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All businesses need to Project Manage their procedures. Training for a career in Project Management will lead to some really absorbing and satisfying assignments in industry. The work suits people who are well disciplined, and usually good at maths and technology subjects. Other skill-sets that are useful to have are an ability to explain things well to others and good management skills.
Modern businesses are always looking to improve the quality, efficiency and delivery of their goods and services. Large scale projects can involve a complex mix of time lines, tasks, people and organisations. Whilst training you could become a member of the support team in a project, then a programme officer or team leader for one section of a project.
There are various levels of qualifications and training, some of which require no prior knowledge or experience in industry. Depending on the level of training you take, you will learn about initiating, managing, and maintaining small to large-scale projects that can be implemented in all areas of industry.
There is a language within Project Management that trainees need to get to grips with. It's vital to get on the right wavelength with the terms and ways of thinking, and with the skills and tools used in the profession today. There are a number of schools of thought in project management but you will discover many processes have a lot in common.
Much of what we term Project Management today has been around for a very long time. In the Industrial Revolution, civil engineers such as Thomas Telford and Brunel would have taken responsibility for project managing their own builds.
In the early twentieth century, an American engineer called Henry Gantt produced his famous project management tool the Gantt Chart.
Around the same time the French engineer Henri Fayol developed 'Fayolism' - functions and principles for management. The Gantt Chart was considered to be revolutionary when it was first introduced.
Essentially a type of bar chart, it illustrates a project schedule which can show the start and finish dates of every element of a project and even the dependency relationships between activities.
It took another four decades or so for Americans to really start to embrace the idea that Project Management was a distinctive discipline arising from management techniques. The Polaris missile project involved so many different aspects that a new management system had to be developed to handle it. The PERT - Program (or Project) Evaluation and Review Technique - model was used to analyse and represent all the tasks involved. Along with later developments this led to mathematical techniques being used to find the critical path through a project. Alongside scheduling projections came technology for engineering economics, cost estimating and cost management.
In 1967 the IPMA (International Project Management Association) was founded in Europe. A non-profit Swiss registered organisation, it now claims to have over 40,000 global members. The IMPA four-level certification programme is assessed on three competence ranges - behavioural, technical and contextual.
America followed in '69 with their non-profit professional organisation, the Project Management Institute (PMI). The globally acknowledged project management guide PMBOK was first published by PMI in 1996 (although the latest edition now contains major changes).
It's designed to cover variables that will apply to the majority of projects throughout industry. You will be considered a great asset to any PM team if you understand the techniques and practices detailed in this guide. Commercial courses have been designed to take students through all the aspects.
If you invest time and energy into this training, you will be ready for the respected PMI certifications, namely the PMI Project Management Professional (PMP) and the PMI Certified Associate of Project Management (CAPM).
It's a widely used flexible PM method that navigates you through all the essentials for running a successful project. The framework is scalable and systematic, and if you train in this discipline you will learn how it can be used for all sizes of project.
Checks and balances are in place with the PRINCE2 method for co-ordinating all activities and participants. It's a checklist for success.
There are other project management methods and training schemes that you might find interesting, depending on the knowledge you currently have. Look for training that handles both the leadership and personnel skills as well as the mathematical and logistical elements. Take time to go through all the training options available to you.