Project management is a great career with plenty of good prospects for roles in all sorts of international organisations right across the globe. It’s a career well worth considering if you want an internationally recognised role in a varied and well-paid work environment. Many people have traditionally ended up in the role of project manager after working in sectors such as construction, IT and engineering but there are increasing opportunities to start a career in project management right from the outset with university degrees now available in the subject and also Higher Level Project Management Apprenticeships (which can also lead to degree-level qualifications).
Project management is something then that you can either learn “on-the-job” and via formal project management training courses which means that most practitioners will benefit from a combination of real-world experience and formal learning which is often the ideal mix to make truly successful project managers.
If you think this could be the career for you then take a look at the basics below to help you decide if becoming a project manager is right for you.
What Is Project Management?
At first glance this can seem a simple question with an obvious answer – it’s managing some tasks to complete a project of some sort. However, in formal project management working on often very complex projects you will find a lot of specific terminology which starts to give you a clue that it may not be as simple as it first sounds.
Project management involves numerous tasks and processes, which require particular skills and behaviours to manage successfully – such as:
- Securing the funding for a project and justifying the investment
- Handling the project budget
- Clearly documenting why the project is required
- Planning and estimating the resources, people and equipment needed
- Timetabling the resources, people and equipment needed
- Leading, managing and motivating the project team
- Monitoring and dealing with risks
- Communicating with people at all levels from junior team member to C-suite executives.
Some people undertake project management training because the skills, concepts and capabilities learnt on a PM training course are useful in other careers too.
When Is a Project Manager Needed?
If a company has specific objectives they wish to achieve which require a large number of tasks and people to complete then it is likely they will use a project manager to manage those people and tasks. The reasons for this are:
- The people, money, time, risks, dependencies etc will be managed and controlled in a consistent way
- The chances of success are improved by using a formal project management methodology
- Status, issues and developments are communicated effectively to those involved
- Deadlines and milestones are monitored to keep all work on schedule
What Does It Take To Become A Project Manager?
In general, project managers would have the following capabilities:
- Pays attention to detail
- A natural problem solver
- Emotionally intelligent