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Project management is a critical skill for any business owner. It can be the difference between project success and failure.

However, learning how to project manage does present challenges. It's not always easy to find the time or resources to do so. But with 61% of companies beginning to provide some form of project management training or professional development to their teams, the demand for a more defined path is becoming clear. 

If you’re wondering where to start, don't worry. We've put together a list of two proven methods—one hard but free way, and one easier but paid way—for how to learn project management.

What is Project Management?

Project management is the process of planning, executing, and monitoring a series of tasks in order to achieve a specific goal. This process typically includes setting deadlines, assigning roles and responsibilities, and ensuring that progress is being made.

Project management is a critical skill for business owners because it helps them to ensure that their projects are completed on time, within budget, and to the required standard.

There are many different project management methodologies and frameworks that businesses can use, such as Agile, Scrum, Waterfall, and Kanban. The most important thing is to choose the right method for your specific project.

Learn why project management is important for organizations here.

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Method 1: Learn By Doing (Or, How To Learn Project Management For Free)

The first method is the harder (but free) way: learn by doing. This involves reading project management guides, trial and error, and networking with other project managers.

There are a number of ways to find project management guides. You can search for them online, check out library resources, or ask other business owners for recommendations.

If you're interested in learning about digital project management, check out our guide here. Using a digital project management approach can help you to save time and money, and increase efficiency.

If you're a larger organization, enterprise project management may suit your project team best. Our guide outlines how to implement it, along with the best enterprise project management software options.

Some other helpful guides include:

How To Learn Project Management Skills

Once you've chosen your project management method, it's time to start learning the skills you need to be successful.

Some of the skills you'll need to learn include:

You can learn these skills by reading project management guides, taking project management courses, or attending workshops.

There are a number of free resources that can help you to learn these skills, such as our blog. We regularly publish articles on project management topics and have compiled this helpful guide on the key skills needed for successful project management.

You can also learn with trial and error. Start by taking on small projects and gradually increase the size and complexity of the projects you manage. As you gain experience, you'll start to develop your own project management style.

Finally, networking with other project managers is a great way to learn about new methods, tools, and approaches. You can connect with other project managers online or attend local meetups and events.

Wondering which skills are most in-demand for companies hiring project managers? Find out here!

How To Learn Agile Project Management

Agile project management is a popular approach that's well-suited to fast-paced projects. It's based on the Agile Manifesto, which values individuals and interactions, working software, customer collaboration, and responding to change. Project managers who use an Agile approach focus on delivering value early and often, and work in short cycles called sprints.

If you're interested in learning Agile project management, we recommend reading our guide here. This guide covers the basics of Agile, how to implement it, and the best software options.

Another way to learn more about project management and get career advice for newbies is to follow these project managers on social media.

Method 2: Take The Mastering Digital Project Management Course

While free resources are great, not everyone has the time to dedicate to reading them. The second method is the easier (but paid) way: take our online course.

This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about digital project management, from how to create a project plan to how to communicate with stakeholders.

Not only will you learn the key skills needed for successful project management, but you'll also get over 50 templates and samples you can download and edit.

These two methods don't have to be one or the other, but instead can be combined for the best results. By reading guides, taking our course, and networking with other project managers, you'll be well on your way to mastering digital project management.

What's Next?

Once you've chosen your method, it's time to start putting what you've learned into practice. Start by working on small projects, such as planning an event or managing a social media campaign. As you gain project management experience, you can take on larger projects (and you can still get started in project management, even if you have no experience).

If you're interested in taking your project management skills to the next level, consider getting certified. Project management certification can give you the ability to bid on larger projects and command a higher salary at any level, including the enterprise level.

Keep in mind that the Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute is not the only option when it comes to getting a project management certificate (our course includes certification as well!).

Galen Low
By Galen Low

Galen is a digital project manager with over 10 years of experience shaping and delivering human-centered digital transformation initiatives in government, healthcare, transit, and retail. He is a digital project management nerd, a cultivator of highly collaborative teams, and an impulsive sharer of knowledge. He's also the co-founder of The Digital Project Manager and host of The DPM Podcast.