Job Title: Project manager
Why Chartered status matters
- What did you do before you became a project manager? I did a variety of things including general administration, managing a residential care financial assessment team in a social services department, managing a debt control team for a local authority, being a team manager for a lottery distributor, to name a few.
- When and why did you become a project manager? In 2001 I was working as a team manager for an organisation that was merging with another organisation. They advertised a Special Projects Manager role to support the integration of the Operations of the two organisations. I was fortunate to get the job and that is where it all began. I had no experience of formal project management at that point so I was lucky to get the job.
- Do you have formal training in project management? If yes, what did you study and how has it helped you in your career? If no, what are the key project management skills you have learnt on the job? I was lucky enough to work and learn from some really accomplished project managers and also was supported to obtain Prince 2 accreditation.
- How has your background working in another profession helped (or hindered!) you as a project manager? I think my background helped because I was able to utilise my transferable skills of planning, attention to detail, good communication skills and adaptability.
- What advice would you give to someone considering a career in project management? Really look into what it means to be a project manager not least the skills, aptitudes and abilities required. Not everyone is suited to working in the ways that project management requires. Also project management is not for the faint hearted!
- The Association for Project Management is now the chartered body for project management professionals and is developing a Chartered Standard. What will Chartered Project Professional status mean to you in the future? I think Chartered Standard is great and will professionalise the industry and drive up standards. In project manager terms it will help organisations identify the ‘real deal’ from the people who simply obtain a Prince 2 qualification and then start marketing themselves as project managers without any real experience.
- Finally, what is the one item that you cannot live without and why (it doesn’t need to be PM related!?) A robust and realistic plan that is reviewed and updated regularly (including a Plan B) because everything that happens in a project hangs off that plan.