Reasons to Study Project Management
An oft-heard, and legitimate, question is "Why do we need to learn this project management stuff"?
Many workers are well-versed in their specific technical field. However, in order to do a thorough job on the work they do, they often rely on useful disciplines that are outside their field. Project management is one of these disciplines.
A while ago, I asked supervisors in my area for examples of general uses of project management in their branches. Here is a sampling of their responses
- Creating a project charter to define and give purpose to a project
- Developing and maintaining schedules
- Assigning responsibilities
- Monitoring performance of a project in terms of money, time, and what was promised
- A general way to be organized and to encourage organization
- Creating lessons learned documents to understand what went right and wrong
We all use project management concepts in some form outside of work as well. Have we all created a unique thing? Did we ever need to know what we were making? Did we need to know how much it cost? Did we need to know what we were going to be doing on each day? Did we need to measure our progress? Formal project management just adds to this common sense in a rigorous way.
The main answer to the opening question is that project management adds value. Another answer is "My supervisor made me". At first glance this is a bad answer, but it actually turns out to be compatible with the first answer because your supervisor knows that there is more to project management than software that makes Gantt charts.
A project can be thought of as an investment for your office, your division, your company, and the people involved.
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