script, you can also set a recurring invoicing system and PayPal IPN is integrated by default. Another good thing is the database backup, you never lose information.

Freelance Manager

Freelance Manager is recommended project management software that works for freelancers, designers, project managers, web developers and much more.  This software supports uploading projects and communicates with your clients directly and exchanges ideas and solves problems through the support ticket system that comes integrated. If you have lots of clients and you need to manage the stuff, the plugin includes a staff management tool and also a powerful calendar and event management and planning tool. The good part is the approval system that let customers approve the task when it’s completed, that help in creating good relations with clients when they are satisfied.

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Need for Speed: All of us hate queues. Whether it’s a queue in a local supermarket or a full of people DMV office. Same with online business, client will be happy to get an answer to his question ASAP, so start measuring and improving your average response time.

Prioritize: Make sure that you know which tasks are urgent and which ones can wait so you can deliver more desired parts of the projects faster vs the ones that can wait. Although, none of the tasks should be in the queue too long.

Keep your client in the loop: Make sure that your client is always aware of the current status of his project. Even if there are no significant updates, make sure to follow up every so often to ensure client’s peace of mind. If there is an impediment, make sure that the client knows about it, and you do all you can to resolve it.

Meet the expectations: Before starting the project, make sure that both client and the development team are on the same page and understand the desired project’s outcome very well. Although, we may like surprises in our personal life, surprises are not so much welcomed when it comes to work.

Take the extra step: Make sure that you are really involved in the process and suggest any possible improvements that you think client’s business may benefit from. You should help your client in every possible single way that you see. While all of the above is valuable, the most important tip is: Love your client! Famous poets and writers dedicate all their lives to describe this precious feeling and still love can’t be defined. The same is for us because love is a feeling and not something rational. Only you decide what signs your love will have – extra care, a birthday card or something really special, but in any case, if it is a true love, your client will feel it and pay back the same way.

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