A career in project management will see you face the challenge of meeting all of the project goals, within the available resources, budget and a host of other potential constraints. The end result should be successful completion of the project, which complies perfectly with the client’s expectations. Once those expectations are clearly identified, they need to be addressed and understood by all participants in the project, project managers, designers, contractors, sub-contractors, materials suppliers, etc. The right balance will ensure smooth, conflict free decision making, resulting in successful project completion.
Are all projects essentially the same then?
Yes and No. A project is an endeavour to produce a unique service or product, with a clearly understood and defined beginning and end, meeting all its goals and objectives, within the clearly understood constraints. The trick is in bringing beneficial change or value. Project Management can be called in for a very diverse range of things, though it generally comes back to four key things. Operating within the constraints of project scope, time, money and quality.
How difficult is it?
Once you have a clear idea of how a project needs to be broken down into sections, the whole process becomes much simpler. There are good project management courses in London and elsewhere that can teach you this in great detail. However the basics are, initially, to define the project, understanding the stages between the beginning and the end. Once the Project manager is assigned, and his responsibilities laid out, the project team and the stakeholders can begin to clearly define the key aspects of the project.
How do things progress from planning to implementation?
This is where we move into the Project Lifecycle phase, where Planning, Control and Communication clearly identify the project’s goals, the schedule, the constraints and develop a work breakdown schedule. Once in place, the project can begin its execution and managing the schedule. Here the true Project Manager brings his value. Things can get very complicated, especially when schedules and progress, may experience some deviations.
Are Project Managers industry specific?
Project management can be applied to any project, though highly specialised industries will each have their own needs, which need to be tailor made to be accommodated. The construction sector, for example, is referred to as Construction project management, while other sectors will have their own, such as IT Project management, or Oil and Gas Project management. However, all projects have the same goals, regardless of industry. These goals are essentially to complete the project on schedule, within the budget and also meeting the exact agreed upon quality standard.
If a career in Project management sounds of interest, a quick Internet search in your area will show you who provides the most informative educational courses, both in basic project management and at more advanced levels too, as your quest for more knowledge develops. The job comes with more than just a salary. At the end of a successful project, you will normally find a professional, well-coordinated, but above all, very proud Project Manager.