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Becoming a Project Manager

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The field of project management is growing fast in a wide range of industries especially in the biotech and high-tech arenas. The growing demand for project managers is due to the replacement of retired workers and the growth in global projects.

If you are a competent and consistent planner with good communication skills and an analytical mind, project management may be for you.

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The following information which gives you some basic understanding of project management is excerpted from A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) Third Edition, ©2004 Project Management Institute.

What is a Project?

A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.

Temporary means that every project has a definite beginning and a definite end. The end is reached when the project’s objectives have been achieved, or it becomes clear the project objectives will not be or cannot be met, or the need for the project no longer exists and the project is terminated.

A project creates unique deliverables, which are products, services, or results.

  • A product or artifact that is produced, is quantifiable, and can be either an end item in itself or a component item
  • A capability to perform a service, such as business functions supporting production or distribution
  • A result, such as outcomes or documents. For example, a research project develops knowledge that can be used to determine whether or not a trend is present or a new process will benefit society.

What is Project Management?

Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements. Project management is accomplished through the application and integration of the project management process of initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. The project manager is the person responsible for accomplishing the project objectives.

Managing a project includes:

  • Identifying requirements
  • Establishing clear and achievable objectives
  • Balancing the competing demands for quality, scope, time and cost
  • Adapting the specifications, plans, and approach to the different concerns and expectations of the various stakeholders.

The Project Management Knowledge Areas

  • Chapter 4, Project Integration Management, describes the processes and activities that integrate the various elements of project management, which are identified, defined, combined, unified and coordinated within the Project Management Process Groups. It consists of the Develop Project Charter, Develop Preliminary Project Scope Statement, Develop Project Management Plan, Direct and Manage Project Execution, Monitor and Control Project work, Integrated Change Control, and Close Project project management processes.
  • Chapter 5, Project Scope Management, describes the processes involved in ascertaining that the project includes all the work required, and only the work required, to complete the project successfully. It consists of the Scope Planning, Scope Definition, Create WBS, Scope Verification, and Scope Control project management processes.
  • Chapter 6, Project Time Management, describes the processes concerning the timely completion of the project. It consists of the Activity Definition, Activity Sequencing, Activity Resource Estimating, Activity Duration Estimating, Schedule Development, and Schedule Control project management processes.
  • Chapter 7, Project Cost Management, describest the processes involved in planning, estimating, budgeting, and controlling costs so that the project is completed within the approved budget. It consists of the Cost Estimating, Cost Budgeting, and Cost Control project management processes.
  • Chapter 8, Project Quality Management, describes the processes involved in assuring that the project will satisfy the objectives for which it was undertaken. It consists of the Quality Planning, Perform Quality Assurance, and Perform Quality Control project management processes.
  • Chapter 9, Project Human Resource Managemet, describes the processes that organize and manage the project team. It consists of the Human Resource Planning, Acquire Project Team, Develop Project Team, and Manage Project Team project management processes.
  • Chapter 10, Project Communications Management, describes the processes concerning the timely and appropriate generation, collection, dissemination, storage and ultimate disposition of project information. It consists of the Communications Planning, Information Distribution, Performance Reporting, and Manage Stakeholders project management processes.
  • Chapter 11, Project Risk Management, describes the processes concerned with conducting risk management on a project. It consists of the Risk Management Planning, Risk Identification, Qualitative Risk Analysis, Quantitative Risk Analysis, Risk Response Planning, and Risk Monitoring and Control project management processes.
  • Chapter 12, Project Procurement, describes the processes that purchase or acquire products, services or results, as well as contract management processes. It consists of the Plan Purchases and Acquisitions, Plan Contracting, Request Seller Responses, Select Sellers, Contract Administration, and Contract Closure project management processes.

Certification in these areas of management is increasingly important because it demonstrates professional knowledge and experience.

The New York Public Library owns about 400 titles on project management which include occupational information, professional knowledge and certification preparation.

For more information, please visit the Science, Industry and Business Library online or in person at 188 Madison Avenue and 34th Street.

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Project Management

Dear Chan, I have Master of Science in Management degree from NYU and I am in the market looking for a Project Management role. I have been looking for the past six month without success. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks, Solomon

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