The role of project manager has developed to such an extent that it is now seen as a job in itself, one that is essential and exists in all large industries.
Typically the project manager will plan, initiate, manage and maintain large projects, and usually manage all project resources, establish their own procedures and protocols required to achieve the project goals.
Maybe you would enjoy a career in project management where you would manage a project from the initial planning stages through to delivery. We will take a brief look at project management in this lesson.
Project management is a necessary role now because projects are often international or global, in industries such as IT, construction, and telecommunications. A project manager (PM) might manage a new systems development and rollout, or equipment installations, or development of a new building or complex.
Who needs these skills?
Project management is however a skill that most managers will need to deploy every day – planning, organising and delivering projects is fundamental to most management roles. It calls for skills you probably already have – strong time management skills, organisation, leadership and attention to detail.
So for example a manager tasked with carrying out a feasibility study for a new business would deploy project skills. Also if they were asked to manage the launch of a new department, or product, or open a new retail store, all of these would need project management skills.
So in this context a project is a piece of work with a defined timescale that will produce a particular result – be it a product or a service. It will usually have its own budget, quality standards and goals.
This is in contrast to on – going or repetitive activities that continually produce products or services, such as running a production line or a store.
The management of these two types of activity calls for different skills, controls and management strategies
Project management as a discipline was developed in fields such as civil construction, engineering and defence, around the 1950’s.Before this most managers would rely on simplistic tools such as the Gantt Chart and Critical Path Analysis.