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Organization, management, communication, unity, adaptability, and mutual appreciation are traits that make a good team. Such a good team would be the backbone of any project’s success. Project management can be utilized to ensure that these traits prevail in a group so that the project succeeds. A MSc in project management program can help a professional get into this field of work, and lead projects and teams to success. Read on to know more.
What is Project Management?
Project management is the process of determining a project’s goals and objectives, setting budgets and timelines, and leading a team through completing the project. Project management as a practice came into being during the 1950s when organizations started applying tools and techniques to manage complex engineering projects.
A project is a carefully planned undertaking carried out to achieve a particular outcome. It usually goes through five different stages, from initiation to closing. The various stages are detailed below.
1. Initiation: The project manager determines the nature and scope of the project at this stage. The project’s success depends heavily upon this stage. This stage produces a project initiation document on completion. The initiation document will include a project proposal, project scope, financial analysis, SWOT analysis, and other vital records.
2. Planning: Planning, here, refers to planning the time, cost, and resources necessary to complete the project. Just like the initiation stage, this stage is essential for the success of the project. Essential steps like risk planning, budget development, and work breakdown structures are carried out in this stage.
3. Execution: As the name suggests, this stage executes the planned project. This step involves allocating, managing, and coordinating resources (human, material, and budget). Project deliverables are the outcome of this step. During this stage, the project manager documents all aspects of the project to provide a means to track, observe, and refer.
4. Monitoring and controlling: This step involves monitoring the project’s execution to identify potential issues and take corrective action as and when necessary. This step helps in identifying variances from the plan by observing and measuring the project regularly.
5. Closing: This step includes the acceptance and successful completion of the project. Project close and contract closure are two phases of closing—the project manager archives the files and documents the lessons learned during the project. The process of closing may include a post-implementation review.
What is a Project Manager?
The chief responsibility of a project manager is to manage a project effectively. A project manager does not directly participate in any project events but instead maintains project progress while reducing risks, minimizing cost, and maximizing outcome.
The project manager is obligated to ensure that the team members know their role in the team and execute it. He/she is also responsible for the group’s smooth functioning, empowering and supporting the team members, and facilitating accessible communication. The project manager is the person that has to,
- Develop the project plan
- Effectively manage the stakeholders
- Manage risks
- Manage the schedule
- Manage the budget
- Manage real-world conflicts
- Manage delivery of the project
- Manage contracts
What are the benefits of Masters in project Management degree?
1. It provides you the opportunity to work in a wide variety of industries. The chief reason for the wide range of possibilities is the transferrable nature of one sector’s skills to other sectors. This trait allows candidates to choose the field that suits their personal preferences. Some common industries where project managers are in demand are as follows.
List of Common Industries that Hire Project Managers
- Information Technology
- Real estate development
- Software development
2. Job security is a key benefit this field of work provides. Roles in this field start as an assistant and then move up in the hierarchy. Gaining experience and completing the PMP certification can be of enormous help to a candidate’s career. Once a candidate becomes an experienced project manager, more doors will open.
The Project Management Institute (PMI), formed in the USA in 1969, is a nonprofit professional organization for project management. The PMI provides various credentials and certifications of international recognition to professionals in the field.
The PMI expects an increase in project management roles in the future- from 13.4 million between 2010 and 2020, to 41.5 million is expected in just ten countries. The opportunities offered by this field are endlessly growing with the candidate’s working experience and certifications. Project managers with advanced degrees like a Master’s in Project Management have comparatively more opportunities.
As evident from the previous paragraph, project management is a lucrative career choice. It is in demand and is constantly growing. This demand makes candidates with a Master’s degree more valuable to companies. This value, in turn, gives the candidates the job security they seek.
3. Economic benefits in the field of project management are fairly high compared to other careers. Organizations around the world need professionals educated in project management. Because of its cruciality, roles in project management are usually very well paid. The base salary of a project manager in Zambia ranges from 3,701 ZMK to 15,091 ZMK per month.
Experience in project management plays a significant role in determining the salary of a professional. The higher the years of experience, the higher the pay will be. The compensation also varies widely with other factors: additional skills, certifications, type of industry, geography, etc.
|Industry||Salary Range (Worldwide, in USD)|
According to the Project Management Institute’s predictions, the profession will grow by $6.61 trillion globally by 2020. This growth in demand will directly translate into job opportunities and increased demand and consequently increased economic benefits to project management professionals.
4. A wide range of responsibilities and tasks will be available in project management. This is because of the ever-evolving nature of the field. The requirements and challenges in the area will keep on varying with each project and industry. This trait will expose the professionals to a broader spectrum of experiences than another field of work.
Business services, construction, manufacturing, finance, and utility industries are the most project-oriented industries. It is clear how these industries vary with what they do, but project managers are relevant in all of them.
5. This field of work facilitates a professional to learn and grow throughout their career. A project manager’s critical skills are team management, organization, risk management, communication, and negotiation. Besides these, a project manager will have to learn new skills, tools, and techniques continuously. Project managers also become excellent problem solver with experience.
This ability and opportunity to learn is the reason that makes project managers with working experience more valuable than ones with comparatively less experience. Project management is a field of work where one learns every single day, with every single project, and every new issue that arises.
This trait also helps improve oneself personally, increases confidence, and drives passion.
Project managers on gaining substantial experience, may wish to move up the career ladder. One such opportunity that project managers can pursue is the role of chief operating officer (COO). The years of experience interacting and working with various levels and departments of a company coupled with the skills acquired during these years can make the transition to COO a very smooth process for a project manager.
An excellent way to become a project manager is to get educated in the field. One can take a degree like the master’s in project management in Zambia offered by Texila American University (TAU), a recognized university. The education will facilitate a career in project management and allow a professional to gain experience. On gaining said experience, one can get certifications to move further in his/her job.