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What is project management?

As Learning People continue to demystify the tech industry, we explore what project management really is and why it is so important.

Updated on: 16th September 2019

Project management is one of the most diverse and interchangeable roles to be a part of. With the need for project managers across almost every industry it’s an amazing opportunity to experience many different sectors with the same transferable skills.

But what is project management?

Directly, project management is the application of knowledge, skills and methodologies to ensure projects are executed effectively and efficiently whilst completing the project goals.

For many organisations, it is a strategy plan developed by a competent and specialised team that enables them to tie project results to business goals, most commonly producing more profit.

A project can be any task with a definitive beginning, middle and end. This task will be aimed at delivering a product or service depending on the goals. It will include a unique set of requirements and will be outside of a routine day to day job. There will be a very specific set of operations needed to be completed in order to realise the particular goal.

Every project will have a timescale, budget and standards set that will need to be closely managed in order to reach success.

Project manager overlooking employee progress during a project in office setting

The process

According to PMI there are 5 agreed project management processes:

  • Initiating
  • Planning
  • Executing
  • Monitoring and controlling
  • Closing

 

This offers a great insight into how you would expect a project to be guided and completed. Each process will be vital and will need specific expertise in order to be efficiently fulfilled.

Someone who trains to be a project manager will be expected to be competent in each of these areas and the best techniques to use and when to use them. For example, integration, cost assessment, scope, quality assurance, time keeping, procurement, risk management, stakeholder management, human resources and communication.

Why is project management important?

Perhaps the most obvious reason for using project management is efficiency. When a project is closely evaluated, there is a higher chance of discovering the best plan of action, finding the necessary resources and applying everything effectively.

Another reason is to keep everything on track. A proficient leader must be in a position to oversee all tasks and progress. The unpredictability of the business world can lead to countless variables effecting a piece of work, this will need to be identified and changes applied accordingly.

Lastly, if you have someone who knows the project inside and out, it can help lead to more success in the future. Once one project is completed, there will undoubtedly be more and experience and knowledge is power. A good project manger will be able to deliver a strong report on all factors of the project and will be able to identify these crucial success elements.

project manager looking at a project report on a laptop in a cafe setting

Becoming a project manager

Project management as a practise is rapidly growing and spreading worldwide, and is now seen globally as a recognised and strategic competency, a career path and a subject for training and education.

Gaining the correct certifications are key to beginning your career in project management. Online courses, like CAPM, are guaranteed to make you stand out when applying for your first role and will leave you feeling confident as well as competent.

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of jobs requiring project orientated skills causing a massive gap that is rising every year. Employers across every industry are in desperate need of knowledgeable project managers, opening up endless career opportunities. Research is key to finding a suitable industry if you’re finding it difficult to decide. Consider your skills and experience as a starting point; if all your previous job roles have been in healthcare, consider becoming a Healthcare Project Manager.

Tech Industry and project management

The tech industry is commonly noted for its high level of demand for project managers. This is due to a large majority of the work being heavily project orientated with high pressure to deliver more quickly.

With technologies at a peak of innovation it is more important than ever to ensure your training is up-to-date and relevant. E-learning is an effective way to ensure your training remains current as the courses are frequently updated.

Going that step further, we offer a personalised consultation to not only ensure you’re on the right career path to reach your goals but also to fully support you throughout your online training and on to employment.