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Project Management Career Summary (comm130)

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Essay title: Project Management Career Summary (comm130)

From Dream to Reality


University xxxxxx

November 4, 2007

Definition, Vision and Scope

With today’s businesses constantly embracing the technological advances that are made on a daily basis there becomes an increasing need for someone to supply the foresight, ability and commitment to ensure that these new technologies are implemented as seamlessly and successfully as possible. The Project Manager is just the person for the job. This paper will examine this career and explore the benefits of working in this profession. It will provide a look into the life of current Project Managers and their thoughts and concerns regarding their profession.

Project management is “the art and science of converting vision into reality” (Atkinson, 1999). Project management delivers results. Project managers enjoy the challenge of juggling multiple responsibilities and optimizing workflow in a highly competitive environment. From managing the development of a website to launching new company wide integration system, project managers keep projects on time, on track and within budget. Strong business, management and organizational skills as well as experience with current technologies put qualified candidates in high demand in this extraordinary career field. The practice of project management focuses efforts on your mission by defining priorities, utilizing resources, and producing outstanding goods and services for businesses and customers alike. A successful project translates a broad public mission into concrete results and outcomes.

A project is defined as a “temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service” (PMI, 2000). A project exists only after a decision has been made to address a specific business need, either internal or external (customer need) to the organization, funding is available to support its execution, and measurable goals and objectives are well defined. Without knowing the expected results, quality level or capability of the end product, a project is difficult to plan, execute or conclude. A project is temporary in that there is a defined start (the decision to proceed) and a defined end (the achievement of the goals and objectives). Ongoing business or maintenance operations are not projects. Because projects are temporary in nature, project managers are constantly evolving and looking forward to the next new challenge in their career.

Figure 1 shows the general process flow of a standard project. This process flow can be applied to a number of projects of different size, scope and difficulty.

Figure 1 Project Flow

Figure 2 shows the various knowledge areas as they can be can be applied to project management. Various knowledge areas will be evident throughout the life cycle of any given project and is an extensive look into the qualities of a successful project manager.

Figure 2 Knowledge Areas

A look into the mind of project managers

A survey was conducted of various professionals in the information technologies field. This survey was conducted to show the varying skill levels of these professionals and the implications that project management has applied to their chosen profession. Overall, the satisfaction level of their career is shown to be above average.

Figure 3 shows that while 40% of the respondents have completed an Associate Degree prior to entering their career field. Only 20% have completed a Bachelor’s Degree. Twenty percent have completed some undergraduate work to include any technical certifications and likewise 20% have completed a High School Diploma or GED.

Figure 4 shows that 40% of respondents have spent 7 to 10 years in their current career field and 60% have spent 0 to 3 years. Among the respondents the satisfaction rating was highest in the respondents with 0 to 3 years within their career field averaging a rating of 9 on a scale of 1 to 10. The respondents with 7 to 10 years of experience in their career field yielded an average of 8 out of 10 for satisfaction.

Chart 1 shows that while only 20% of respondents were influenced by a relative or friend, 80% were influenced by the salary range and benefit package when deciding on a career field.

Among the respondents, all of

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