You may have heard about various career opportunities opening up in project management. Not just that, project management has become a popular academic field on an undergraduate and graduate level as well in recent times.
The answer is simple.
For every industry to function optimally, it is essential to come up with strategic working and disciplined management in order to lower costs, increase productivity, save time and other important resources and carry out all operations smoothly.
A recent research conducted in 2017 by Pulse of the Profession found that organisations are achieving more success by strategizing their initiatives. Working on programmes to find ways of discovering competitive advantages and stimulating growth plays a key role in overall organisational success.
Before we move on to how why when and where, let’s discuss what project management essentially is.
What Is Project Management?
In layman terms, project management refers to using specific skills, techniques, methods and tools to devise strategies for a project’s initiation, planning, execution and completion. While the general concept of project management is applied in all working environments, it has developed as a distinct field of expertise in the past two decades.
All projects have a life cycle.
The concept is pretty simple. All projects are finite. The key to make them work and perform successfully lies in the systems involved during its life cycle. Widely speaking, there is the initiation phase, the planning phase, implementation and completion. The chart below explains the cycle.
The research typically includes feasibility plans, case studies of previous similar projects and setting up a team suitable for the project. Next comes the planning and designing, which consists of developing financial plans, projected timelines and probable risks. Then comes the implementation phase after which the project reaches completion.
Learn more about project management from teacher, speaker and author Deniz Sasal here.
Courtesy: Deniz Sasal, Youtube
Why Has Project Management Become Important?
Moving on to the more relevant question, I’ll give you 5 reasons why it is becoming an important field of expertise.
- Increasing competitions, limited time and restricted resources – No matter what industry we’re talking about, the increasing competition and lack of resources calls for more efficient and swift measures to bring positive change. Organisations are now looking for employees with a mix of skills instead of just one specialised talent in order to maximise output and minimise costs.
- Proven numbers indicate project management is a success – Organisations that invest in project management techniques that are proven to work waste 28 times less money than those that do not. Project management has been slowly making its way into all kinds of sectors whether it is health, infrastructure or IT. The health care sector in the US, for instance has experienced a growth of 17% in project-oriented jobs (see: page4).
- Rapid technological advancement has a huge part to play – Project management owes a fair share of its growth to technological advances. Information services and publishing stands to be the second biggest sector to create project management jobs of 5.5 million between 2017 to 2027, manufacturing and constructions being the first (see: page4). Project management is a vital part of IT, web designing and software development. Moreover, the creation of various project management software has made the whole process of the project lifecycle easier and facilitates the procedures to achieve goals quicker and optimise organisational performance.
- Poor project performances indicate need for refurbishment – Apart from the evidence that we have about organisations that perform well with the implementation of proven project management methods, the numbers of organisations making losses are also a reason enough for project management to be at the forefront. For every £1 billion invested, organisations worldwide are losing from £9.7pc to £97m due to poor project performance.
- There continues to be a gap between job growth and talent – This, I believe is the biggest reason why project management has become so important. By 2027, employers will require 87.7 million employees working in project management roles. This gap would cost around $207.9 billion in GDP till 2027 in the 11 countries analysed by the PMI (Project Management Institute). Hence, in the coming years, project management would make one of the most desired careers. Considering the UK specifically, there is immense potential for growth in the infrastructure industry, which stands to be the No.1 industry to require project management-related jobs. It is safe to say that careers seem bright for those pursuing an education in project management.
Do Organisations Actively Use Project Management?
As mentioned earlier, project management has proven to improve overall organisational performance. But has it been used widely implemented yet?
Project management brings long-term success.
Just like a theory shows its effectiveness over time, project management requires a phase where organisations try various project management techniques to discover the ones that suit them best. In a paper developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Closing the gap: The link between project management excellence and long-term success, it was found that project management competencies are considered crucial to the business yet only a few have proper project management models in place. Moreover, the paper found that companies are trying to improve but they struggle to find the best ways to address this challenge and that recession may help improve project management practices.
The survey for the paper was taken from 213 senior executives and project managers worldwide. To keep it short and simple, I have selected two graphs to explain the scenario.
As you can see, 76% of the respondents said that they either had an organisation-wide or a general project management approach. But 51% of them also said that the organisation could further improve the processes of managing projects.
But it’s all good news!
As the field of project management on its own is relatively new, it would take time for organisations to fully adapt to it. However, the prospects seem bright. With improvements and newer, better-suited project management methodologies, there will be room for more jobs and increased productivity of organisations with lesser costs.
Where To Start?
Clearly, the future seems bright!
So far we have got one thing clear: there is going to be a need for project managers in the near future. How about I explain to you how you could do this now?
Consider project management courses online
Lately, a lot of world-renowned universities offer an opportunity to specialise in project management. But with that come huge tuition fees and student loans. What if I told you there was a solution that was equally good? In this time and age, short courses and certifications seem like the best-suited way of gaining education since the work environments are dynamic, a lot of which are readily available online.
Many times people opt for a different direction of profession post their undergraduate studies. Project management, especially remains one of those professions; you could be an industrial engineer who could use a project management qualification to land a better, and in-demand job. Similarly, project quality management training online could come in handy for IT professionals, accounting & business professionals and numerous others. You can also take project quality management courses online to test the waters; they cost much less and come with accreditations, which validates your qualification in case you make up your mind to pursue a career in this field.
Global Edulink is one of the leading online learning platforms based in the United Kingdom that provides e-learning with globally recognised certifications. You can choose from several project management training courses online. Check out the courses below-
Project Quality Management Training Courses Project Management Course Library Certificate in Practical Project Management – Level 2 Leading and Managing Projects Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®
Let us know what you think! Tweet us at https://twitter.com/globaledulinkuk or leave a comment! ☺