My Project Management Expert

What is Project Management?

Project Management is a much maligned and misunderstood area. Because of this it is often undervalued, (until things go wrong of course) and everyone thinks that they could be a Project Manager. Yet this one role is often the difference between a successful delivery to time and budget and a disaster spiralling out of control.

So what is Project Management? Well it is the art of being able to take a concept, create a business plan out of it and then finding a way for it to be delivered within the timescales set utilising the budget and resources allocated.

In theory that sounds straightforward. In practice it requires someone who has the skills of a diplomat and organiser extraordinaire together with being a go-getter, communicator, salesperson, accountant and poker player. Being a Project Manager is certainly never dull!

Of course there are numerous ways of getting a project delivered and this very much depends on how complex the project is together with the type of organisation you are working for. As a rule of thumb, smaller companies are unlikely to have the resources to have a properly defined team of Business Analysts, Test Specialists or a Project Management Office (PMO). They will simply be keen on getting the project launched. Therefore in such an environment you will need to be a “jack-of-all-trades” and be willing to get your hands diry in order to make it happen. However in big blue chip firms the projects will be much more complex in terms of requirements, resources and budget. They will also have invested hugely in project process such as adherence to a specific methodology and staff to enforce it. In some cases this will be considered even more important than getting the project delivered!

Therefore to the question, what is project management, well at a high level it’s easy to explain, but like many things, when you get down to the nuts and bolts of it, the permutations of Project Management make it extremely hard to explain.

Personally I think this is a good thing. It allows the flexibility to find out what your strengths are, and play to them. So for example my strength is delivery. I’m not a slave to a plan or even to documentation. Hence I tend to end up delivering high profile, cutting edge programmes and projects in the New Media area, where launch dates must be met, and problem solving on the fly is vital.

However I know many others who prefer spending their time devising incredibly complicated project plans of 4,000 tasks and then updating them. These individuals tend to work in the public / government sector or in enormous Infrastructure companies such as Defence or Oil & Gas.

Of course to confuse things even more it also depends on which part of these businesses you’re working in. So for example I have been told that in certain parts of one of the largest global Mobile Phone COmpanies they are hugely process orientated following Six Sigma, MSP and Prince 2 methodologies. But in the New Media area there is far more focus on getting projects to market quickly and less emphasise on documentation.

So if you are interested in Project Management the best thing you can do is to jump in and start learning. Certainly this site will help, as it is written by Project Management experts and designed to give you the insider track to help you not only find your feet in Project management, but to give you the tips and tricks to allow you to reduce your workload whilst delivering more effectively.

Having been a Project Manager for over 12 years now I can tell you that managing your first project can be a daunting prospect, but as with anything, over time this becomes easier and easier. Now I can simply be given a high-level overview of what needs to be delivered, and will immediately know where the problems and pitfalls are likely to be.

Unfortunately this ability is something which cannot be taught through reading books or taking courses, which is why this site was set up. The good news is that by utilising the expertise of the experienced Programme and Project Managers on this site, you too can quickly learn the tools of the trade to enable you to successfully manage projects.

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Sign Up for Our Free
The Fast Track to Project Success Ezine
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Top 10 Tips of
Successful Project Management Ebook!

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Then

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We promise to use it only to send you The Fast Track to Project Success.

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Please check out our new Project Management Methodologies section. It has loads of great info on concepts such as the PMMM and Critical Path.


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