Irrespective of the industry, qualified professionals are essential to plan and facilitate their work. Given that this is crucial to the functioning of a business, the demand for project managers never fades – their role is to facilitate other members of the organisation to work as effectively and collaboratively as possible, to benefit the organisation. They seek to overcome challenges, ensure projects are delivered under budget and within timescales set by senior management.
What is Project Management?
The general definition of project management is the implementation of methodologies, knowledge, processes, experience and skills to achieve the objectives of a project (Association of Project Management).
You must be wondering how project management is different from just management. The key difference between the two is that while on one hand management is an ongoing process, project management has a determined timespan and an objective result.
The components that make up the core of this management type are:
- Justifying the credibility of a project;
- Specifying project requirements, quality of deliverables and estimating resources and timelines;
- Justifying the investment made in the project with the help of a business case;
- Securing corporate agreement and funding;
- Development and implementation of a management strategy for the project;
- Leading the project delivery team to achieve its objectives;
- Risk management;
- Monitoring the progress against the plan;
- Project budget management;
- Maintaining communication with stakeholders and project owners.
Why is Project Management Important?
Project managers are in demand everywhere, irrespective of the industry in question. Let’s find out why.
- Leadership: Project management brings leadership to the table and gives a much more straightforward direction for the project to move forward. Though a project can move without it, there will be less control, direction or purpose to help a project run efficiently. Without project management, a project runs the risk of becoming more disorganised.
- Strategy: A project can be realised skilfully if there are strategies in place to support it. Before plunging a project into action, strategies should be drafted for ROI (return on investment), costs, etc. This can be done by using pragmatic project management techniques.
- Objectives: Clear project objectives are a prerequisite for a successful project. Project management methodologies play an important role in executing an appropriate plan aligned with the organisation’s strategic goals.
- Quality: High quality deliverables add to the success of a project. The project management process ensures that the quality of project deliverables constantly hit the desired mark. Teams need to assess the quality, deliverability and applicability of the project before putting it into practice.
- Risk Management: The project management team is responsible for analysing the potential risks in detail and ensure a mitigation plan in place for any risks they might detect.
Why Should You Pursue a Master’s Degree in Project Management?
Project management is considered a top career choice in today’s world. There are a string of reasons for that:
- Project managers are versatile professionals who can employ their skills in a variety of industries, from IT to construction.
- As a project manager, you will be juggling between several different tasks, which means you can polish your project management skills every day at work.
- The growth scope for project managers is significant. With experience and appropriate specialisation, project managers can progress in their career at a great speed.
- The learning curve for project management professionals makes this career choice even more alluring. Project Managers can adapt to different industries, therefore as technology develops and new industries emerge, PMs are in a great position to take advantage of new opportunities.
What are Project Management Techniques?
Before you decide to take up project management as a career choice, here is a brief idea of the tools and techniques used.
- Risk Management
Risk management is the process of identifying, evaluating and prioritising risks, which are countered by applying coordinated economic strategies and resources. This technique is implemented to minimise the impact of risks that might arise during the course of the project.
- Budget Management
Budget management is critical to the successful completion of a project. Budget management, typically, is the estimation of costs and the appropriate allocation of resources to ensure the smooth functioning of a project.
- Gantt Chart
The Gantt Chart is a popular project management tool used to illustrate a project schedule. This chart has proven to be a useful project tracker, helping project managers to follow up with the progress of the project and other functions of the project.
- Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
Work breakdown structure is an effective project management technique. It is implemented to plan a project by breaking down key activities into smaller and easier sections of work. This methodology can be used to delegate responsibility, help schedule a timeline for various activities, and improve resource planning and efficiency.
- Project Evaluation and Review Techniques (PERT)
PERT is one of the most effective project management techniques. It helps the project manager to identify relationships between two different tasks, carry out staff planning and come up with efficient time management tools and techniques.
What is the Scope of a Master’s Degree in Project Management?
A masters degree in Project Management will help you develop desirable and transferable skills apt for an extensive range of project management roles that are essential to the role of a project manager. Moreover, it will open up a large number of opportunities for you to choose from. The versatility of the course gives you the advantage of being employable in various industries such as Construction, IT, Government Administrations, Transportation Infrastructure etc. With such a diverse range of options and an increasing demand for project managers in a variety of sectors, this position can often offer high salaries and employment benefits, making this a sought-after career choice.
However, it is essential that you pursue your degree from a credible institution, preferably one that is globally recognised. This will give you the opportunity of not only working in different industries, but in different parts of the world.
One of the reputed colleges that has tapped into the potential of project management as a career is GISMA Business School. GISMA offers an MSc Project Management, delivered by Arden University, to educate students on leading successful projects internationally.
If you are one of them, enquire now to find out more about the course that can help you land your dream job.