Getting Started in Project Management

getting started in project management

Ever wondered what project management actually is?  Heard people in the office talking about it and just nodded along pretending to know what they’re talking about?   You’re not alone. 

In essence project management is about using defined strategies, skills and processes to ensure projects go smoothly and that their objectives are met.  It’s a profession that’s been developing in the past 50 years or so and has evolved rapidly in recent years.  It’s supported by various associations around the world such as the Association for Project Management (APM) who promote best practice amongst UK professionals, and they suggest that practitioners obtain qualifications to support their work as a project manager.  Of course, if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably not quite ready for that just yet.  But if you’re interested in potentially becoming a project manager, or just want to know a bit more about what they actually do, then check out the APM Project Fundamentals Qualification (PFQ) course (formerly the Introductory Certificate).  It’s a great way to learn about the profession, and get a taste for what project management is really like.

Everything you need to know about the Introductory Certificate: The APM Project Fundamentals Qualification

What is it?

  • This course is the first step towards understanding the essential elements of projects management
  • It’s useful for anyone interested in project management or working on project teams
  • It is an entry level course – anyone and everyone can do it whether they have prior knowledge or not

What will I learn?

  • The main purpose of the course is to give a broad overview of what PM is and the underlying principles of the profession – you’ll finally understand what project management is (yay!)
  • There are 10 main learning outcomes covering all the basics of PM including project life cycle, project management planning, risk management and communication.  (For a more detailed course description, please click here)
  • There are 61 areas of assessment, based on the learning outcomes, used to test trainee’s knowledge of the principles taught
  • All of the topics covered are based on the latest edition of the APM guidelines; the APM Body of Knowledge 6th Edition, ensuring all content taught is fully up to date and relevant so you can show off to all your colleagues

How do I do it?

  • Thales Learning and Development run a two day classroom based course at their centre in Crawley
  • Dates are regular throughout the year -(check the website for the next available dates)
  • At the end of the two day course there’s an hour long, 60 question multiple-choice test to assess learners’ understanding of the content

Is it worth it?

  • People love this course – when the APM asked some of their trainees for feedback, the positive responses were overwhelming.  Almost all of the people asked said it gave them a good grounding in PM knowledge and would highly recommend the course to others
  • Most of the people also said that they felt more able to help on big projects because of this training
  • Not only do people love it – but it’s a great stepping stone to more advanced courses which are useful for anyone wanting to become a project manager

Project management is a very dynamic and exciting profession, and for those who are organised and like structure and planning, it can be a very rewarding job.  It can also be pretty lucrative depending on the industry you work for, and having qualifications can boost your potential income by up to 15%!  If you’re intrigued by the idea of project management but don’t know where to start, sign up for the Introductory Certificate and start your new career journey.

You may also be interested in our interview with Mike Savage in Enhance issue 3.