There has been a dramatic shift in the way people enter project management over the past fifteen years or so.
Gone are the days when an engineer or an IT manager is handed the additional responsibility of a project to run without any specific training. Previously, knowledge of the organization was judged enough; you were simply expected to get on with it and deliver. Fast forward to today and it’s a very different story.
In the past six months, we have been contacted by a farmer, vicar, landscape gardener, police officer and a warrant officer, to name just a few – all convinced project management is for them.
Perhaps this shift in perception is partly due to TV programmes like The Apprentice or high-profile, dynamic initiatives such as HS2 and the Queensferry Crossing. Maybe it’s the diversity of the role or the fact that project management roles are consistently well-paid.
Whatever the reason, an increasing number of people from diverse backgrounds are keen to become practitioners.
Generally speaking, they fall into two main groups – graduates and those for whom it is a second career. Each has different expectations which need to be carefully managed and directed to improve the chances of success.